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Concern Leo Varadkar warns price of food and gas may surge following Ukraine invasion

The Fine Gael leader told the Dail today that the conflict will have a direct impact on Ireland

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Tanaiste Leo Varadkar with Ukrainian demonstrators

Tanaiste Leo Varadkar with Ukrainian demonstrators

Tanaiste Leo Varadkar with Ukrainian demonstrators

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar has warned that the price of food may surge after Russia invaded Ukraine today.

The Fine Gael leader told the Dail today that the conflict will have a direct impact on Ireland, and that he believes the price of food will soon start to go up.

“It is true that both Russia and Ukraine are major exporters of food, particularly exporters of grain, but so are we.”

“We don’t need to be concerned about food security or shortages here in Ireland,” he said, before adding “prices may rise, you’re right about that”.

He did however say that Ireland does not import much gas from Russia as he moved to ease concerns about energy shortages, adding that the “lights won’t go out”

Approximately half of Ireland’s gas supply comes from the north of Mayo.

The other half comes from the UK, which is mainly sourced from Qatar and the North Sea.

“We’re not particularly dependent on Russian gas,” he Varadkar.

“Obviously if the gas stopped flowing into Eastern Europe that will have an effect on the price. And that is very likely in the period ahead.”

Earlier today, Taoiseach Michael Martin confirmed that Ireland is set to follow the lead of other European countries by waiving visa requirements for Ukranians who travel to Ireland.

He said that the departments of Justice and Foreign Affairs will be implementing the visa waiver programme today.

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“We believe this will be helpful to Ukrainian families here who may want their loved ones to join them,” he said.

“There will be a significant migration issue arising from these attacks, we will have to play our part in helping those who will have to flee Ukraine and we do that in solidarity with our European colleagues.”

The Irish Foreign Ministry in Ukraine have advised all Irish citizens in Ukraine to shelter in a secure place.

“Do not move around the country in the coming hours. Please follow the advice of local authorities,” they added.

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