brutality Simon Coveney calls on Russians to resist 'murderous' Putin amid Ukraine invasion
The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Defence has called on Russians to hold their leadership to account
Simon Coveney has called on Russians to resist their president Vladamir Putin amid the invasion of Ukraine.
“In Brussels for Emergency FAC to approve sanctions,” he shared.
“Images from Ukraine horrifying this morning. Murderous brutality of Russia’s war plain to see in heart of Europe.”
“Most powerful voice to stop this madness can come from Russian people, holding their leadership to account,” he insisted.
The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Defence is currently in Brussels along with Taoiseach Michael Martin for an emergency meeting of EU leaders.
EU leaders gathered overnight to discuss imposing sanctions on Russia after they invaded Ukraine early on Thursday morning.
The 27 leaders agreed sanctions on the Russian finance, energy and transport sectors.
They also plan to freeze Russian assets and ban key figures in the regime from travelling.
“Ireland, along with the other EU Member States, is unwavering in its support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” Coveney said in a statement.
“Russia’s illegal actions have left the EU with no choice but to introduce comprehensive and extensive sanctions. We have made clear our support for these measures, even though they will not be cost-free for Ireland or for other EU Member States.
“Following the most recent escalation by Russia, a second package of hard-hitting sanctions will be introduced very shortly, in coordination with our international partners.”
Ireland agreed initial sanctions on Russia on Wednesday including restrictions on goods, trading and finance.
European wide sanctions decided in Brussels overnight are set to be finalised by officials today.
However, Micheal Martin has said that he believes the sanctions will not stop the invasion.
“It’s a very comprehensive range of measures, covering finance, covering industry, covering trade, energy, and transport, and they will have impact. They will not stop Russia now.”
“People can argue one particular type of sanction versus another but in its totality, what was decided last evening, is very strong,” he told reporters.
“On its own, it’s not going to stop what has been a deliberate, premeditated decision of President Putin to launch this brutal attack on the Ukrainian people.”
Martin said that Putin’s “brutal attack” is “to attain some sort of historic ideal he has in his head about restoration of empire, harking back to a bygone era.”
President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen said "we will hold the Kremlin accountable."
"The package of massive and targeted sanctions European leaders approved tonight clearly demonstrates that.”
“It will have maximum impact on the Russian economy and the political elite," she explained.
"This package includes financial sanctions that cut Russia's access to the most important capital markets. We're now targeting 70 percent of the Russian banking market, but also key state-owned companies including the field of defense.
“The sanctions will increase Russia's borrowing costs and gradually erode its industrial base, according to von der Leyen, who also said Russia's elites will be hit.”
When it comes to energy she explained: "Our export ban will hit oil by making it impossible for Russia to upgrade its oil refineries."
There will be a ban on the sale of aircraft, spare parts and equipment to Russian airlines.
There will also be a limit on Russia's access to crucial technologies needed to build semiconductors and other advanced technologies.
“Diplomats and related groups and business people will no longer have privileged access to the European Union," von der Leyen added.
"Our unity is our strength, the Kremlin knows this and it has tried its best to divide us, but it has utterly failed. It has achieved exactly the opposite.”
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