Ukraine ambassador calls on Ireland to be 'strong' amid Russian threat

Ukraine ambassador calls on Ireland to be 'strong' amid Russian threat

Ms Larysa Gerasko's comments come amid mounting concerns domestically and among security experts at the exercise and a lack of detail as to what efforts the Irish Naval Service and Air Corps will, or can, undertake to observe the drills.

The Russian military exercise off the southwest coast of Ireland illustrates the threat Russia "poses to the world", the Ukrainian ambassador to Ireland has warned.

Ms Larysa Gerasko's comments come amid mounting concerns domestically and among security experts at the exercise and a lack of detail as to what efforts the Irish Naval Service and Air Corps will, or can, undertake to observe the drills.

“A plan to hold a major exercise by the Russian navy and air force in the Atlantic off the southwest coast of Ireland is yet another demonstration of the threat that Russia poses for the world,” Ms Gerasko said, in a statement to the Irish Examiner.

“As experience shows, such events are usually used by Russia to increase its military presence in the region even after the official end of military training.” 

She said that Russian aggression is not a mere Ukraine-Russia problem, but a challenge for the whole European and Euro-Atlantic security system.

The Government has told Russia that the naval exercises are "not welcome" but Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney has accepted that they are legal.

On Monday, the Russian ambassador to Ireland Yuriy Filatov dismissed concerns at the manoeuvres as "completely overblown".

Ms Gerasko said: “Any major concession to Russia would only provoke it to put forward additional demands, raising stakes and undermining European security." She said this would also risk the prospects of resolving not only the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, but other conflicts in Europe.

NATO members have sent additional ships and fighter jets to its allies across Eastern Europe amid fears that Russia is building up to an invasion of Ukraine, with over 100,000 soldiers close to its border.

Ms Gerasko said: “While our partners are deliberating on comprehensive countermeasures, the Russian leadership must not be led to believe that the West will hesitate to impose the toughest sanctions. Active diplomacy and strong political messaging should continue until Moscow ceases its aggressive plans.

“At this alarming time, when it comes to all-European security, no one can afford to stand aside and be silent. Our collective voice must be strong and our response must be decisive with all its disastrous consequences for Russia if the Kremlin takes the decision to aggravate the security situation and invade Ukraine. That is what we expect from Ireland and our partners.”

More in this section

Puzzles logo
IE-logo

Puzzles hub

Visit our brain gym where you will find simple and cryptic crosswords, sudoku puzzles and much more. Updated at midnight every day. PS ... We would love to hear your feedback on the section right HERE.