Taoiseach Micheal Martin speaking to the media after meeting Ukraine Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal at Shannon Airport. Photo by Arthur Ellis.

Martin Points to Broader Putin Strategy

Taoiseach Micheál Martin has said that President Vladimir Putin’s strategy is not just killing people in Ukraine but causing “international instability around energy and food."

The taoiseach was speaking after holding a meeting with Prime Minister of Ukraine Denys Shmyhal at Shannon Airport before Prime Minister Shmyhal continued his journey to Washington, D.C.

Speaking afterwards Mr. Martin said: “Prime Minister Shmyhal gave me a first-hand account of events on the ground in Ukraine, of the appalling massacres in Bucha in particular, and the continuing attacks on civilians and on towns.

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“Clearly the strategy of the Putin regime is not just killing people in an immoral and unjust war in Ukraine, but of causing huge international stability around energy and food.

“The Prime Minister outlined some clear objectives, around financial support to enable the Ukrainian Government to continue to feed its people, and to keep the economy going despite the enormous destruction caused by the war.

“He reiterated the need for support for Ukraine’s European application to join the European Union, and I assured him of Ireland’s strong proactive support.

“We also discussed a sixth round of sanctions to create further pressure on Putin’s regime to ensure the sanctions create a deterrent against the continuation of this war.”

The Irish government, meanwhile, is looking to use vacant social homes to house Ukrainian refugees. It’s expected that up to 33,000 refugees will be in the country by the end of the month.

Local authorities are being asked to submit vacant properties in their areas as well as the extent of work that will be needed to make them habitable.

A number of options are being brought to Cabinet on top of a plan to expand the housing stock long term.