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Remarks by the Taoiseach Micheál Martin at International Crimea Platform


I would like to express my most sincere thanks to you President Zelenskyy for your invitation.


I am pleased to join today with you, Prime Minister Shmyhal, and Leaders from wider Europe and the world.


After six months of brutal war, the democratic world continues to stand in solidarity with the people of Ukraine and to condemn, in the strongest terms, Russia’s unprovoked and unjustifiable aggression against a peaceful country.


The Ukrainian people’s courageous stance in defence of their country, its sovereignty and territorial integrity, and against the immoral war Russia has unleashed has been an inspiration that has rightly moved the world.


They should not have had to demonstrate such resolve. It is not right that a peaceful, democratic country and its people should have to endure such suffering.


Just as the people of Ireland have enjoyed the right to make choices about our future and our place in the world, so too should the people of Ukraine.


Ireland strongly supported Ukraine’s application to join the EU, and Ireland will continue to champion Ukraine’s European path every step of the way. The journey is complex, but the government in Kyiv has proven its commitment to progress.


President Zelenskyy, you have my unequivocal support on this.


Russia’s immoral actions in Ukraine have consequences not only in the death, bloodshed and destruction endured within Ukraine’s own borders.


Russia seeks to cynically manipulate hunger, energy, migration, and even the truth itself in order to wreak further havoc and divide us.


It will not succeed.


Respect for the territorial integrity of states and the non-use of force are not principles that are uniquely European.


They are the basis of all international law and Russia’s flagrant disregard of them cannot be allowed to stand.


If Russia is allowed to succeed, no country can truly be said to be safe.


Russia is also solely responsible for the shock to global food security it has provoked.


In making food a weapon, Russia has shown its absolute lack of concern – its contempt – for the least developed and most fragile countries in the world, for the most vulnerable people. Russia is no friend or ally of the poor. Such inhumanity is difficult to comprehend.


Efforts to ensure security and stability in the Black Sea and Sea of Azov region must continue. I welcome that shipments are taking place from Ukrainian ports through the Black Sea Grain Initiative.


I call on Russia to end its aggression and withdraw from Ukraine.


I am gravely concerned about the Russian military activity at and in Zaporizhzhia. The nuclear power plant and its surrounding area must return to exclusively civilian control of the Ukrainian authorities, supported by the International Atomic Energy Agency.


Ukrainian sovereignty over Crimea must be restored. Until that day, Russia must comply with its obligations as an occupying power under international humanitarian law in all territory it has illegally annexed.


I am very concerned about the gross violations of human rights, in particular against indigenous Crimea Tatars.


Today, all of us stand in solidarity with the people of Ukraine and those who value respect for international law, democracy and human rights. Slava Ukraini.