Coveney accuses Russian forces of ‘war crimes’ in Ukraine
Minister for Foreign Affairs says Ireland is ‘not neutral’ in the conflict
Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney has accused Russian forces of “war crimes” over their actions in Ukraine.
Speaking on his way into Tuesday morning’s Cabinet meeting, Mr Coveney described the situation as “extremely bleak”.
While the resistance of Ukrainians was extraordinary, “in terms of courage and bravery and resilience”, a significant increase in the numbers of civilians killed and injured could be expected.
“The situation is absolutely awful. More and more civilians we know are being killed and there’s increasing evidence now to show that Russian forces are actually targeting civilians which is a war crime and I think we should be very clear and blunt about that,” Mr Coveney told RTÉ news.
“We also see credible reports and pictures that are difficult I think to question, that cluster bombs are being used in built up areas in the city of Kharkhiv late yesterday.
“These are completely unacceptable breaches of international law. They’re war crimes and they should be called that. And of course we’re seeing an increased presence all the time of heavily armoured Russian columns coming into Ukraine from Russia.
Mr Coveney also said Ireland was “not neutral” in the conflict and had not been from the start.
Russia was aggressively invading a sovereign nation in the heart of Europe “and we are taking sides on this conflict”.
Ireland was contributing fully to the EU’s efforts, along with other partners around the world, to heavily isolate and sanction Russia.
Ireland had committed almost €10 million to a €500 million package to support Ukraine’s military. Ireland would focus on non-lethal weapons but that did not mean the contribution was not significant.
Source: Irish Times, Tuesday March 1st, 2022