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Statement from Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney following today’s Foreign Affairs Council

Today the EU adopted a strong sanctions package which will have a long lasting effect on the Russian economy including on the oligarchs and individuals who have supported the invasion of Ukraine.

Foreign Ministers decided to add to the sanctions package agreed by EU leaders last night. The names of President Putin and Foreign Minister Lavrov have been added to the list of Russians who will have their assets frozen in the EU.

On behalf of Ireland I made the case for the inclusion of SWIFT in a further package of sanctions expected to be agreed in the coming days.

We discussed the humanitarian consequences of Russia’s aggressive attack and encouraged support for a humanitarian response from the EU. Ireland has already allocated €10m for humanitarian action.

The measures announced today by the Minister for Justice, Helen McEntee, allow visa free access for Ukrainian citizens to travel to Ireland. These are an important practical measure of solidarity with Ukrainians living in Ireland and those who are affected in Ukraine.

Following consultations with my EU Foreign Minister Colleagues today, we have decided as a bloc not to expel Russian ambassadors. This and other possible diplomatic measures remain on the table.

As Minister for Foreign Affairs, I have a responsibility to consider the potential impact of decisions I take on our ability to assist Irish citizens in Russia and Ukraine and we are are maintaining a clear line of communication for now.

Our diplomatic team has now left Ukraine and our Kyiv Embassy will operate on a remote basis from Dublin.

On my instruction, the Secretary General of my Department today summoned the Russian Ambassador to make clear the government’s strong condemnation of the invasion and Russia’s gross violation of international law and the UN charter.

ENDS

Press Office

25 February 2022

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