145 Irish people register with embassy in Kyiv

145 Irish people register with embassy in Kyiv

145 PEOPLE HAVE registered with the Embassy of Ireland in Kyiv, with that number expected to increase as the government continues to advise against all travel to Ukraine.

The advice was upgraded last Saturday to advise against travel to the country, and for all citizens currently in Ukraine to leave the by commercial means.

The embassy expects that number to rise over the coming days, and it is currently in contact with al registered Irish citizens.

A number of commercial flight options continue to be available and it is also possible to depart the country overland to neighbouring EU states.

The Department of Foreign Affairs is also in direct contact with all of those scheduled to travel to Ukraine for surrogacy purposes, and will continue to provide support to each of these individuals and families.

Minister for Foreign Affairs, Simon Coveney, said:

"We are urging all Irish citizens in Ukraine to leave immediately, either via commercial flight or over land."

"We remain in ongoing contact at a senior level with EU partners, as well as the UK and the US, regarding the wider political and security situation in and around Ukraine," he said.

"Ireland supports all efforts aimed at defusing the current tensions and at finding a diplomatic pathway forward. Ireland is committed to Ukraine's territorial integrity and sovereignty. It is urgent that Russia de-escalate, abide by international law and engage constructively in dialogue."

In common with the Embassies of partner states, the Embassy of Ireland in Kyiv will remain open, with a small number of essential staff remaining.

It was earlier announced that some Russian troops would return to base after completing recent drills, but it was stressed that major military exercises would continue.

Despite military buildup at the Ukraine border, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Russia does not want war.

Asked in a joint press conference in Moscow Tuesday with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz if he would rule out a war in Europe, Putin said, "Do we want it or not? Of course not."

Putin added:

"That’s exactly why we put forward proposals on a negotiating process that should result in an agreement ensuring equal security for all, including our country."

The announcement was met with skepticism by the Ukrainian foreign minister, who said he would believe it when he saw it.