IRELAND'S SUPPORT of Ukraine is "unwavering", according to the Minister for Foreign Affairs, after Russia last night ordered troops into two breakaway regions of eastern Ukraine run by Moscow-backed separatists.
It comes after President Vladimir Putin recognised the two breakaway regions in Donetsk and Luhansk as independent.
Minister Simon Coveney has said that "Ireland's support for Ukraine sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognised borders and its right to choose its own foreign and security policy path is unwavering".
"The decision by the Russian Federation to proceed with the recognition of the non-government controlled areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts of Ukraine as independent entities contravenes international law, is a blatant violation of Ukraine’s territorial integrity, and marks a clear and unilateral breach of the Minsk agreements," he said.
"Ireland supports a clear and strong EU response, including additional sanctions measures."
Similarly, Taoiseach Micheál Martin has said President Putin's announcement of recognising the "separatist territories of Ukraine is a violation of international law, and breaches Ukraine sovereignty."
"With our EU partners, we will stand in solidarity with Ukraine," he tweeted.
Tonight’s announcement by President Putin recognising the separatist territories of Ukraine is a violation of international law, and breaches Ukrainian sovereignty.
With our EU partners, we will stand in solidarity with Ukraine.
— Micheál Martin (@MichealMartinTD) February 21, 2022
President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen also tweeted her support for Ukraine.
The recognition of the two separatist territories in #Ukraine is a blatant violation of international law, the territorial integrity of Ukraine and the #Minsk agreements.
The EU and its partners will react with unity, firmness and with determination in solidarity with Ukraine.
— Ursula von der Leyen (@vonderleyen) February 21, 2022
President of the United State Joe Biden has signed a deal "that will prohibit new investment, trade, and financing by U.S. persons to, from, or in" the two Ukrainian regions under the control of Russian-backed separatists.
The order "will also provide authority to impose sanctions on any person determined to operate in those areas of Ukraine," White House press secretary Jen Psaki said in a statement.
She added that the U.S. "will also soon announce additional measures related to today’s blatant violation of Russia’s international commitments."
Meanwhile, Prime Minister of the UK Boris Johnson was this morning chairing an emergency COBRA meeting.
He told officials that Vladimir Putin is "bent on full-scale invasion of Ukraine".
Speaking after the meeting, Mr Johnson warned of "more Russian irrational behaviour to come".
"I'm afraid all the evidence is that President Putin is indeed bent on a full-scale invasion of the Ukraine, the overrunning, the subjugation of an independent, sovereign European country and I think, let's be absolutely clear, that will be absolutely catastrophic," he said.
The prime minister said the UK will work to ensure "Putin should fail" if he carries out a full-scale invasion of Ukraine's capital Kyiv, "which is what he seems to be proposing to do".
A press release from the Kremlin last night reads that Vladimir Putin signed "a Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance between the Russian Federation" and the Donetsk People’s Republic and the Russian Federation and the Lugansk People’s Republic.
Following the signing ceremony, Vladimir Putin had a conversation with Denis Pushilin and Leonid Pasechnik, the Heads of the DPR and LPR respectively.