Ukraine situation ‘frightening and dangerous’ - Kenny

Gilmore is due to meet the Russian Ambassador to Ireland today

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs Eamon Gilmore Gilmore has described the situation in Ukraine as the “worst crisis that Europe has faced since the end of the cold war”. Video: Éanna Ó Caollaí Éanna Ó Caollaí

Tue, Mar 4, 2014, 10:59

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has described the situation in Ukraine as “frightening and dangerous”.

He was speaking on his way into the weekly Cabinet meeting at Leinster House in Dublin today.

Mr Kenny said Tanaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs Eamon Gilmore will brief the Cabinet on the outcome of the EU foreign affairs ministers’ meeting yesterday.

The Taoiseach said Mr Gilmore would speak to the Russian Ambassador to Ireland Maxim Peshkov this afternoon and would raise Ireland’s concerns over the situation in Ukraine with him.

Mr Gilmore has described the situation as the “worst crisis that Europe has faced since the end of the cold war”.

“As you know there is an emergency meeting called of the council of the European leaders on Thursday,” Mr Kenny said.

“Hopefully this matter can be resolved by diplomacy, by negotiation, and that people don’t get into a position where the economies of Europe and beyond are destroyed.”

EU heads of state are due to hold an emergency meeting to discuss the crisis in Ukraine on Thursday, a meeting which Mr Kenny will attend.

Mr Gilmore said he planned to explain to Mr Peshkov Ireland’s view that what has happened in the Crimea “is in breach of international law”.

“Russia has obligations to the United Nations, to the OSCE, and to the Council of Europe and the taking over of part of another sovereign state is in breach of those obligations.

“I’m going to say to him that Russia has a particular, and indeed the primary responsibility to deescalate what has become the most serious crisis in Europe since the end of the cold war. We will be looking to Russia to take the steps that are necessary to deescalate this crisis which includes the return of Russian troops to their barracks.”

Mr Gilmore said he agreed with Mr Kenny’s assessment that the crisis could damage or destroy economies.

“I think we’ve seen - even since the weekend particularly, when you look at what has been happening to the rouble, [THAT]investors do not like instability.

“What is a pity here is that the European Union was willing to do an association agreement with the Ukraine.

“I think that there is a lot of potential for the Ukraine to be developed with the support and the cooperation of the European Union and of Russia and I think that is a direction that should be taken that the European Union and Russia should work together to assist Ukraine.”