Taoiseach travelling to Ukraine to meet Zelenskiy

Micheál Martin set to travel from Poland to Kyiv by land

Taoiseach Micheál Martin is on his way to Ukraine, where he is expected to meet president Volodymyr Zelenskiy, Government sources confirmed on Tuesday.

Mr Martin was in Poland on Tuesday from where he was due to travel to the Ukrainian capital Kyiv. He was not present Dáil on Tuesday for Leaders’ Questions and is not expected to be present for Dáil business for the remainder of the week.

Mr Martin was invited to Ukraine last month by Mr Zelenskiy, who also singled him out for thanks after the European Council approved Ukraine’s bid for candidate status at a recent summit in Brussels. The Taoiseach’s office said then that he was keeping an invitation to visit Ukraine under review, though sources said Mr Martin was keen for an opportunity to do so.

Precise details of the visit are not being released for security reasons, but it was expected that Mr Martin would travel to Kyiv over land from Poland on Tuesday night or Wednesday.

Mr Martin was a strong early supporter of Ukraine’s bid for membership of the EU. He will become the latest in a series of western leaders to visit the Ukrainian capital since Russia’s invasion of the country in late February.

Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney visited Kyiv in April and Mr Zelenskiy has also addressed the Oireachtas by videolink, praising the Irish people’s support for his country.

Pat Leahy

Pat Leahy

Pat Leahy is Political Editor of The Irish Times