The Prime Minister of Ireland has said that Europe is sending a message of solidarity by granting Ukraine the status of EU candidate.
Taoiseach Micheal Martin was commenting in Brussels on what he described as a “crucial” and “historic” two-day meeting of the European Council when Ukraine was formally nominated as a candidate for EU membership. Will go
The move comes at a time when war is raging in Ukraine following Russia’s invasion in February.
Speaking to reporters, Mr Martin also expressed concern about the possibility of famine in some parts of the world due to the Russian blockade on Ukrainian grain leaving the country.
Both Ukraine and Moldova are expected to be nominated for EU membership at the council meeting. Georgia’s bid to become a member state will also be recognized and the country will be formally nominated as having a European perspective – one step further as a candidate.
Mr Martin said: “This is a very important meeting of the European Council.
“This is historic in terms of EU expansion, and I am particularly pleased as a longtime advocate for Ukraine to apply as a candidate for EU membership.
“This is very important for Ukraine, for Moldova and indeed for Georgia, from a European point of view.
Today, the European Union is sending a message of solidarity to the people of Ukraine that you belong to a European family.
“We in Ireland know what it means to be a member of the European Union. This is the 50th anniversary of Ireland’s decision to join the European Union, which is probably the single biggest change in modern Irish history and Event.
“Therefore, I do not always understand how we can refuse to join other member states, because we know that membership alone can lead to change.
“It can promote reform, it can promote economic growth, and despite the fact that Ukraine is going through a terrible, terrible, inhumane war, its cities and towns have been leveled. People have been terrorized – the biggest humanitarian crisis since World War II.
“And I think today the EU is sending a message of solidarity to the people of Ukraine that you belong to the European family, that you belong to the EU, and that a decision will be made today to facilitate your application. And you will have candidates. With Moldova and over time Georgia joining the European Union.
On the issue of sanctions on Ukrainian grain exports, Mr Martin accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of “making weapons” of hunger.
“There are no restrictions on the movement of food and Europe is very clear about this because we do not want to be a catalyst for any form or form, any famine or hunger and this is a big fear at the moment because of this fact. “Ukraine is not getting enough grain, which could have a significant impact on the famine, and that’s a big problem, especially around the Horn of Africa, the Middle East and so on,” he said.
Commenting on the claims that Irish imports of some Russian goods have actually increased, Mr Martin added: “All security measures have been taken. We are very much concerned about our role as a country. We are vigilant to ensure that sanctions are enforced and enforced and we will take every precaution at ports and carry out general surveillance to prevent this from happening.
“But we are very clear about the food and the ingredients that make up food production – there are no restrictions because people around the world need food.
“Putin has made food a weapon, he has made energy a weapon, he has made migration a weapon as part of his overall war effort, which I think is completely immoral and wrong.”