Taoiseach Michael Martin has not ruled out a visit to Ukraine after President Volodymyr Zelensky invited him to visit the war-torn country.
r Martin said he would keep the invitation, which would be the first state visit from Ireland, under consideration.
Mr. Zelenskiy invited the Fianna Fail leader to the eastern European country during a phone call between the two leaders on Tuesday.
The President of Ukraine also thanked Taoiseach for the support that Ireland provides to Ukraine.
Asked if he would visit Ukraine, Mr Martin said: “These are things we are constantly monitoring and I had a good discussion with President Zelenskiy yesterday.
“I have been in regular contact with all members of the Ukrainian government and was supposed to meet with the Deputy Prime Minister the week before last at the ALDE conference in Dublin, and also with the Prime Minister earlier when he came via Shannon (airport).
“Therefore, we are keeping an eye on it, we are in touch with the Ukrainian government to support them in their quest to counter the ferocity of the Russian attack.”
Mr Martin said Ireland’s motivation is to help people fleeing war and help families who have been forced to leave their homes.
“They left their loved ones at home in Ukraine to protect their children, in fact, in many cases, and we must do our best together with all our colleagues from the European Union,” added Mr Martin.
Taoiseach will travel to Brussels for a meeting of EU and Western Balkan leaders, a two-day European Council meeting and a euro summit on Thursday and Friday.
In my opinion, Putin has clearly used migration as a weapon to intimidate people into leaving Ukraine with indiscriminate bombing.Michael Martin
The leaders are expected to discuss Ukraine, including its application for EU membership, as well as that of Moldova and Georgia.
The historic decision to confirm EU candidate status for Ukraine and Moldova is expected to be made in line with recent recommendations from the European Commission.
Mr. Martin said that helping the Ukrainians is the response of the entire European Union.
Nearly 36,000 Ukrainian refugees have arrived in Ireland in recent months.
“Six million people have been displaced within Ukraine, millions have gone to neighboring countries in Europe,” Mr. Martin added.
“In my opinion, Putin has clearly used migration as a weapon as a tool to intimidate people into leaving Ukraine with indiscriminate bombing.
“He’s using energy as a weapon, and he’s using hunger and food security as a weapon, and that’s reprehensible to me.
“We must respond as best we can from a humanitarian point of view, and we are doing it.
“I think this week, as I travel to Brussels for tomorrow morning’s series of meetings with the Western Balkans and the European Council, it’s important that Ukraine’s bid for the European candidacy looks like we’re getting support.
“I am looking forward to this because this is an important message from the people of Europe to the people of Ukraine, and we understand that you support democracy, that you are fighting for the same values that we all hold dear, individual freedom, free media, and this something we can never take for granted.
So we have to play our part.