Ukrainian President Volodimir Zelensky has asked Ireland to send more non-lethal military equipment to assist in repelling the ongoing Russian invasion of his country.
The comments were reported by Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, who met with Zelensky on Thursday in Brussels for an EU summit regarding the war.
According to Varadkar, Zelensky’s list of requests from Ireland include body armour, oil, rations, as well as engineering equipment and medical kits.
This is in addition to the millions of euros in non-lethal military aid sent last year by Ireland at the outset of the war.
Ireland to fund provision of non-lethal equipment to Ukrainian military https://t.co/qsqEej9Ald
— The Irish Times (@IrishTimes) February 27, 2022
While the government stopped short of sending lethal equipment for reasons of neutrality, some government TDs, including Fine Gael Deputy Neale Richmond, have advocated for the sending of lethal Javelin anti-tank missile systems.
Ireland could send 60 of these to #Ukraine this week. Ireland should send them this week. https://t.co/C0kaYclXbg
— Neale Richmond (@nealerichmond) March 2, 2022
Varadkar reportedly assured Zelensky that Ireland is entirely supportive of Ukraine in its war effort, and willing to stand by the war-torn country “for as long as it takes.”
Leo Varadkar says he wants Ukraine to join the EU “as quickly as possible,” and that Ireland will support the embattled country “for as long as it takes.”#gripthttps://t.co/Y2RirwMSXm
— gript (@griptmedia) February 9, 2023
“Ireland and the EU will provide Ukraine with the humanitarian, military, and financial aid it needs until Russia has been repelled,” Varadkar said.
On the influx of Ukrainian refugees to Ireland, Varadkar added that “Migration is a good thing for Ireland and enriches our society.”
Last October, Ireland’s Defence Forces opted to participate in an EU training mission to help the Ukrainian military learn to clear land mines.
This led to Russian ambassador to Ireland, Yuri Filatov, saying that Ireland is “clearly involved in the ongoing conflict in a direct way.”
Ireland accused of ‘direct’ role in war over plan to help EU train Ukrainian army in landmine clearing https://t.co/bp1CactTua via @IrishTimesPol
— Irish Times Politics (@IrishTimesPol) October 27, 2022