Republic of Ireland news

Putin will stop where we stop him, says Varadkar

Leo Varadkar has promised enduring Irish support for Ukraine after a year of war (Niall Carson/PA)
Cillian Sherlock, PA

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has said he does not think peace in Ukraine is possible “until it’s very clear that Russia’s military objectives in Ukraine have failed”.

Speaking before a meeting of European leaders in Brussels where an ammunition deal would be discussed, Mr Varadkar said European support of Ukraine means increasing supply of ammunition.

He said there was now a need to support Ukraine to ensure an effort by Russia to “take its territory” and “overthrow its government” fails.

“That means supporting Ukraine in its fight and talking to other European governments. Part of that means increasing the supply of ammunitions,” he said.

He said due to Ireland’s military neutrality, it was not providing military aid but it was contributing to non-lethal equipment through the European Peace Facility.

Mr Varadkar criticised past appeasement of Russia and Vladimir Putin, adding that the policy had “failed”.

“Putin was allowed to occupy part of Georgia, then allowed to seize Crimea,” he said.

“It is clear that appeasement has failed,” he added.

Mr Varadkar continued: “We know from our history from what happened in the 1930s and 1940s, what happens when you continue with an appeasement policy that’s failing.

“People often ask the question: Where will Putin stop? Putin will stop where we stop him.”

He added: “I don’t think peace will be possible until it’s very clear that Russia’s military objectives in Ukraine have failed.”

Mr Varadkar said he would also tell European leaders that during engagements in Washington he emphasised to President Joe Biden the need for the US to continue to support Ukraine.

“We have to be together in this fight,” he said.

“We have to make sure US support is strong and bipartisan.”

Separately, he said he also emphasised to American leaders his view that the EU and US should avoid “getting into a subsidies war” on climate change action.

“It would result in us cancelling each other out at the expense of both our taxpayers and it would make more sense for us to work together on climate action and building up new industries,” he said.

Republic of Ireland news