Govt must respond to Ukraine assistance appeal in human rights abuse investigations – John Brady TD
Sinn Féin spokesperson on Foreign Affairs John Brady TD met today with the Ukrainian Ambassador to Ireland, H.E. Ms Larysa Gerasko, and the Chair of the Committee on EU Affairs, Ms Ivanna Klympush-Tsintsadze along with members of the EU Affairs Committee.
In a wide-ranging discussion, the group touched on a number of issues concerning the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, and Ukraine’s application for accession to the EU.
Following the meeting, the Wicklow TD said:
“Our discussion today touched upon a wide range of issues concerning the conflict in Ukraine, and Ukraine’s campaign for membership of the EU.
"One area which I raised with Ms Klympush-Tsintsadze was the issue of the opening of Embassies in Ukraine.
"We now have a situation where a growing number of countries are moving Embassy staff back into Ukraine.
"Ms Klympush-Tsintsadze spoke of how important it was to the people of Ukraine to witness evidence of the international community returning to Ukraine.
"And while at the moment it was primarily political, and military staff which were returning. This in itself offered great encouragement to Ukrainians.
"I believe that Ireland could achieve a lot for the morale of the Ukrainian people through the re-opening of the Irish Embassy in Kyiv. Thousands of Ukrainians have made their way to Ireland as refugees from the Russian invasion.
"The reopening of the Irish Embassy would send an important message not only to Ukrainians at home, and here in Ireland, but to the Russian aggressors also. That Ukraine is and will remain a sovereign independent nation, with full diplomatic relations with the international community.
“The Ukrainian people face many challenges. None more so than the continuation of their resistance to Russian aggression.
"It is critical that it becomes clear to the Russians that the human rights abuses which they have committed and continue to commit in the prosecution of their assault on Ukraine will not go unpunished.
"Ukraine, along with investigators from the ICC, continue to gather evidence for the prosecution of Russian troops for human rights abuses committed against Ukraine. The sheer scale of this challenge is daunting, with over 13,000 investigations currently underway.
"As Ukraine liberates more territory, more human rights abuses are revealed - creating even more pressure.
"Each individual case must be investigated to a standard that will stand up in a court of law. It requires the work of special investigators, and forensic experts.
"And while the EU is co-operating with Ukraine and has investigators on the ground, I believe that Ireland with the skill and experience of the Gardaí have the potential to make a significant difference on the ground.
"I would appeal to the government and the relevant departments, to do what they can to answer, what is in effect a direct appeal from Ukraine for assistance in ensuring that human rights abusers are held to account.”