Irish FM visits refugee centre near Warsaw, pledges support
Simon Coveney, the Irish foreign minister, paid a visit to Poland on Friday to reaffirm Ireland's commitment to countering the Russian aggression against Ukraine and support for Ukrainian refugees.
While in Warsaw, Coveney met with his Polish counterpart, Zbigniew Rau.
Coveney said Ireland and its partners were determined to support the huge numbers of Ukrainian refugees fleeing the war in their country.
He said Ireland was taking deterrence measures to exert pressure on Russia to back down but was also seeking diplomatic solutions to end the war in Ukraine.
Rau said he and Coveney discussed humanitarian aid provided by both countries.
"We count on Ireland to continue its support for Ukraine and aid for the refugees," Rau said. "We have agreed to bolster cooperation, mainly within the European Union, to face the threats from the Russian Federation."
There are two dimensions to the cooperation, Rau said.
"On the one hand, there are our joint diplomatic efforts, and on the other hand there is the economic dimension in terms of our support for the sanctions that have been and will be imposed on Russia and Belarus," Rau said.
Coveney said he and Rau had visited a refugee centre near Warsaw which has become a temporary home to 7,000 refugees, half of whom are children, and said he was impressed by Poland's positive reaction to the refugee challenge.
Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, sparking the biggest military and refugee crisis in Europe since World War II. Belarus had hosted Russian troops that later attacked its neighbour under the guise of military drills.