Irish Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney visiting Ukraine capital Kyiv

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Irish Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney. Credit: PA

Irish Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney is visiting parts of the Ukrainian capital Kyiv directly affected by the Russian invasion.

Mr Coveney is the first foreign minister on the UN Security Council to visit the city since the war began.

He will meet with Ukraine's foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba and defence minister Oleksii Reznikov on Thursday.

A statement from the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said: “His discussions with the Ukrainian government will focus on how Ireland can continue to provide political, security and humanitarian support to Ukraine, assist Ukraine in its application for EU candidate status, take forward further EU sanctions on Russia and hold Russia to account for its brutal and unjustified invasion.”

The Republic of Ireland has provided €20m in humanitarian aid to the country and Ukrainian refugees in neighbouring counties, and €33m in non-lethal assistance for the Ukrainian military through the European Peace Facility.

The DFA statement added: “Ireland has been at the forefront of putting in place a robust EU sanctions regime and of supporting international mechanisms to hold Russia to account for grave violations of international humanitarian law, including referring the situation in Ukraine to the International Criminal Court.”