Too little was performed to reject Vladimir Putin’s “new imperialism” and the rebuilding Ukraine have to be on the European Union’s agenda, Taoiseach Micheál Martin has mentioned.
He mentioned Ireland can be pushing for Ukraine’s accession to the EU to be accelerated and he needs to see it occur “in the shortest possible time frame”.
Mr Martin was talking on the congress of the Alde occasion — Fianna Fáil’s political grouping in Europe — which is being held in Dublin this weekend.
Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s Servant of the People occasion can also be affiliated with Alde, and the nation’s deputy prime minister, Olha Stefanishyna, is in Dublin for the Congress.
Mr Martin criticised Russian president Putin in his tackle on the official opening of the occasion, saying the values of the EU had been the “ultimate target of Russia’s savage aggression against the people of Ukraine”.
“Putin wants a client state. He wants a state where a hand-picked elite control everything that people have been silenced.
“His fear is that the success of the European Union will continue to inspire others and deepen the contrast with repressive closed states like his,” Mr Martin added.
The Taoiseach referred to the individuals of Ukraine taking to the streets in 2014 “to demand a European future for their country … For this they suffered invasion and partition” and “this terrible war was unleashed.”
“We did too little to stand with the people of Ukraine after 2014. We did too little to reject Putin’s new imperialism and his demand to control other countries in a sphere of influence.
“And this happened while he was constantly investing in extremist parties and disinformation in our countries, putting us all on notice that the destruction of the European Union was a core policy objective for him.”
Mr Martin mentioned the EU’s dedication of current months have to be maintained.
“We must stand with Ukraine, not just during this war but in the months and years ahead when our agenda must be Ukraine’s reconstruction, its security of democracy and its inclusion within our union.”
Asked at a press convention if Ukraine’s software to affix the EU might be fast-tracked, Mr Martin mentioned it was first important that Ukraine’s software to change into a candidate nation be accepted.
“That would be a very significant decision in itself and a very significant message to the Ukrainian people that you are part of the European family.”
Mr Martin refused to get into timelines on when Ukraine might change into a member however mentioned Ireland was supporting an accelerated course of for Ukraine and different applicant nations.
Ms Stefanishyna mentioned guarantees had been made to her nation prior to now in agreements for Ukraine to eliminate its nuclear weapons and on potential membership of Nato “which has never been materialised.”
She mentioned Ukraine had submitted its software and had “done very much to be already very much integrated into the European Union … We need promises to be materialised and concrete decisions as a candidate status”, she added.
Danish European commissioner Margrethe Vestager mentioned Ukraine had responded to the preliminary questionnaire within the EU membership software course of “with a speed and a quality that has never been seen before.”
She mentioned colleagues within the fee had been now assessing this to provide a suggestion for the European Council by the center of June.
Ms Vestager additionally declined to foretell when Ukraine might change into an EU member.
She mentioned the nation wanted to be rebuilt. “In that rebuilding process there may be a very rare chance of accelerating what needs to be done in order to fulfil all criteria [for EU membership].”
Asked if the struggle must finish earlier than Ukraine might change into an EU member, she mentioned: “I hope the war ends really, really soon. I think being becoming a full-fledged member of the European Union will take a bit of time.”