Simon Coveney will today tell the UN Security Council that “even countries as powerful as Russia” must be held to account for their actions.
The Foreign Affairs Minister says today’s meeting in New York is the most important since Ireland took its two-year seat on the council.
It comes a day after Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the country’s first ‘partial mobilisation’ since World War II – with plans to call up 300,000 reservists to join the Ukraine invasion.
He also threatened the use of nuclear weapons and announced the holding of referendums in Russian-occupied areas of the country in an attempt to legitimise their annexation.
"We hold countries to account"
Speaking to Newstalk in New York overnight, Minister Coveney said he will use his speaking time at the meeting to make Ireland’s position quite clear.
“I think it is going to be a very abrasive meeting because there is deep division in the Security Council about what is happening in Ukraine,” he said.
“Russia is quite isolated in the context of it being clear that what is happening here is because of Russian aggression against its neighbour.
“From an Irish perspective, I will be making it very clear that we hold countries to account – even countries as powerful as Russia.”
The minister said the Security Council needs to send a message to Russia.
“Russia is now going to go ahead with sham referendums in occupied territory in Ukraine – effectively asking people to vote at gunpoint,” he said.
“There is also a pretty direct threat in terms of the use of weaponry that should be out of bounds in terms of international threats. So, they have really escalated the language.”
He said Ireland will take a firm stance at the meeting.
“These are not the actions of a country that has the responsibility of being a permanent member of the security council,” he said.
“From an Irish perspective, we need to be firm and clear that international law applies to everybody.”
Speaking overnight, US President Joe Biden called the invasion a needless war started by one man.
“President Putin has made overt nuclear threats against Europe in a reckless disregard for the responsibilities of the non-proliferation regime,” he said.
Speaking via videolink Ukraine President Volodomyr Zelensky again called for aid.
“Every state suffering armed aggression needs the opportunity to protect its citizens and liberate its territory,” he said.
“If it requires help with weapons or shells, they should be provided.”
UN Security Council
Today’s meeting will also see Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will defend his country's actions.
In the end, the Security council response will be words over action – with Russia holding a key veto over all security council business.
Reporting from Sean Defoe In New York.