Ireland will keep a diplomatic presence in Ukraine 'as long as it is safe', Foreign Minister Simon Coveney says.
He was speaking as the Government advised against all travel to Ukraine, and asked citizens to leave immediately by commercial means.
While around 50 Irish people have registered with the Irish embassy in Kiev.
Minister Coveney told Newstalk Breakfast it is important not to over-heat the situation.
"We can't ignore, obviously, the warnings coming from the UK and the US.
"But certainly we believe that war and an invasion is not inevitable and can be avoided through intensive diplomacy.
"There are real efforts to prevent a military invasion of Ukraine, and I think we should be doubling down on those efforts - rather than creating some kind of self-fulfilling prophecy here.
"I believe that, certainly from all the different sources that we're speaking to, an invasion can still be avoided - and I think that should be the focus now."
Minister Coveney says while there is no European Union division on this, there is a lack of detail over potential sanctions.
"What hasn't happened is a package of sanctions - in terms of the details of those sanctions haven't been settled on yet.
"But I think it's very clear and agreed that should Russia invade Ukraine, that the response would need to be very significant.
"And that means a significant economic impact on the EU as well as Russia in terms of the potential impact on financial services, on energy prices, on the ability to travel and do business and trade.
"So nobody escapes here, which is why the last thing we want is to have to trigger a package of sanctions like that, and of course for Russia to respond in kind."
Mr Coveney says Ireland intends to keep diplomatic staff in Ukraine.
"We have two Irish diplomats in our embassy in Kiev.
"Over the weekend I spoke at length to our ambassador there... she believes she should be staying, and I agree with her.
"Virtually every country is keeping at least a skeleton diplomatic staff in their embassy in Kiev, and we're doing the same.
"We will keep a diplomatic presence there as long as it is safe".
And he says this is also important for Irish families involved in surrogacy.
"One of the reasons why Ukraine is complex from a consular perspective is that there are quite a number of Irish families who are involved in surrogacy in the Ukraine.
"We need to manage those cases as sensitively and as carefully as we can - and that's one of the important roles of our diplomatic staff in Kiev at the moment".
He adds: "I think war can be averted, but we also have to be realistic that it is a very real possibility and we have to be prepared for how we would respond to that.
"But I think it's important not to raise the temperature in terms of language right now - instead, I think we need to be focusing on the language of diplomacy and compromise rather than war drums.
"There's been enough of that".