The recent events between Russia and Ukraine are a matter for grave concern and we are working closely with our EU partners to monitor developments and respond appropriately.
I fully support the declaration on the matter by HR/VP Mogherini of 28 November on behalf of EU Member States. The declaration expresses the EU's utmost concern at the dangerous increase of tensions in the Azov Sea and Kerch Strait which led to the seizure of Ukrainian vessels and their crews by Russia, expresses dismay at this use of force by Russia which, against the backdrop of increasing militarisation in the area, is unacceptable.
In this context, the declaration called on Russia to release the captured vessels, their crew and equipment unconditionally and without delay.
Ireland continues to support Ukraine’s sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity. We do not recognise the illegal annexation of the Crimean peninsula by the Russian Federation.
I would call on all to exercise the utmost restraint to de-escalate the situation immediately.