Want to help Ukraine? Stop buying Russian fuel, says Eamon Ryan

Environment Minister Eamon Ryan said Ireland must do more to help Ukraine.

One of the best ways to do this would be to stop spending hundreds of millions of euros on Russian gas and oil, he told Morning Ireland on RTÉ radio.

Ireland will push for tougher sanctions ‘to end Putin’s regime’ and one of the best ways to do this was to challenge Russia’s economic might by stopping the sale of fuels such as gas and oil.

But any such action should be part of a united and collective European response, he said. While Ireland had other resources, some countries, particularly those in Eastern Europe, would struggle more.

“We have opened our doors (to refugees) and more will come.”

The immediate challenge was to provide safe haven for refugees and Ireland would help countries bordering Ukraine during this humanitarian crisis.

Freezing Russian assets was the right approach, he added. Ireland could not impose a no-fly zone and the countries that could were worried that it would make the situation worse and they were not prepared to do so.

Mr Ryan said he would speak with ambassadors in Ukraine and Poland about the difficulties faced by refugees with higher Ryanair fares. He said he had not been in contact with the airline as he wanted to speak to the ambassadors first. He and his department were “in permanent contact” with Ryanair but had not yet communicated on this issue.

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