Simon Coveney ‘anxious’ to reopen Irish embassy in Kyiv

Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney has said he plans to reopen the Irish embassy in Kyiv and is “anxious” to do so.

Mr Coveney said it will be reopened when security issues have been assessed and resolved to his satisfaction.

Irish diplomats left Ukraine following the start of the Russian invasion. The Kyiv embassy, which was officially opened last August, is being operated on a remote basis from Dublin.

Mr Coveney was answering questions from Sinn Féin TD John Brady in the Dáil on Tuesday evening in relation to reopening the embassy.

“I do plan to reopen our embassy in Kyiv, that is a step by step process for us because we have to manage the security consequences of that,” Mr Coveney said.

“We only opened our embassy in Kyiv a few months before [the war], I opened it last August when it was this thriving European city, which has unfortunately changed so much since then.

“But our ambassador is a super ambassador. She’s really able and is anxious to get back to Kyiv and I’m anxious to reopen our embassy there.

“We’re going to do that in a step by step process. We are already moving back to Warsaw to Poland as the first step in that direction and when we have the security issues assessed and resolved to my satisfaction we will move back to reopening the embassy again in Kyiv and I hope to be able to do that as soon as is practically possible.”

Sinn Féin TD John Brady said it was noticeable that Ireland was one of “a few countries” that had not reopened its embassy in Kyiv.

Mr Brady said reopening the embassy would be a small but very meaningful way” to show the State extends its solidarity with the people of Ukraine.

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