Varadkar to attend Ukraine summit in Paris

Ukrainians and supporters march through Dublin in their thousands to mark second anniversary of Russia’s invasion

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar is set to attend a special meeting of European leaders in Paris on Monday which is being hosted by French president Emmanuel Macron with the aim of discussing support for Ukraine.

Two years on from the Russian invasion, Mr Macron is understood to want to discuss new solutions and ways to help Ukraine. Mr Varadkar is due to travel to Paris for the summit, which will be attended by a number of other European leaders and government representatives.

“Two years after the start of the invasion of Ukraine this working meeting will be an opportunity to study ways to boost the co-operation between partners in support to Ukraine,” the Elysee palace said.

French officials said Mr Macron is determined to send a message to Moscow that there is no “Ukraine fatigue” in Europe despite fears over continued US support.


Meanwhile, Ukrainians and their supporters marched through Dublin city centre in their thousands on Saturday to mark the second anniversary of Russia’s invasion. The march, organised by charity Ukrainian Action in Ireland, began outside the GPO on O’Connell Street, and ended with speeches and song outside Government Buildings. Since the invasion more than 100,000 Ukrainians have resettled in Ireland.

In a speech delivered to the marchers at Merrion Square, Larysa Gerasko, the Ukrainian ambassador to Ireland, called on “all democratic nations” to remain steadfast in their support of Ukraine. “I want to remind to all that the war is already in Europe, just behind you, just next to your door,” she said. “All democratic nations, we have to stop Russian aggression, and we have to stop Putin.”

Ms Gerasko also called for those in attendance to pressure governments to send more armaments to Ukraine. “The situation in the frontline, in the battlefield, is very difficult, and very serious. We need more weapons, we need more arms, we need more ammunition in order to defend ourselves, and to defend you.”

As the crowd marched towards Merrion Square, demonstrators were led in various chants, including “Peace for Ukraine” and “Thank you Ireland” and “Slava Ukraini”. One Garda source estimated that 5,000 people were in attendance. Many in the crowd wore Ukrainian flags draped around their shoulders or traditional floral wreaths.

Inna Shevchenko (37), marching hand-in-hand with her seven-year-old son, said she arrived in Ireland about three months after the Russian invasion in February 2022. “We first didn’t believe it would continue so long, so we stayed in Hungary, near the border,” said Ms Shevchenko (37), from Kyiv. “Then [after] three months, we came here.”

She has settled in Castleknock, Dublin, but ultimately, with much of her family still in Ukraine, her wish is to return to her homeland. “Ireland is beautiful, but it’s my motherland, and I love it,” she said.

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Jennifer Bray

Jennifer Bray

Jennifer Bray is a Political Correspondent with The Irish Times

Fiachra Gallagher

Fiachra Gallagher

Fiachra Gallagher is an Irish Times journalist