Micheal Martin to discuss Ukraine and Niger with EU ministers in Spain

Ireland’s deputy premier is to discuss the latest developments in Ukraine and the coup in Niger with EU ministers in Spain this week.

Micheal Martin will attend a gathering of EU foreign affairs and defence ministers in the city of Toledo.

The defence ministers will meet on Tuesday and Wednesday, and ministers for foreign affairs will hold discussions on Wednesday and Thursday.

Ukraine’s defence minister Oleksii Reznikov is expected to brief his counterparts on recent developments in his country in an informal meeting that will also be attended by representatives of the United Nations and Nato.

Oleksii Reznikov
Oleksii Reznikov (Alamy/PA)

Foreign affairs ministers from Ukraine and Niger will also join their EU counterparts during the discussions.

Mr Martin, who is Ireland’s Minister for Foreign Affairs and for Defence, said the diplomatic trip would give the EU a chance to “practically coordinate”.

“Ukraine continues to face enormous challenges in the face of Russian aggression,” he said.

“The EU has repeatedly sent strong messages of our continuing determination and abiding commitment to Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, and I look forward to these discussions, as they offer us an important opportunity to practically coordinate and implement the many different initiatives and assistance measures we are taking collectively.

“We must remain resolute in our commitment to stand with Ukraine and these discussions provide us with an opportunity to demonstrate our commitment to Ukraine’s freedom and democracy.”

He added: “The situation in Niger is extremely grave and the EU has made clear its firm condemnation of the coup in Niger.

“Discussions over the next few days will allow us the opportunity to assess how the EU can be most effective in ensuring a return to democratic government, and support regional leaders in their efforts.

“The EU will continue to provide humanitarian aid and to stand alongside the people of Niger, in particular in its commitment to their human rights.”