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16th Mar 2022

World is “anxious not to provoke a third World War”, says Taoiseach

“The world is doing everything it possibly can.”

Taoiseach Micheál Martin has said the world is “very anxious” not to provoke a third World War.

The Taoiseach made the comments on RTÉ’s Six One News when speaking about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

This was following the news that Irish citizen and journalist, Pierre Zakrzewski, was killed while reporting in Ukraine for Fox News.

Martin offered his deepest sympathies to the cameraman’s family, before praising Zakrzewski for his courage and stating that he lost his life “in pursuit of a very noble service to humankind”.

He then called “the bombardment of cities and of civilians in a premeditated, deliberate way” in Ukraine by the leadership of Vladimir Putin “a war crime”.

“What we’re up against here is a leader who seems to work in a 19th-century sort of context who believes he has the right to attack people, to annex a country because of some historic view he has of the world,” he later added.

“It’s immoral and in my view, the behaviour is irrational from a human perspective.”

The Taoiseach was then asked if the world was doing enough to stop what is happening in Ukraine.

“The world is doing everything it possibly can, the free world is,” he responded.

“Those who oppose authoritarianism and despotic regimes are doing everything they possibly can within the limits of being very anxious not to provoke a third World War, for example.

“There are real limits to the degree of intervention that the US and others can undertake here but up to those limits, everything possible has been done.”

Martin said the sanctions that have been imposed against Russia are the “severest” ever deployed in a situation like this.

“They are having an impact and they will have an impact,” he added.

“In addition to that, very significant support has gone into Ukraine from the US, the European Union, from the United Kingdom and a number of other countries and that will continue.

“We want to do everything we possibly can to support the Ukrainian people on all fronts but also to make sure that we don’t endanger others as well.”

Main image via Leah Farrell /