Mr Coveney entered Ukraine from Poland last night.
The Polish military provided assistance as far as the Ukrainian border, where he was met by Ukrainian special forces who are providing transport and security during his visit. He is also accompanied by a close protection team from the Garda Emergency Response Unit, and is travelling with the Irish Ambassador to Ukraine, Thérèse Healy.
Simon Coveney to discuss EU membership bid with Ukrainian government in Kyiv (Irish Times)
From top: the Dáil chamber yesterday during the address to the joint houses of the Oireachtas by Ukraine President Zelensky; Miniuster For Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney
Via RTE News:
Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney has said that Ireland would support a complete ban on Russian coal, oil and gas.
Speaking about Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky’s address to the Dáil chamber, Mr Coveney said” “Undoubtedly his (Mr Zelensky’s) biggest ask was for sanctions to be tougher, to act as a strong deterrent to Russia in terms of the continuation of this war,” he added.
Speaking on RTÉ’s Six One News, Mr Coveney said: “I think the EU has signed off, or at least the EU Commission has signed off on a strong fifth package of sanctions and we will hopefully confirm that politically in the next few days.”
He said that while there is a proposed ban on the purchase of coal from Russia into the EU, he would like to see oil added to this.
“I can accept that there are complications in relation to gas, although Ireland would certainly support a complete ban on Russian coal, oil and gas,” he said.
The minister added that he recognises that some countries in the European Union, particularly on its eastern borders, are highly reliant on Russian gas in particular.
Ireland ‘would support complete ban’ on Russian fuel, says Coveney (RTE)
From top: The Russian Ambassador to Ireland Yury Anatoliyevich Filatov; The Russian Embassy, Dublin 6
More as we get it.
Houben Centre, Belfast.
The Building Common Ground event organised by the John and Pat Hume Foundation.
Via Belfast Live:
One of those attending the event said: “The event kicked off and all of a sudden Simon Coveney’s security came up and he left.
“A guy was outside who’d been badly shaken up who said that his van was hijacked and the van is in the car park now.
“A van was driven into the car park at the chapel grounds and police are all there now.”
LIVE updates as ‘security threat’ at Irish Minister Simon Coveney’s address in North Belfast (Belfast Live)
Oireachtas foreign affairs committee.
Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney is responding to questions on a report which found a ‘serious breach’ of Covid-19 social distancing rules had occurred in the Department of Foreign Affairs’ Iveagh House HQ in June 2020 during a UN security seat Champagne celebration.
Watch Live here
Previously: They Keep Their Moet Et Chandon In A Pretty Cabinet
Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney has responded to to the publication last night of a report by the Secretary General at the Department of Foreign Affairs which found a “serious breach” of social distancing rules had occurred at a gathering to mark Ireland’s election to the UN Security Council (top).
The event inflicted reputational damage on the department and undermined internal morale, it stated.
….via RTE News:
Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Mr Coveney told RTÉ’s Morning Ireland that it was a moment of carelessness and celebration and lasted for about a minute.
But, he said that he can totally understand why people looking at the photograph would be annoyed.
He said he did not order an investigation or take action because he trusted his secretary general to deal with the matter…
Sinn Féin has demanded that Taoiseach Micheál Martin establish an independent investigation into the celebration at the Department of Foreign Affairs in 2020, because an internal review published last night had “no accountability”.
Breach of restrictions at DFA ‘should not have happened’ – Coveney (RTE)
From top: Chief of Staff of the Defence Forces, Lieutenant General Seán Clancy (left) and Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney; Russian Ambassador to Ireland Yury Anatoliyevich Filatov
Via RTÉ News:
Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney has spoken of his surprise that the Chief of Staff of the Defence Forces, Lieutenant General Seán Clancy, met the Russian ambassador to Ireland last Friday.
Mr Coveney made the comments at last night’s meeting of the Fine Gael parliamentary party.
In late November 2021, Mr Filatov requested a courtesy call with Lieutenant General Clancy and the meeting was arranged for late January 2022.
The meeting was held on 21 January in the Chief of Staff’s Office, McKee Barracks, Dublin.
John Brady, Sinn Fein’s Spokesperson for Foreign Affairs and Defence, has accused Mr Coveney of “undermining” the Chief of Staff of the Defence Forces, Lieutenant General Seán Clancy with his comments about meeting with the Russian Ambassador to Ireland.
Mr Coveney “took it upon himself in a public way” to make these comments and that it was “poor judgement” to do this, Mr Brady said.
Last night: Détente
Warning issued over Russian Navy exercises in February (RTE)
From top: Russian navy ships; Russian Ambassador to Ireland, Yury Filatov
Via RTÉ News:
Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney will brief his EU counterparts on Russia’s plans to hold naval exercises 240km off the southwest coast of Ireland.
Mr Coveney told reporters in Brussels he had made it clear to the Russian ambassador that the Government did not welcome the move.
He was speaking ahead of a meeting of EU foreign ministers which will be dominated by escalating tensions over Ukraine.
Mr Coveney said the planned Russian naval exercises were in international waters, “but it is also part of the exclusive economic zone of Ireland.”
Russia told naval exercises off Irish coast not welcome – Coveney (RTE)
Via RTÉ News:
Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney (above) has ordered an investigation into a gathering of officials in his department in June 2020, in the aftermath of Ireland winning a UN Security Council seat.
The investigation will be undertaken by the new Secretary General in the department, Joe Hackett.
An image (top) which was shared on social media at the time shows a number of officials from the Department’s UN Security Council campaign team gathered together posing for a photograph indoors.
Ireland was in Phase Two of its reopening plan at that stage, and Covid-19 regulations stipulated that people could only meet up to six others from outside their household in both indoor and outdoor settings.
A departmental spokesperson told RTÉ News that the report should be completed by the end of the month. The spokesperson added Mr Coveney ordered the investigation last Thursday.
Coveney orders investigation into Dept lockdown gathering (RTE)
Friday: They Keep Their Möet Et Chandon In A pretty Cabinet
From top: Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney: Champagne at the Department of Foreign Affairs with then general secretary Niall Burgess in the foreground.
There may be bubbles ahead.
Mr Coveney said he was told by his team that Mr [Niall] Burgess put a photograph on Twitter that was “clearly not a good idea” on the night of the event. The imaged showed the secretary general and 20 officials huddled together unmasked while drinking Moet and Chandon champagne.
“I didn’t know that there was, you know, an inappropriate gathering, albeit temporarily after the [UN security council] vote,” Mr Coveney told RTE Radio One’s News at One.
“I was told later on that a photograph was tweeted out and was later on, I think late that evening after midnight, was taken down,” he added.
Mr Coveney said he did not investigate the party at the time because he “trusted” his secretary general and did not feel there was no need for a “follow up”.
Coveney knew about department champagne party on night of event but decided not to investigate (Independent.ie)