Ireland has called Russia’s military assault on Ukraine a “murderous act of aggression”.
Taoiseach Micheal Martin on Thursday condemned Vladimir Putin’s latest action, as the Foreign Office urged all remaining Irish citizens in Ukraine to seek refuge in a safe place.
He advised citizens not to travel around the country in the coming hours and to follow the advice of local authorities.
Mr Martin tweeted: “I totally condemn Russia’s indefensible attack on the sovereign people of Ukraine.
“Our first thoughts are with them. We will work with the EU and the UN to hold Putin and his regime accountable.
“Russia will pay a high price for this outrageous act of aggression. We stand with Ukraine.
Foreign Secretary Simon Coveney said a “strong response” was needed from the international community.
He said the Irish diplomatic team in Kyiv had moved to a safe location.
In a series of tweets on Thursday morning, the minister said: “Russia has launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine. May God help them.
“Rocket attacks and explosions across the country. Make no mistake: this is a shockingly murderous act of aggression against a peaceful sovereign state. The EU and the world must react strongly.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the innocent people of Ukraine as families wake up to the shocking Russian attacks.
“Russian leaders are lying to their own people to justify this unlawful aggression. We totally condemn Russia for this unjustifiable act of war in the heart of Europe.
He added: “Our diplomatic team in Kyiv has moved to a safe place and we remain in close contact with them. We are working with EU colleagues to ensure their safety.
“At the emergency meeting of the UN Security Council, Ireland condemned Russia’s decision to launch a military operation and called on UNSC members to ‘assume their responsibility and speak out in the strongest possible terms on this act of aggression “.”