The European Parliament's website and internal systems have been targeted in a cyber attack.

European Parliament President Roberta Metsola tweeted to say that a "pro-Kremlin group" had claimed responsibility.

The Parliament's Communications director said the website was impacted by a Distributed Denial of Service event.

This involves high levels of external network traffic being directed at the website.

Efforts to correct the issue continue.

Earlier this year, a European Court of Auditors report found that the number of cyber attacks against EU institutions, bodies and agencies had increased sharply.

In its report it stated that the level of preparedness was "not commensurate with the threats".

This week MEPs approved new budgetary measures to provide for an additional 52 new posts to boost cyber security.

Earlier today, the MEPs voted by an overwhelming majority to declare Russia a terrorist state.

"The deliberate attacks and atrocities carried out by the Russian Federation against the civilian population of Ukraine, the destruction of civilian infrastructure and other serious violations of human rights and international humanitarian law amount to acts of terror," a resolution approved by EU lawmakers said.

Ukraine's President welcomed the decision, saying that Russia must be isolated at all levels.

In a tweet, Volodymyr Zelensky added that the Russian regime should be "held accountable in order to end its long-standing policy of terrorism in Ukraine and across the globe".

The resolution was backed by overwhelming majority, with 494 of the parliament's more than 700 MEPs voting in favour of it.

There were 44 abstentions and 58 rejected the resolutions. The remainder were not present to vote.

MEPs argued that Moscow's military strikes on civilian targets such as energy infrastructure, hospitals, schools and shelters violate international law.

Fine Gael and EPP MEP Seán Kelly said the declaration, a symbolic one, would send an important political message in denouncing Russia's "barbaric and illegal war against Ukraine".

"The war crimes and atrocities carried out by the Russian Federation are abhorrent. The Fine Gael delegation will once again stand by Ukraine and condemn Russian actions in the strongest terms," he added.

However, some have argued that such a vote could hamper humanitarian efforts and impact any future possible peace negotiations.

Dublin MEP Clare Daly described the move as antagonistic, arguing that other countries were also deserving of a similar designation.

Ms Daly, a member of the Left Group, told RTÉ's European Parliament Report programme that "this type of macho posturing, 'oh you're a terrorist state', doesn't help anything. It actually escalates tensions".

Clare Daly and Ireland South MEP Mick Wallace rejected the resolution.

Their group colleague Luke 'Ming' Flanagan voted in favour of it, while Sinn Féin MEP Chris MacManus was not present.

All other Irish MEPs backed the resolution.

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky has been calling for some time on countries, namely the US, to declare Russia a terrorist state.

However, US President Joe Biden has resisted such calls, fearing it could impact future efforts to negotiate a peace deal and current humanitarian efforts.