Ireland is very supportive of an EU training mission for the Ukrainian armed forces, the Minister for Foreign Affairs has said.
Arriving at a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Brussels, which will see the training mission formally launched, Simon Coveney said he hopes the mission will be up and running by "the end of the year."
Mr Coveney people were hearing "horror stories" about Russia's occupation of Kherson, which had now been liberated.
He told reporters: "It’s a reminder of the obligation we have in the context of holding Russia to account for their actions, and of course potential war crimes that have taken place."
The European Union was determined to maintain pressure and cost on Russia for its continued military aggression in Ukraine, he said.
"The EU is impatient in terms of wanting to get on with the training mission and support mission for Ukraine so that that can be up and running by the end of the year, and certainly my country Ireland will be involved and very supportive of that mission," the Fine Gael TD said.
The Government has suggested it could provide a de-mining and IED component to the training mission.
Earlier, the EU's high representative for foreign policy, Josep Borrell, said the training mission will begin in "a couple of weeks time" in Poland and will involve the training of 15,000 Ukrainian soldiers.
He told reporters in Brussels: "The news from the Ukrainian war is very good for the Ukrainians: apart from retaking Kherson, the Russian army is retreating. That’s very good news.
"It means the [EU] strategy of supporting the military of Ukraine was a good one. We have to continue supporting Ukraine with all our capacities: military, putting pressure on Russia and reaching out to the rest of the world to face the consequences of this war."
Mr Borrell said it was important to watch what happened in Kherson in the coming days.
He said Russia had retreated to the right bank of the Dnipro river because it would have faced a "big defeat" if it had tried to keep its position in Kherson.
He said: "It’s a turning point in the war."
Asked if the recent military success should encourage Kyiv to negotiate an end to the war, Mr Borrell said: "Ukraine will decide what to do. Our duty is to support them."
More funding for communities
Micheál Martin acknowledged that some areas have taken on an extra burden because of the crisis and said the Government will engage with communities up and down the country.
Speaking on RTÉ's Today with Claire Byrne, he said the Government and the three party leaders met this week and acknowledged that significant responses have been made and this must be recognised.
Mr Martin said that most Ukrainians in Ireland are here because of a "terrible, immoral war" by Russian President Vladimir Putin and want to return home as soon as it is safe to do so.
He said the potential for anti-immigration sentiment is always concerning, but urged people to "hold their nerve" because instability is what Mr Putin wants.
This is about democracy, he said.