'Good chance' Ireland could be involved in new EU rapid reaction force - Coveney

ireland
'Good Chance' Ireland Could Be Involved In New Eu Rapid Reaction Force - Coveney 'Good Chance' Ireland Could Be Involved In New Eu Rapid Reaction Force - Coveney
The new force is due to be operational by 2025. Photo: PA Images
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There is a good chance Ireland will be involved in the European Union's rapid reaction force despite the State's tradition of military neutrality, Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney has said.

"As regards a rapid reaction force, yes, I think there's a good chance that we'll be involved in that," RTÉ quoted Mr Coveney as saying when asked about the force, which is due to be operational by 2025.

Mr Coveney earlier said the force would be about trying to find a more coordinated common policy for collective intervention when and where the EU needed to be a peacekeeper.

He added this could include the Irish Defence Forces, which already works with other EU states in peacekeeping units, making them familiar in such operations.

Speaking from Brussels on Monday, Mr Coveney also said the EU is "lining up" conversations about further sanctions against Russia later this week as the country's invasion of the Ukraine nears its fifth week.

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The Minister said Ireland was to the fore of the discussions, adding that the curtailing of Russian oil and gas exports was one option.

Mr Coveney noted the reliance on Russian resources, as high as 80-90 per cent for some EU countries, "creates a difficulty" when discussing further sanctions.

"I certainly accept money from the EU spent on energy is funding Russia right now. You don't need to convince me," Mr Coveney added.

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