Video: Cabinet meet over Ukraine crisis, no plans to return to Covid restrictions

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Cabinet meet over State response to war in Ukraine

A Cabinet meeting today will see ministers discuss the crisis in Ukraine as well as the Irish response.

The Irish Red Cross is set to begin housing Ukrainian refugees from next week.

Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue has said Ireland has no option but to "reach out to those of our fellow European citizens who are displaced who have nowhere else to go", adding that proportionally it was possible the State could receive 200,000 refugees from Ukraine.

The 200,000 figure is based on the expectation that 2 per cent of the 10 million people likely set to flee Ukraine could come to Ireland.

Ireland to push for sanctions on Russian energy sector

The European Union is “lining up” conversations about further sanctions against Russia later this week, according to Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney, who said EU money spent on energy is helping to fund Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

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Mr Coveney said Ireland will push for sanctions on Russian energy because all diplomatic means available must be used to "punish" Russia for invading Ukraine.

Mr Coveney said he did not think there would be agreement immediately on sanctions against Russian oil and gas, as some countries were 80 per cent to 90 per cent reliant on Russian fuel supplies.

Cabinet to consider €12 million support package for tillage

The Minister for Agriculture is seeking Cabinet approval for a €12 million package for tillage farmers in a bid to boost production amid the disruption caused by the war.

Farmers have already reported a spike in the cost of fertiliser and animal feed.

Tillage farmers will play a “really, really important” role in food production and grain production, Mr McConalogue said.

However, he acknowledged the growing burden of high costs facing farmers.

No plans to return to Covid restrictions

There are no plans to reintroduce Covid-19 restrictions despite a rapid rise in cases, the Tánaiste has said.

Tens of thousands of cases were reported in Ireland over the bank holiday weekend, while the number of people in hospital with the virus is climbing steadily.

As of Monday morning, there were 1,308 Covid-19 patients in hospital, with 49 in intensive care.

But Tánaiste Leo Varadkar said these figures had been anticipated, and no consideration is being given to a return to restrictions.

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