Our History Means We’ll Stand By Ukraine – Leo Tells CNN

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar - Christine Amanpour - CNN.com outside thew UN HQ in New York

An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has referenced Ireland’s own battle for independence in  encouraging the so-called global south to support Ukraine in its fight against Russia.

Speaking to CNN‘s venerable reporter Christine Amanpour outside the United Nations General Assembly in New York yesterday, Mr. Varadkar was asked why he thought countries in the “global south” did not show greater opposition to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Responding to the assertion the Irish leader said: “I think there’s two aspects to that. There are some countries that have a relationship with Russia, receive military or financial aid.

But there are also a lot of countries in the global south that feel that some European countries are hypocritical, you know, given what happened in terms of the war in Iraq or given what European countries have done as part of their colonial enterprises, supporting coups for example.”

Varadkar also moved to cited Ireland’s own history after colonial aggression, having had to fight for independence in his plea for countries to support Ukraine.

What I always say to them coming from Ireland, a country that has never had any colonies, a country that had to fight for our own independence, don’t blame the Ukrainians for what others may have done in the past,” he said.

We should stand by them, they’re a country fighting for their sovereignty, their democracy, their independence, they’re just like you. Varadkar also said that he wanted this year to be a time “that we say once and for all that no country can invade and take the the territory of another and that no country can try to change another country’s government by force or by coup”.

And what President Biden said today that really resonated with me is that this isn’t just about Ukraine.

Whose independence is safe, whose democracy is safe if we don’t draw a line in the sand with Ukraine and say this far, no further, never again?