The Irish government is investigating reports that a Russian drone shot down in Ukraine was built using parts made in Ireland, the taoiseach (Irish PM) has said.
Leo Varadkar was speaking after meeting President Zelensky in Ukraine during an unannounced visit to the country.
The discovery was being taken “very seriously”, Mr Varadkar added.
However, he said the government did not believe any Irish companies had evaded sanctions.
Asked by a Ukrainian journalist about the part, found in an Iranian-made Shahed drone and marked ‘Made in Ireland’, Mr Varadkar said it was possible for third parties to find a way around an EU ban on drone components being sold to Russia.
The component, a carburettor which supplies engines with a mixture of fuel and air, was labelled as being made by American company Tillotson, which operates a factory in County Kerry, Irish broadcaster RTÉ has reported, external.
Pictures of the recovered drone were shared on Twitter by Andriy Yermak, the head of the Office of the President of Ukraine, on Tuesday.
During the trip to the Ukrainian capital Kyiv, Mr Varadkar pledged more support for the country and announced that Ireland was donating a further €5m (£4.3m) in humanitarian aid.
He said “democratically elected governments should not be overthrown by foreign invasion” in the 21st Century.
Mr Varadkar also met family members of people who had been killed in the war.
According to an Irish government statement, he heard “first hand the accounts of the death and destruction wrought by Russian forces”.
His visit involved laying wreaths at sites where various killings have taken place, including the city of Bucha, in tribute to the victims.
This morning I came face to face with the horror inflicted by Russia’s forces on the people of Ukraine,” the taoiseach said.
“I gave a commitment to President Zelensky and to the people of Ukraine that we will continue to offer our practical as well as our political backing.”
The €5m will be shared out between two aid organisations, with €3m (£2.6m) going to the Red Cross in Ukraine and the remaining €2m (£1.7m) to the United Nations fund.
President Zelensky described his talks with the taoiseach as “fruitful” and he thanked Ireland for providing shelter to thousands of Ukrainian refugees.
He added that he was “very grateful” that his guest travelled to Bucha before their meeting, saying the taoiseach had now “seen with his own eyes” the consequences of the war.
Mr Zelensky later tweeted: “Although Ireland is a neutral country, this neutrality does not mean indifference, and this is very important. Thank you for all your support!”
Mr Varadkar said he had come to “express Ireland’s solidarity with the government and the people of Ukraine as they endure more than 500 days of Russian attacks”.
While in Kyiv, he is due meet members of the Irish community who are living and working in Ukraine.
They include actors who are staging a production of Translations by Northern Ireland-born playwright Brian Friel in Kyiv’s Lesya Ukrainka Theatre.
Source : BBC