The heightened nuclear risks from Russia’s aggression against Ukraine are unprecedented, the Irish premier has warned the United Nations.

Micheal Martin referred to potential threats to nuclear security and safety ensuing from army activity close to civilian nuclear amenities in Ukraine because the Russian invasion rages on.

Addressing the UN General Assembly in New York on Thursday, the Taoiseach said the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty should stay a vital element of worldwide peace and safety, including the urgency of its full implementation “cannot be overstated”.

He described Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as carrying “dark echoes of our continent’s past”.

“We face an expansionist power brutally invading and occupying a peaceful neighbour,” Mr Martin said.

“We faced this many times in Europe in the 20th century. We did not think we would face it again in the 21st century.

“But this is not just a European issue. Not just a concern for ‘the West’.

“All states, and particularly small countries such as my own, should fear a world where might equals right, where the strong can bully the weak; where sovereignty and territorial integrity can be blatantly violated; and where the UN Charter – the charter that all of us in this Assembly have faithfully put our trust in – can be flouted with impunity.”

Mr Martin referred to his go to to Ukraine in July, listening to first-hand accounts from civilians, and the uncovering of mass civilian graves in Bucha and Izium.

“We have seen the targeting of nuclear facilities and of civilian infrastructure,” he said.

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