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2022-02-24 at 10h43

Portugal vehemently condemns Russian action on Ukrainian soil

Prime Minister’s statement on Russian military action in Ukraine (Portuguese)

The Portuguese Prime Minister claimed that Portugal "vehemently condemns the military action triggered by Russia today on Ukrainian soil".

António Costa was speaking in Lisbon at a press statement following a meeting with the Minister of State and Foreign Affairs, the Minister of Defence, and the Chief of the General Staff, where the latter gave detailed information that will now be given to the "President of the Republic and then the Supreme Council for National Defence".

António Costa also mentioned the European Council today to decide on what sanctions to apply to Russia. The North Atlantic Council is also meeting, at the Ambassador level, to define "the deployment of deterrence forces by NATO to protect the allied countries that border with Ukraine or are in the vast region form Iceland to Turkey".

The Prime Minister also recalled that this year Portugal is part of NATO’s Response Force, and there are soldiers ready to be deployed in five days, to be posted under orders of the Atlantic Alliance if the North Atlantic Council so decides.

"It should be made clear that NATO will not intervene or operate in Ukraine and that NATO will have deterrence missions, to which the Portuguese forces may be deployed, particularly in NATO countries that border with Ukraine", António Costa highlighted.

Ukrainian community in Portugal

The Prime Minister also gave a word of confidence to the Ukrainian community in Portugal in his statement. The community can count "on our full solidarity":

"They have been welcomed in Portugal, and their relatives, friends and acquaintances who feel they should seek safety in our country and choose Portugal as the destination to move on with their lives will also be welcomed", he said, adding that these instructions are being given to the Embassies, whether in Ukraine or neighbouring countries, in order to streamline visa applications.

Portuguese community in Ukraine

In the case of the Portuguese community in Ukraine and the Portuguese-Ukrainian descendants who live there, António Costa claimed that "an evacuation process has been set up, of which the Embassy knows" which will be activated "if and when it is requested".

The Prime Minister said he hopes "this action by Russia isn’t another step in an escalation that will continue to rise" and "that, as the Secretary General of the United Nations has pled strongly on behalf of humanity", "Russia will stop the strike, withdraw its forces and offer room for diplomatic dialogue to continue in order to ensure peace and security in the whole of Europe and, naturally, in Russia too".