Costa hopes that international law will “prevail” in Ukraine as it did in East Timor

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The Prime Minister today compared Russia’s invasion of Ukraine to Indonesia’s occupation of East Timor, saying he hoped international law would “prevail” in Ukrainian territory, and rejected “scenarios” of NATO countries sending in troops.

“We Portuguese have a good reason to understand the importance of defending the primacy of international law, even in the most difficult circumstances. We all remember that, for many years, East Timor was a territory illegally occupied by Indonesia and there were times when Portugal was alone on the international stage fighting to defend the right to self-determination of the people of East Timor,” but “when many already believed that it was not possible, the truth is that international law prevailed and that is the best demonstration that international law is the great weapon of small countries and peoples who want to be free and live in peace,” António Costa declared.

Speaking to the Portuguese press in Paris, after taking part in a high-level meeting on continued support for Ukraine convened by French President Emmanuel Macron, on the two-year anniversary of the start of the Russian invasion, the Portuguese head of government said: “Defending the preservation and the first international law in Ukraine is us guaranteeing our own security in the future.”

After his Slovak counterpart, Robert Fico, said that some Western countries are considering bilateral agreements to send troops to Ukraine, António Costa assured that “there is no scenario in which that question has arisen”.

“Nor do I see that any NATO [North Atlantic Treaty Organization] country should do so and, above all, these are decisions that, if taken, will have to be taken collectively, because in a collective defense alliance the generation of risks is also in everyone’s common interest, but it was not a topic” at this meeting in Paris, he added.

As for the statements made by Emmanuel Macron, who said at the start of the high-level meeting that international leaders, including from the European Union, should prepare “for Russia to attack” these countries, and should therefore “do more” to support Ukraine so that it wins the war, António Costa stressed that “this is not the time to speculate”.

“We have to prepare ourselves for the different risks, but with great determination and with the awareness that the way we have been able to demonstrate today the ability to support the extraordinary effort of the Ukrainian people in their own defense, in the defense of international law, is the best defense we can say for our own in the future,” he concluded.

Moti Shabi
Moti Shabi
Moti Shabi

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