Portugal and Brazil have a friendship despite their disparities in foreign policy.

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Lisbon, 18 April 2023 – Today, the prime minister minimized the Brazilian president’s stances on the conflict in Ukraine, arguing that relations between Portugal and Brazil have always been superior to differences in foreign policy, and that differences between siblings are also acceptable.

António Costa addressed journalists in Lisbon after being questioned about Lula da Silva’s criticism of the United States and the European Union for their military support of Ukraine during the war against the Russian invasion.

Lula da Silva will make a four-day state visit to Portugal beginning on Saturday. When asked if this controversy over the Ukraine issue could affect the visit, the Portuguese Prime Minister began by noting that “Brazil has been independent for 200 years” and that “Portugal has developed a relationship of brotherly friendship with Brazil for 200 years.”

“This relationship of brotherly friendship with Brazil is founded on a shared history, a shared language, thousands of Brazilians living in Portugal, thousands of Portuguese living in Brazil, an intense commercial and political relationship between them, and our membership in the Community of Portuguese-Language Countries (CPLP). This is a reality that has existed for 200 years, despite the fact that we have had profoundly diverse foreign policy and even domestic policy positions on occasion, the head of the Portuguese executive concluded.

The purpose of António Costa’s reference to internal politics was to emphasize historical periods during which Portugal and Brazil had authoritarian regimes, sometimes simultaneously.

“Fortunately, democracy exists on both sides of the Atlantic at this time. Portugal and Brazil have always recognized that the degree of their relations, the intensity of their relations, is above and beyond any differences that may exist, and that these relations are normal. There are also differences between friendly and brotherly states, as well as between friendly and brotherly states. It is typical, he insisted.

Since the first hours of the invasion by Moscow’s troops, the Portuguese position on the Russian military intervention in Ukraine, according to the Prime Minister in front of the press, has been “unambiguous.”

“We have and will continue to provide humanitarian, financial, political, and military support for Ukraine. The Ukraine has been subjected to a heinous violation of international law. This is our position, and we do not alter it based on the positions of countries that are our allies and with whom we have friendly relations, he maintained.

António Costa then emphasized the point about each country’s sovereignty, stating: “Just as Portugal, a sovereign state, determines its foreign policy, so do other countries, sovereign states.

“Therefore, there is no doubt that our position on Ukraine differs from that of President Lula,” he added.

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