Portugal unable to go further in helping Kiev despite NATO appeal

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Portugal maintains “end of March” as the deadline for delivery of the Leopard 2s and is working with Germany to get them into Ukrainian territory by then and in time for Moscow’s expected major offensive, planned for early spring.

The defense minister insisted that it is impossible for Portugal to make more arms available to Ukraine, despite the appeal made by NATO’s secretary-general on Monday, because it is necessary to balance aid to Kiev with Portuguese capabilities.

Asked about Jens Stoltenberg’s call on Monday for North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) member states to send more armaments to Kiev, Helena Carreiras agreed with the secretary-general, but defended “balance”: “We have helped Ukraine, we have helped it with the material we can make available at each moment, seeking a balance between that help and maintaining our capabilities.”

Speaking to journalists at NATO headquarters in Brussels, Helena Carreiras added that Portugal’s help is not only visible in equipment donations, for example, Leopard 2 combat vehicles, since there is “an articulated set, which includes training, maintenance and support of these means.

t the same time, the member states that are assisting Ukraine’s armed forces have to “think about the war reserves, the munitions, the industrial development,” in line with what Stoltenberg had said on Monday when he urged the countries that make up the military alliance to increase munitions production.

Portugal maintains “end of March” as the deadline for delivery of the Leopard 2s and is working with Germany to get them into Ukrainian territory by then and in time for Moscow’s expected major offensive, planned for early spring.

Already last Friday, at the end of an extraordinary European Council summit, Prime Minister António Costa acknowledged that sending combat aircraft to Ukraine – responding to President Volodymyr Zelensky’s appeal – was not a “red line,” but Portugal is unable to do so, since the available aircraft are all committed.

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