President of the Republic announces a visit to Kiev, probably in the summer

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The President of the Republic said yesterday that his visit to Kiev, Ukraine, will probably take place in the summer, and that he is waiting for the arrival of the new Ukrainian Ambassador to Portugal, “maybe” in April, to start preparing for it.

“Maybe in April, not yet in March, and from there we’ll just start preparing. It could have been last year, but then it didn’t happen because of an international commitment (…) it will probably be in the summer”, said Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, before starting a dinner with Ukrainian refugees who are taking the cooking course, in partnership with the Mezze Association, at the Lisbon School of Hospitality and Tourism.

The Head of State reiterated Portugal’s support for Ukraine, which yesterday completed a year of military conflict with Russia, namely in the humanitarian, financial and military sectors, recalling the support already announced by the Government.

“It may be that in the future we will be able to go further” in supporting Ukraine, admitted Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, referring to “another type of lethal means of intervention and ammunition”.

The military offensive launched by Russia in Ukraine on February 24 has so far caused the flight of more than 14 million people – 6.5 million internally displaced and more than eight million to European countries – according to the latest data from the UN, which considers this refugee crisis the worst in Europe since the Second World War (1939-1945).

Currently, at least 18 million Ukrainians need humanitarian aid and 9.3 million need food and shelter.

The Russian invasion – justified by Russian President Vladimir Putin with the need to “denazify” and demilitarize Ukraine for Russia’s security – has been condemned by the international community at large, which has responded by sending arms to Ukraine and imposing political and economic sanctions on Russia.

The UN has presented as confirmed 8,006 civilian deaths and 13,287 wounded since the war began exactly one year ago, stressing that these figures are far below the real ones.

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