Ukraine asks Portugal for air assets and support in joining NATO

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The leader of Kiev’s diplomacy noted that support for his country has begun to evolve more rapidly than in previous months and the time has come for it to be strengthened, with “the first stage being the training of pilots.”

Ukraine’s Foreign Minister, Dmytro Kuleba, asked on Friday in Lisbon that Portugal participate in an international coalition to train pilots and supply modern fighter jets, as well as support Kiev’s accession to NATO.

After a meeting with his Portuguese counterpart, João Gomes Cravinho, the Ukrainian diplomatic chief said that military assistance and the dynamics of the ongoing war since the Russian invasion on February 24 last year were discussed, noting that Lisbon and Kiev are aligned on the need for Ukraine to fully restore its territorial integrity.

“I invited Portugal to join the fighter jet coalition, starting to train Ukrainian pilots,” Kuleba said at a press conference, in a proposal that his Portuguese counterpart noted but did not comment on, pointing out that Portugal already participates in themodern tank supply group:

“So we think it would also be very helpful if they could work on planes with us.”

The leader of Kiev’s diplomacy noted that support for his country has begun to evolve more rapidly than in previous months and the time has come for it to be strengthened, with “the first stage being the training of pilots. ”

According to Kuleba, another issue addressed was Ukraine’s membership in NATO, a subject that will be on the agenda of the organization’s next leaders’ summit, to be held on July 11 and 12 in Vilnius, Lithuania.

“I think we have a common understanding on this issue, and I appreciate Portugal’s support for Ukraine within the European Union on all issues, particularly in opening accession talks between Ukraine and the EU by the end of this year,” he said.

But on NATO membership, Dmytro Kuleba warned that this is neither an end to the war, nor an immediate process.

“We all understand that NATO is not the instrument to end war, NATO is the instrument to prevent new wars,” he maintained, although he invited the organization’s leaders to find a way out of Kiev integration already at the meeting in Vilnius.

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