Ukraine: Portugal insists at UN that Russia must leave country and abandon ‘medieval tactics’

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The Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Francisco André, reiterated Lisbon’s position today that the war in Ukraine will only end when Russia leaves the country, with its “unacceptable, often medieval tactics”.

A day after speaking at the United Nations General Assembly in New York, Francisco André maintained, in telephone statements to Lusa, that “Russia must understand that this aggression, in addition to being illegal and unjustifiable, is atrocious and uses unacceptable tactics, often medieval, such as hunger and suffering of populations, with consequences on a global scale”, such as Moscow’s recent unilateral suspension of the Black Sea Cereals Initiative, which allowed food to be exported from Ukrainian ports and supplied to the most fragile countries. weaker countries.

“Portugal unquestionably condemns these atrocities” and will continue to support Kiev, at various levels, including military and financial, in addition to the reception of refugees (about 60,000 since the beginning of the Russian invasion on February 24, 2022), and the territorial integrity of Ukraine “without any margin for doubt”, he said.

“The distance we are from a peace process is the time it will take Russia to immediately end its military intervention in Ukrainian territories,” he insisted, without being able to predict when those conditions will be met.

These meetings at the United Nations, said Francisco André, are important to mobilize the entire international community through its representatives participating in the UN General Assembly to support Ukraine and “to understand that this situation we are experiencing is unacceptable, because it causes suffering, because it destroys infrastructure, because it takes lives, and also has global consequences that we all recognize today as very negative on commodity prices”.

The Secretary of State mentioned in particular the impacts on developing countries, “which are without any responsibility paying a very high price for the consequences of this Russian aggression” and quoted UN Secretary-General António Guterres – with whom he met on Tuesday – when he said that suspending the grain agreement was an option for Moscow, but the countries that are suffering from the consequences of this war do not have that option and really need this understanding.

The Black Sea Grains Initiative, involving Russia, Ukraine, Turkey and the United Nations, came into force about a year ago as a strong commitment from Guterres, and has since allowed almost 33 million tons of food products to flow through Ukrainian ports and silos.

Events such as the UN General Assembly also serve, according to Francisco André, to mobilize representatives of countries with different positions on the conflict, “to explain what is at stake”, and, he continued, the proof that this message is successful is the result of the votes of a clear majority condemning the invasion by Moscow’s forces.

In this regard, the Secretary of State described a “very emotional account” by Ukraine’s Foreign Minister, Dmytro Kuleba, who read the diaries of three Ukrainian children “so that all participants in the General Assembly could be well aware that children who should be concerned about their play and education are today victims of war, who lose their parents, their siblings and have to deal with death and destruction every day”.

In addition to Ukraine, other topics brought by Portugal were the commitment to the digital transition and the climate transition.

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