Foreign affairs minister João Gomes Cravinho

Foreign minister downplays Putin’s ‘cynical’ ceasefire declaration

“Russia should declare definitive ceasefire, not one for just 36-hours”

Portugal’s minister forforeign affairs, João Gomes Cravinho, has played down the announcement yesterday by Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin, of a 36-hour ceasefire in Ukraine, stressing the regime in Moscow should instead order a “definitive ceasefire and withdraw its troops” from its neighbour.

“Making a ceasefire does not solve the problem he (Putin) created,” the minister told Lusa on the sidelines of a seminar in Lisbon today.

“Naturally, a ceasefire is always good because there are fewer dead during this period, but Putin created a very serious international problem by invading Ukraine,” said Cravinho. “It is difficult to look at this decision (…) as anything other than an exercise in cynicism and a tactical manoeuvre to gain time and try to impress international public opinion.

What Mr Putin should be doing is withdrawing his forces from Ukraine, the minister insisted.

(Vladimir Putin’s apparent reasons for declaring a 36-hour ceasefire – which will not include ‘retaliation’ in the case of attacks by Ukraine – have been given as a concession towards the purported request of the head of the Russian Orthodox Church to allow time for believers to celebrate Russian Orthodox Christmas).

source: Lusa