UN secretary general António Guterres has a busy week, meeting in Moscow with Vladimir Putin today and then going on to Ukraine for talks with President Zelenskyy on Thursday

High level talks ongoing as Guterres flies to Moscow

US-led meeting in Germany key to future of conflict in Ukraine

With all eyes on the meeting of UN secretary general António Guterres with Vladimir Putin in Moscow today, the real ‘action’ will be taking place in Ramstein Air Base, in Germany, where defence secretary Lloyd Austin will be meeting with delegations from all over Europe, including Portugal.

SIC television news reports that Portugal is sending a ‘high level delegation’ to the meeting – to which defence minister Helena Carreiras will be connected remotely.

The context of this event is key: it comes as President Marcelo used his Liberty Day address to point to the urgent need to increase defence spending ‘in the name of peace’ – and as Russia has returned to warning of the risks of a Third World War.

The reasons, in Russia’s mindset, are NATO’s continued ‘support’ – by way of weapons supply – of Ukraine.

In the western mindset, the Russian invasion can only see one result: a win for Ukraine. If not, Russia will simply continue to take over further sovereign states to the west and re-draw the map of Europe.

Says SIC, 40 countries have been invited to the meeting at the Ramstein base today, including Australia, Japan (currently approaching its own contretemps with Russia over islands between the two countries), Sweden and Finland (both reportedly preparing to join NATO within the next few weeks).

Beyond discussions over how to supply Ukraine with more heavy weaponry, it is understood the agenda involves discussing how to modernise Ukraine’s defences so that they can cope with future threats.

natasha.donn@algarveresident.com