PM refuses to be drawn on further details
Prime Minister António Costa has said today that Portugal has endorsed the security guarantees given to Ukraine by the G7 countries, adding that it will still be discussed how the country can help ensure them.
“The declaration now opens a period from which contacts will begin between the partners to define the extent to which each will participate in Ukraine’s future security guarantees,” he told reporters at the end of the NATO summit in Vilnius.
Asked what kind of support Portugal is available to provide, Mr Costa said it was “premature” to talk about this.
“We have sought to contribute to Ukraine’s security in the most diverse ways, we have done so from a military point of view, from a financial, political, diplomatic point of view, also from the point of view of the provision of equipment and through training, namely now of F-16 pilots,” he said.
Mr Costa also considered that President Zelenskyy’s understanding that the summit would reveal a date for Ukraine to join NATO was misplaced.
But a tweet from the Ukrainian president shows he did not truly expect a date. He has accepted that his country is “on our way to the Alliance” and is glad of the security guarantees for which he hopes there is widespread support.
We all need certainty – in particular, institutional certainty. And it is very good that the NATO-Ukraine Council can really give us the necessary institutional certainty. It is important for us that the NATO-Ukraine Council will be an instrument of integration, not just… pic.twitter.com/R5RLkxJYxA
— Володимир Зеленський (@ZelenskyyUa) July 12, 2023
Mr Zelenskyy’s concern is with the “wording regarding the conditions we must meet (…) The absolute majority of our people expect specifics about these conditions. We perceive them as security conditions. We understand that Ukraine cannot become a member of NATO while the war is ongoing. But then it will be our common strength when Ukraine joins the Alliance”.
Thus, the main take from the two-day summit is that “Ukraine’s future is in NATO”.
As NATO secretary general Jens Stoltenberg stressed: “The most urgent task now is to ensure that Ukraine prevails, because unless Ukraine prevails, there’s no membership issue to be discussed at all”.
For the full text of the declaration that came out of the Vilnius summit click here