Defence minister Helena Carreiras pledges further 160 tonnes of material
Portugal is preparing to send another 160 tonnes of material to Ukraine, including military equipment, Defence Minister Helena Carreiras said today in Brussels, after a Foreign Affairs Council.
As she left her first meeting at European Union level since she taking up the defence portfolio, Helena Carreiras said that Ukrainian defence minister Oleksii Reznikov, who took part by videoconference, made “an optimistic assessment” of the situation on the ground, but reinforced the idea that Ukraine still needs support, “and support in terms of heavy equipment to deal with the challenges they still have”.
According to the minister, ”everyone’s perception is that the war is to continue” meaning all 27 member states still have to pull their weight.
“We sent about 170 tonnes of lethal and non-lethal military material in a first phase and other types of material. We are now preparing a new shipment of another 160 tonnes of material, and I would like to highlight the diversity of our support,” she said. “It’s not just about military equipment, it’s also about medical and health and humanitarian support”.
Portugal has also expressed “availability to receive Ukrainian wounded” – which has not yet happened – and continues to receive Ukrainian refugees.
“There is, therefore, a wide variety of support here, and we also talked in this meeting about the continuity of support related to training, for example, or demining, at a later stage. We will continue to talk about Ukraine’s needs because that is what it is all about,” she said.
Taking stock of her debut at ministerial councils in Brussels, the defence minister acknowledged she was positively surprised by the “determination and unity” of the 27, particularly concerning Ukraine.