Will be one of at least 20 countries present on Tuesday
Portugal will be one of at least 20 countries taking part in a meeting in Germany on Tuesday called by the United States to discuss the latest defence requirements of Ukraine.
An official source told Lusa today that some members of the Portuguese delegation will travel to the US Ramstein air base for the talks, while defence minister Helena Carreiras will take part via videolink.
The Pentagon’s representative will be defence secretary Lloyd Austin – and there are expected to be ‘more participants’, particularly as 40 countries in all have been invited.
Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said the goal is “to bring together stakeholders from all around the world for a series of meetings on the the latest Ukraine defence needs and – and this is crucially important – ensuring that Ukraine’s enduring security and sovereignty over the long-term is respected and developed”.
Some of the countries invited belong to NATO, others don’t.
The meeting is not taking place under the aegis of the Atlantic Alliance, says Lusa, because it has already been decided that NATO, as an organisation, will not be supplying military aid, albeit individual members remain at liberty to do so.
Also on the agenda will be discussion on how to modernise Ukraine’s armed forces “so that they can face any threat” in the future.
The meeting comes on the very day that UN secretary general António Guterres is scheduled to meet with Vladimir Putin in Moscow, and follows a visit to Kyiv of US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken in which another package of financial assistance – understood to be 700 million dollars for Ukraine and ‘partner countries’ – was pledged.
President Zelenskyy shared a video showing Lloyd Austin saying: “You should know, and the people of Ukraine should know, that we will continue to do everything possible to ensure that you are successful.”