Expresses “great disappointment” over Putin’s speech to Russia
Portugal’s prime minister, António Costa is due to address the UN General Assembly, taking place in New York today, having told journalists that he considers the speech made by Vladimir Putin to the Russian people yesterday “a great disappointment”.
“The message from president Putin is a great disappointment for all those who want a quick end to the war and the restoration of peace in Ukraine and the urgent need to contain the effects on a global scale that this war is having,” said Portugal’s PM.
The speech made by the United States president Joe Biden however “was of great serenity, very clear in reaffirming that nuclear war cannot exist and that, therefore, these threats are of a total irresponsibility and are not the way forwards.”
So many events have marked Mr Putin’s address, not least the rush of young citizens to try and leave the country. But what is clear from Mr Costa’s remarks is that Portugal is as steadfast as it always has been in support of the Ukrainian people, and their right to sovereignty within their own land.
“There will be no peace as long as the aggressor, Russia, does not stop the aggression and does not return to what international law imposes,” he said.
Elsewhere, Portugal’s president, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, has suggested Mr Putin’s speech “should be faced with serenity“, noting that “it is not the first time” that the Russian president “has raised the vocal tone, the verbal tone”.
According to Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, Putin spoke in Russia to be heard at a time when world leaders are meeting in New York at the UN General Assembly, “but what matters is to maintain the same serenity, the same positions of principle”.
Portugal’s prime minister has been in New York since Monday to take part in the general debate of the 77th session of the UN General Assembly, where he will speak today, returning immediately afterwards to Lisbon.
Yesterday, he spoke to journalists after a bilateral meeting with the President of Senegal, Mack Sall, who is the President-in-Office of the African Union.
“You only have to talk to the set of leaders that we are meeting here at the United Nations to understand well how hard are the effects of this war throughout the world,” he explained.
Mack Sall “stressed the importance of quickly overcoming the restrictions that exist in terms of freedom of movement not only of seeds, not only of cereals, but above all of fertilisers and everything that is necessary to ensure the next crops (…) From this point of view, the European Union is making a great effort to clarify that there are no sanctions on these products, nor on their circulation, nor on their payment”.
President Biden has also been very clear on the fact that there are no sanctions on fertilisers.
In the gardens of the United Nations headquarters, António Costa met the Secretary General of NATO, the Norwegian Jens Stoltenberg, with whom he exchanged a few words.
To journalists, the prime minister reiterated Portugal’s “total willingness” to continue to participate “in the deterrence effort” of NATO.
In the current context, the Atlantic Alliance should “also give a very clear signal not only of support for the effort that Ukraine has been making to re-establish international law, for us to stop the war and also for there to be a clear deterrence and sense of security in all the countries on NATO’s eastern flank,” he said.