Francisco André: Portugal's Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation

Portuguese secretary of State in blistering attack on Russia

Says regime ‘weaponising hunger’ and using tactics “typical of Middle Ages”

Francisco André, Portugal’s Secretary of state for foreign affairs and cooperation has come out with a blistering attack on Russia today, at the end of the opening session of the EU-ACP (African, Caribbean and Pacific) follow-up committee.

He has accused the regime of weaponising hunger – devastating countries still dealing with the impact of Covid-19.

“Russia is using unacceptable, inhuman tactics, typical of the medieval age and using hunger as a weapon not only in Ukraine but spreading that hunger to many other countries in the world, which is condemnable and must stop immediately,” he told Lusa on Thursday.

Lusa has actually framed the interview as the government itself making the accusations.

“The effects of Russian aggression (against Ukraine) go far beyond the European space,” said André, citing “serious disruptions that the conflict is causing in agri-food production and supply chains, further affecting those who were in the grip of major crises” because of the pandemic.

Francisco André said diplomatic work is now crucial, especially when it involves a group the size of the EU-ACP, which brings together 1.5 billion people.

“We demand Russia ceases this conflict, that it immediately ends its invasion of Ukraine, that those responsible for those barbaric acts can be brought to justice and that we can all work to find solutions to prevent those countries that have been worst affected by the pandemic crisis from being buffeted with even more serious consequences because it is in those countries that the consequences are the most serious,” he said.

André added that “Russia’s decision to block, to attack agri-food production facilities and structures is causing this food emergency problem that we are experiencing a little throughout the world”.

Host of today’s meeting, the head of the European Commission Representation in Lisbon, Sofia Moreira de Sousa, told Lusa, that the war in Ukraine is challenging “the principles of international law and universal principles”. She agreed its consequences “go far beyond the continent of Europe”.

The EU-ACP Follow-up Committee is responsible for organising various activities with ACP economic and social interest groups and is led by the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC).

It is also responsible for steering relations and activities at pan-African level (meetings of Africa-EU economic and social interest groups and relations with the Economic, Social and Cultural Committee of the African Union).

Source: LUSA