Marcelo due to visit Ukraine “before end of year”
Ukraine’s office of the presidency has announced contact with the Civil Staff of Portugal’s head of state, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, in which the situation in Ukraine was discussed and high-level contacts scheduled.
According to a note published on the Ukrainian presidency’s website yesterday evening, Igor Zhovkva, deputy head of the Ukrainian president’s office, had an online conversation with Ambassador Maria Amélia Paiva, diplomatic adviser to the Portuguese head of state’s civil staff.
The two sides reportedly discussed the security situation in Ukraine, the recent missile attacks on Ukraine by Russia, the issue of grain exports through the Black Sea and Ukraine’s expectation of European Union membership and entry into NATO.
Another topic was “Portugal’s participation in the implementation of President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s Peace Formula and the modalities of the Global Peace Summit.
“In addition, the agenda of high-level contacts for the near future was coordinated,” read the note.
In May this year, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa confirmed to journalists that he had received from the new Ukrainian ambassador to Portugal, Maryna Mykhailenko, “the formal invitation” to go to Kyiv and said that he already had “an idea thought” for the date of that visit, which was being agreed.
Without specifying a date, the head of state said he would be travelling to the Ukrainian capital “certainly before the end of the year, no doubt about it“.
In the note released in English by the Ukrainian presidency, Igor Zhovkva “thanked Portugal for its support for Ukraine’s approach towards membership of the European Union and NATO, as well as the accession of the Portuguese Republic to the joint declaration on security guarantees”.
The deputy head of Zelenskyy’s office argued that “Ukraine’s accession to the European Union and NATO is the best security guarantee for the European continent and the eastern flank of the North Atlantic Alliance.
“We count on Portugal’s support in decisions on Ukraine’s progress towards membership of both organisations,” he said.
President Zelenskyy’s deputy chief of staff also “thanked the Portuguese side for providing defence, financial and humanitarian assistance to Ukraine and temporary shelter for some 60,000 Ukrainian citizens”.
On the issue of grain exports through the Black Sea, Igor Zhovkva defended that Russia’s actions “must receive a tough and consolidated response from the international community”.
PM António Costa has already said how Russia’s refusal to allow grain exports has been “very badly received” by all those who understand the consequences (increasing global hunger/ rising grain prices).
Portuguese Prime Minister António Costa visited Kyiv in May last year, after about three months of war in Ukraine caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on 24 February 2022.
In May this year, the President of the Portuguese Parliament, Augusto Santos Silva, was in the Ukrainian capital with a parliamentary delegation that included MPs from PS, PSD, Liberal Initiative and Left Bloc.