Photo: Lusa

Ukraine: President Marcelo considers convening Council of State

Portugal’s president Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa has said he is considering convening the Council of State “in due course” in case of a possible “additional position” of Portugal concerning the Russian military offensive in Ukraine.

Marcelo was speaking to journalists at the end of a visit to a pavilion of the Lisbon Municipal Police which is being prepared for emergency reception of Ukrainian refugees.

He said that at this moment, global political leaders should contain themselves in  statements in the interests of finding peace.

Without naming anyone, he said, “there may be exceptions, and there are exceptions, which is understandable when it comes to countries that are grappling with election periods and where there is a greater request in terms of clarification or intervention.”

According to Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, “the media wants to transmit to the Portuguese what is happening, what is being discussed, what is being prepared and the positions to be adopted, but it is prudence that advises, for the fundamental objective that is the achievement of peace, that this leads to restraint in what is said.

“Public opinion, within this idea of embracing the cause, wants more immediately. We have to think about the people in flesh and blood who are in this panorama of war, about what is being experienced, and how this requires prudence, wisdom and restraint on the part of those responsible,” he said.

The Council of State, the political body that advises the president, met for the last time on November 3, 2021.

On this morning’s visit to Municipal Police pavilion in Campolide, the president was accompanied by the mayor of Lisbon, Carlos Moedas, the ambassador of Ukraine in Portugal, Inna Ohnivets, the director of Lisbon’s Civil Protection, Margarida Castro Martins, and the president of the Portuguese Red Cross, Ana Jorge.

All reaffirmed Portugal’s message that Ukrainians “are welcome” in Portugal.

As to the negotiations between Ukraine and the Russian Federation, the president welcomed the agreement to create humanitarian corridors, saying “they are a beginning” and that we must “continue to do everything to achieve a ceasefire”.

At the European Union level, he again insisted on the need to “have unity” and “avoid division”.

According to the United Nations (UN), in eight days of this invasion, more than a million have left Ukraine. Yesterday, the UN General Assembly passed a resolution (with more than two-thirds of the necessary votes) condemning Russia’s aggression and calling for an effective and immediate ceasefire: five countries voted against (Russia, Belarus, North Korea, Syria and Eritreia), 35 abstained ( including China, Algeria and Angola), 12 did not vote at all.

Lusa/ Portugal Resident