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“Our goal is very simple – to avoid an armed conflict in Eastern Europe, an armed conflict on the border between Russia and Ukraine, and that is what we are working for,” Augusto Santos Silva said at a press conference in Brussels on Monday. after the meeting of the Security Council with the heads of EU diplomacy.
The Portuguese Foreign Minister specified that the “politico-diplomatic path” still exists and is “far from” exhausted. “This continues and must continue.”
Augusto Santos Silva also indicated that the US “will give a written response to Russia’s request this week to the proposals submitted by Russia last December, and NATO will do the same.”
“We must all commit ourselves to avoid any escalation,” he added. “Any aggression against Ukraine, any violation by Russia of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine will have grave consequences that will motivate a response. In the case of the EU, a very difficult answer in political and economic terms. We are ready for such a response if necessary,” he continued, later referring to “tough sanctions.”
Ukraine. EU diplomats discussed the situation with their American counterpart
Santo Silva spoke of preventing a “serious crisis” of security in Europe, as well as “any aggression against a sovereign state and any violation of its territorial integrity.” The Portuguese minister also recalled the recent support of the European Commission in the amount of 1.2 billion euros provided to Ukraine, as well as a credit line.
The heads of European Union diplomacy met this Monday to discuss, among other things, the situation of tension between Ukraine and Russia over the threat of attack at a time when the US has ordered the removal of all workers’ families from the country. Embassy of Ukraine with fears of the inevitability of a Russian invasion – the EU says there is no reason to “dramatize” the situation. Today’s videoconference meeting was also attended by the head of US diplomacy, Anthony Blinken.
US and UK recall diplomats from Ukraine, but EU says no need to ‘dramatize’
Also this Monday, NATO Allies put forces on alert and sent ships and fighter jets to strengthen defenses in Eastern Europe against Russian military activity near Ukraine’s borders.
In response to a question from journalists, Augusto Santos Silva clarified that the Portuguese embassy in Ukraine is “small”, which mainly employs local employees, that is, of Ukrainian nationality. “Neither we nor any other EU member state will carry out the withdrawal of diplomatic personnel”, he replied.
The minister also mentioned that there are 216 Portuguese citizens living in the country, with “the vast majority” holding dual citizenship. “We know who they are and where they are,” he said, while only a “residual number” live in eastern Ukraine – there is “special contact with them to ascertain their safety and health status.” There is nothing to report yet. He also recalled that since 2014, at the time of the annexation of the Crimean peninsula, Portugal has advised against traveling to the Donbass.
V interview In the renaissance era, António Costa spoke on Monday about the escalation of tensions on the border with Ukraine. “I am very worried. There are real risks that a military conflict could arise between Russia and Ukraine. We are following the EU and NATO frameworks, we are developing, we are stimulating political dialogue and deterrence.”
“Yesterday I had the opportunity to contact Ursula von der Leyen about our position, and I had the opportunity to emphasize that we must take into account that the decisions we make regarding Russia directly or indirectly affect African countries. next to us,” recalls the prime minister. “Portugal has a military presence within the framework of the United Nations in CAR, Mali. As we approach decisions and take positions, reactions are generated on a variety of fronts. Europe has not only an eastern border, but also a southern border.”
“As a militant optimist, I believe that the most rational is to find a solution within the framework of international law and territorial integrity, which actually allows you to find a deterrent solution,” he emphasizes.