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Antonio Costa reacts to the letter from European leaders. The answer is “by mail” and expresses “full agreement” with the Hungarian anti-LGBTQI law – Relevance

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“I not only received it, but I have already answered. A reply by mail, in fact expressing full agreement with their position, because this is a very serious violation of the fundamental values ​​of the framework of the European Union, ”said Antonio Costa in Brussels, where he participates in the last European Council of Portugal in the semester, to take stock of the Portuguese Presidency of the Council European Union in front of its colleagues.

Thus, Costa reacted to the publication letter signed by 16 European leaders – including, but not limited to, Pedro Sánchez, Emmanuel Macron, Angela Merkel and Mario Draghi – in defense of LGBTQI rights and against the recently adopted law. Hungary bans the “propaganda” of homosexuality among persons under the age of 18.

The letter was addressed not only to the Prime Minister of Portugal, but also to the President of the European Council Charles Michel and the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen.

This position follows from another letter published on Tuesday by 13 member countries, in which called on the European Commission “Use all the tools at his disposal to ensure full respect for European law”, which, contrary to Hungarian law, is considered “discriminatory towards LGBTQI”.

This letter was not signed by Portugal, which referred to the duty of neutrality as the country assuming the presidency of the Council of the European Union, an idea that Antonio Costa today supported.

Despite the fact that he defends that “he has a clear and not neutral position”, that is, “a clear rejection of any discriminatory practice” – even by approving during his presidency “a law to eliminate and combat discriminatory practices, namely homophobic practices” – said the Prime Minister of Portugal. that the function of the chairmanship is “to promote agreement, consensus and collaboration among Member States”.

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“When disagreements arise between member states, traditionally it is not worth taking sides with one of the parties – another thing is the position of Portugal, which is unequivocal,” said Antonio Costa.

The prime minister, however, was somewhat confused in his response, stating that “if the presidency were different, I would certainly sign this letter,” without specifying whether he was talking about a letter signed by 13 member countries if 16 European leaders. As for Monday, he said, moreover, that there was no point in subscribing to the letter addressed to him.

Costa also defended Portugal’s role in imposing sanctions against Hungary, stating that both the country and Poland “have long been the subject of two processes based on Article 7 of the Treaty. [da União Europeia]”and what if” the procedure was frozen for a long time, it was unfrozen by the Portuguese presidency “, since last week there were two hearings in two countries.

“Anyone who violates the fundamental values ​​of the European Union should be punished for this,” the prime minister stressed.

The secretary of state for European affairs said on Tuesday that Portugal did not sign the 13-member letter on LGBTQI rights in Hungary due to its “duty to remain neutral” during its current presidency of the EU Council.

Later that day, Ana Paula Zacarias said that “the colors of the rainbow unite diversity” after Hungary criticized the Munich municipality for wanting to light up its stadium during the European Championship with colors associated with the LGBTQI community.

The new Hungarian law “introduces a ban on“ the presentation and promotion of gender identity other than sex at birth, gender reassignment and homosexuality ”among persons under 18 years of age,” signatory countries indicate, condemning “an egregious form of discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity and self-expression “.

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Today’s letter was published this Wednesday following the posting of Ursula von der Leyen. classified Hungarian law as a “shame”, promising to use “all powers of the Commission to ensure the guarantees of the rights of all EU citizens, whoever and wherever they live.”

In a note sent to Lusa on Wednesday, a Foreign Ministry source said that given the request signed by the JSD MPs, questioning the government’s intention to sign a July 1 declaration condemning Hungary’s restrictions on sexual rights, the answer is “Of course yes.” …

“Since the Portuguese presidency of the Council of the European Union ends on June 30, should it be assumed that the next day, July 1, 2021, Portugal will sign the above-mentioned declaration?” They asked in a submitted statement. today in Parliament and addressed the Minister of Foreign Affairs Augusto Santos Silva.

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Vladimir Putin has delayed the invasion of Ukraine at least three times.

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Putin has repeatedly consulted with Russian Chief of the General Staff Valery Gerasimov and Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu about the invasion, Europa Press told Ukraine’s chief intelligence director Vadim Skibitsky.

According to Skibitsky, it was the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB), which is responsible for counterintelligence and espionage work, that put pressure on Gerasimov and other military agencies to agree to launch an offensive. .

However, according to the Ukrainian intelligence services, the FSB considered that by the end of February sufficient preparations had already been made to guarantee the success of the Russian Armed Forces in a lightning invasion.

However, according to Kyiv, the Russian General Staff provided the Russian troops with supplies and ammunition for only three days, hoping that the offensive would be swift and immediately successful.

The head of Ukrainian intelligence also emphasized the cooperation of local residents, who always provided the Ukrainian authorities with up-to-date information about the Russian army, such as the number of soldiers or the exact location of troops.

The military offensive launched on February 24 by Russia in Ukraine caused at least 6.5 million internally displaced persons and more than 7.8 million refugees to European countries, which is why the UN classifies this migration crisis as the worst in Europe since World War II (1939-1945). gg.). ).

At the moment, 17.7 million Ukrainians are in need of humanitarian assistance, and 9.3 million are in need of food aid and housing.

The UN has presented as confirmed 6,755 civilian deaths and 10,607 wounded since the beginning of the war, stressing that these figures are much lower than the real ones.

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Life sentence for former Swedish official for spying for Russia

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A Stockholm court on Monday sentenced a former Swedish intelligence officer to life in prison for spying for Russia, and his brother to at least 12 years in prison. In what is considered one of the most serious cases in Swedish counterintelligence history, much of the trial took place behind closed doors in the name of national security.

According to the prosecution, it was Russian military intelligence, the GRU, who took advantage of the information provided by the two brothers between 2011 and their arrest at the end of 2021.

Peyman Kia, 42, has held many senior positions in the Swedish security apparatus, including the army and his country’s intelligence services (Säpo). His younger brother, Payam, 35, is accused of “participating in the planning” of the plot and of “managing contacts with Russia and the GRU, including passing on information and receiving financial rewards.”

Both men deny the charges, and their lawyers have demanded an acquittal on charges of “aggravated espionage,” according to the Swedish news agency TT.

The trial coincides with another case of alleged Russian espionage, with the arrest of the Russian-born couple in late November in a suburb of Stockholm by a police team arriving at dawn in a Blackhawk helicopter.

Research website Bellingcat identified them as Sergei Skvortsov and Elena Kulkova. The couple allegedly acted as sleeper agents for Moscow, having moved to Sweden in the late 1990s.

According to Swedish press reports, the couple ran companies specializing in the import and export of electronic components and industrial technology.

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The man was again detained at the end of November for “illegal intelligence activities.” His partner, suspected of being an accomplice, has been released but remains under investigation.

According to Swedish authorities, the arrests are not related to the trial of the Kia brothers.

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Ukraine admitted that Russia may announce a general mobilization

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“They can strengthen their positions. We understand that this can happen. At the same time, we do not rule out that they will announce a general mobilization,” Danilov said in an interview with the Ukrainska Pravda online publication.

Danilov believed that this mobilization would also be convened “to exterminate as many as possible” of Russian citizens, so that “they would no longer have any problems on their territory.”

In this sense, Danilov also reminded that Russia has not given up on securing control over Kyiv or the idea of ​​the complete “destruction” of Ukraine. “We have to be ready for anything,” he said.

“I want everyone to understand that [os russos] they have not given up on the idea of ​​destroying our nation. If they don’t have Kyiv in their hands, they won’t have anything in their hands, we must understand this,” continued Danilov, who also did not rule out that a new Russian offensive would come from “Belarus and other territories.” .

As such, Danilov praised the decision of many of its residents who chose to stay in the Ukrainian capital when the war broke out in order to defend the city.

“They expected that there would be panic, that people would run, that there would be nothing to protect Kyiv,” he added, referring to President Volodymyr Zelensky.

The military offensive launched on February 24 by Russia in Ukraine caused at least 6.5 million internally displaced persons and more than 7.8 million refugees to European countries, which is why the UN classifies this migration crisis as the worst in Europe since World War II (1939-1945). gg.). ).

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At the moment, 17.7 million Ukrainians are in need of humanitarian assistance, and 9.3 million are in need of food aid and housing.

The Russian invasion, justified by Russian President Vladimir Putin on the need to “denazify” and demilitarize Ukraine for Russia’s security, was condemned by the international community at large, which responded by sending weapons to Ukraine and imposing political and economic sanctions on Russia.

The UN has presented as confirmed 6,755 civilian deaths and 10,607 wounded since the beginning of the war, stressing that these figures are much lower than the real ones.

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