The Portuguese Communist Party (PCP) announced on Wednesday that they will not be present in parliament during Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky’s speech, according to CNN Portugal. The party voted against having the president make a speech in the Portuguese parliament. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky will make the speech via video call to the Portuguese parliament on April 21. The speech will happen at around 5 pm and the President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa will be present.
Paula Santos from the PCP has provided an explanation for this reaction, arguing Zelensky “personifies a xenophobic and belligerent power”.
She states: “PCP will not participate in a parliamentary session that is giving a platform to the instigation of an escalation of the war, that contradicts a path to peace through the participation of Volodymyr Zelensky that personifies a xenophobic and belligerent power, surrounded and sustained by forces of a fascist and neonazi nature, including of a paramilitary nature, such as the Azov Batallion”.
Santos believes that Zelensky’s video speech to the parliament does not contribute to a path to dialogue that would promote a cease-fire. She goes on to say that he symbolizes a power that has for eight years “attacked and massacred his own Ukrainian population in the region of Donbas and eliminate those who oppose him”, promoting “political persecution” such as by making the Ukrainian Communist Party illegal.
As a representative for PCP, Santos states the party is against the Russian government and Vladimir Putin and that the party’s ideology is in direct contradiction with the political forces governing capitalist Russia.
However, she also believes that the economic sanctions against Russia will not solve the conflict and are not a solution for the European people, as PCP has made clear. After being berated by journalists for an alternative solution, Paula Santos argued a solution must be established that finds a compromise, considering differing interests and allowing for dialogue.