PM Antonio Costa visited Ukraine on Saturday

Written By Lara Silva

Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa arrived in Kyiv on Saturday and met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. During his one-day trip, Costa announced that Portugal will provide lethal and non-lethal materials to Ukraine, including “military, humanitarian, and financial equipment”. The Portuguese Prime Minister called Zelensky “a leader that inspires the world” and “an example of determination and courage”.

The Prime Minister told Zelensky that Portugal is available to participate in the reconstruction of schools and kindergartens in Ukraine and the reconstruction of a “geographic zone”.

Antonio Costa also said the European Union (EU) must remain united in the sanctions against Russia and invest in alternative fuel options for Europe. He also said that Portugal will support Ukraine in its adhesion to the EU, promoting that Ukraine is welcomed “with open arms”. Ukraine took the first official steps to join the EU on April 18, completing an initial questionnaire for its membership application.

The Prime Minister of Portugal also confirmed a 250 million euro financial support to Ukraine and signed an Agreement on Financial Cooperation.

Before heading to Kyiv, Costa headed to Irpin, a city that had 70% of its territory destroyed by Russian troops. Costs said that “seeing it in person is absolutely devastating due to the brutality of the attack, the cruel way cars were destroyed, with people inside. In fact, it is very hard to see”. He says that although we already know war is dramatic, this is not a “normal” war as it involves helpless civilians.

A visit to the Portuguese embassy in Kyiv was also made, with the Prime Minister thanking staff for never closing the embassy in Ukraine, despite uncertain times. Representing the President of the Republic Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, Costa also attributed the Order of Freedom to Andrii Putilovsky for his work in the repatriation of citizens during the first days of the war.

Antonio Costa’s visit was accompanied by the Secretary of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation Francisco Andre and the ambassador of Portugal in Ukraine, Antonio Alves Machado. Costa accepted the invitation to visit Kyiv at the beginning of May. The Prime Minister of Portugal also visited Romania and Poland this weekend, congratulating Poland for its support for refugees.

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