Ukraine’s accession to the EU and Portugal’s role in the connection with Latin American and African countries were discussed between the Speaker of the Portuguese Parliament Augusto Santos Silva and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Kyiv on Tuesday.
Speaking to Lusa by telephone from Kyiv, where he is on an official visit, Santos Silva described the meeting with Volodymyr Zelenskyy as “very useful” and highlighted the point “where it became clearer” the value that Portugal adds to the political and diplomatic management of this conflict.
“Perhaps the most important point of the meeting had to do with the role that Portugal plays – and can play more – in the dialogue with the countries of the southern hemisphere, in particular with Latin American and African countries, with which we have very close ties and to which we have conveyed our position on Russia’s war against Ukraine,” he said.
The speaker stressed that the clarity of the Portuguese position had been known from the first moment of condemnation of the invasion of Ukraine by Russia.
“And the doubts that several Latin American and African countries have expressed are known, often saying that this is a war that is Europe’s and not theirs. It is important to maintain dialogue with these countries to show them that the rules-based international order we defend is also at stake here,” he said.
During the meeting, the process of Ukraine’s application to join the EU – which already has the status of candidate country – was addressed, with Santos Silva complimenting Zelenskyy for the way his country has been doing “its part with great determination” and another of the points present in the conversation were the prospects for cooperation between Ukraine and NATO.
“Evidently, the focus right now is the war that we have to stop on the condition that it is necessary: the cessation of hostilities by Russia and the withdrawal from occupied Ukrainian territory”, he noted.
On Wednesday, the speaker will intervene in the Ukrainian parliament’s plenary session.
Santos Silva is accompanied on this visit by a parliamentary delegation composed of the parliamentary leader of the Portuguese Socialist Party, Eurico Brilhante Dias, Jorge Paulo de Oliveira (PSD), João Cotrim de Figueiredo (IL)and Isabel Pires (BE), but none from the far-right Chega or the Portuguese Communist Party will be present.
(Sara Madeira | Lusa.pt, edited by Cristina Fernandes Ferreira)
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