The President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, this Thursday thanked the Portuguese Prime Minister, António Costa, for his “comprehensive and consistent support” at the military, political and humanitarian level, in particular his availability to train Ukrainian pilots.
In a message released through his official page on the Telegram social network, accompanied by a short video with the meeting between the leaders in Moldova, the Ukrainian head of state underlined, in particular, “Portugal’s willingness to participate in the training of Ukrainian pilots”. .
“I appreciate the comprehensive and consistent support to Ukraine by the Government of Portugal – military, political and humanitarian”, stressed Zelensky.
“Portugal’s assistance is extremely important to contain Russia’s aggression and restore Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity”, he added, following the meeting on the sidelines of the European Political Community summit, the cooperation platform for Ukraine’s security and stability. Europe, with leaders from the European Union (EU) and other countries, now focused on peace and energy.
The Portuguese prime minister also reacted via Twitter to the meeting with Zelensky, guaranteeing “military, political, diplomatic and humanitarian” support.
“We continue side by side with Ukraine in the defense of its territorial integrity and international law, and in the search for a just and lasting peace. For this to be possible, Russia cannot win this war”, underlined António Costa.
In Moldova, Volodymyr Zelensky requested an explicit invitation for Ukraine to join the Atlantic Alliance, also underlining the importance of protecting Ukrainian skies with the F-16 fighter jets that Ukraine has been requesting from its allies for months.
The Ukrainian President also proposed at the summit the creation of an anti-missile defense shield with planes and modern air defenses to protect the skies of the entire European continent.
Speaking to the Portuguese press at the end of the second summit of the European Political Community, António Costa highlighted that NATO allies are finalizing a “collective position” on Ukraine’s future in the Atlantic Alliance.
Stressing that the question of Ukraine’s integration into NATO “does not arise for the time being”, António Costa defended that “the best way to guarantee a just and lasting peace, after the end of the military offensive, is depending on what the negotiation of the terms of peace”.
“Unfortunately, we are still a long way from that situation”, said the prime minister, still regretting the “very violent attacks against Kiev”, registered today.
António Costa also highlighted to journalists Portugal’s availability to train Ukrainian pilots in the use of F-16 fighters, pointing out that for now there is no availability to send aircraft.