"I strongly condemn Russia's military action against Ukraine," António Costa wrote on his account on the social network Twitter.
Portugal’s prime minister, António Costa, on Thursday strongly condemned Russia’s military action against Ukraine and asked the president, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, to call an urgent meeting of the Supreme National Defence Council.
“I strongly condemn Russia’s military action against Ukraine,” Costa wrote on his account on the social network Twitter. “I will meet with the Minister for Foreign Affairs, the Minister of National Defence and the National Armed Forces Supreme Chief (CEMGFA). I also asked the Portuguese President for an urgent meeting of the Superior Council for National Defence.”
In a note sent to the media, the prime minister’s office said that his meeting with his foreign and defence ministers would take place at 9 am at the prime minister’s official residence.
In his post on Twitter, Costa said that his thoughts “are with the Ukrainian people under this unjustified and regrettable attack.”
Russia’s President Vladimir Putin had earlier announced the start of a military operation in eastern Ukraine, claiming that it was intended to protect ethnic Russian civilians in the breakaway republics of Donetsk and Lugansk. In a televised address, Putin said he decided to launch the military operation in response to threats of “genocide” in eastern Ukraine from the authorities in the capital, Kyiv, arguing that responsibility for possible bloodshed lies with the Ukrainian “regime”.
Following the military intervention, the presidents of the European Council and the European Commission, Charles Michel and Ursula Von der Leyen, warned the Kremlin that the regime in Moscow will be “held responsible” for its actions.
EU leaders are due to meet at a summit in Brussels Thursday at 8 p.m. local time, following warning of tougher European Union sanctions if Russia attacked Ukraine.
“We will hold the Kremlin accountable,” Michel and von der Leyen wrote in a joint post on Twitter.