"We continue, as has been said, to the extent of our possibilities and according to what Ukraine requests, to consider sending support and materials," says the Portuguese defence minister.
Portugal’s defence minister, Helena Carreiras, has said that she is considering sending more material to Ukraine, depending on that country’s needs, and that the 160 tonnes already donated are “in transit”.
“We continue, as has been said, to the extent of our possibilities and according to what Ukraine requests, to consider sending support and materials. And, therefore, that is what we will continue to do,” said the minister, speaking to Lusa in Praia on Wednesday, where she took part in a meeting of defence ministers from the Community of Portuguese Language Countries (CPLP).
“There is, let’s say, not much more to say, as the 160 tonnes of material for Ukraine is still in transit and being prepared,” she added, without going into “concrete aspects” of this transport “for security reasons.
Helena Carreiras also said she had no information on the material ceded by Portugal among the stockpiles of military equipment allegedly ceded by Western countries that Russian forces have claimed to have destroyed in Ukraine in recent days.
“I don’t have that information, but it is an ongoing war. I don’t have more concrete information about where and what happens to that material, but it will surely be used by Ukrainian forces, that’s the goal,” she said.
Among the 160 tonnes of equipment being prepared or in transit to Ukraine, donated by Portugal, are lethal, non-lethal and other military equipment, such as medical, health and humanitarian support.
In her address to the CPLP counterparts, Helena Carreiras said that “what is happening in Europe at the moment because of the illegal and unprovoked invasion of Ukraine by Russia, and despite being far from the borders of many member states, has serious consequences, direct and indirect, not only for our Community and for each of our countries, but for the whole world.
“The conflict in Eastern Europe, stemming from a clear violation of the rules-based international legal order by Russia, is already generating a strong impact on the capacity to supply raw materials and essential goods around the world due to the Russian blockade of Ukrainian grain export channels. These disruptions will affect some of the countries that make up our Community, which will in turn have repercussions on the generalised increase in prices and the cost of living”, she pointed out.
In this context, she said, the role of the defence sector “is particularly important for the global and joint effort of the international community to respond to the humanitarian disaster caused by this war, where the main victims unfortunately continue to be civilians”.
“Our Community and our armed forces must be able to demonstrate their ability to work together and deepen their cooperation,” she emphasised.