President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa of Portugal arrived in Kyiv, via Poland, on Wednesday morning on a surprise two-day visit to Ukraine, where he will hold a private meeting with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and will participate in the Ukraine Independence Day celebrations on Thursday.
On arrival, President Rebelo de Sousa emphasized that his visit aims to reaffirm Portugal’s solidarity with Ukraine, especially during these challenging times.
He also condemned the treatment of civilians who have fallen victim to the full-scale war, describing it as “very strong, very shocking, very inhuman.” He further noted that the Ukrainian national pride, which was already robust, has significantly intensified since the invasion.
In February 2022, Russia launched a wide-ranging on Ukraine, hitting cities, civilians, and military defenses with airstrikes and shelling. As a result, thousands of civilians have perished while many more have fled the country to escape the unprovoked aggression. Portugal has granted temporary protection to many thousand Ukranians displaced by the Russian invasion.
On his first day in Ukraine, President Rebelo de Sousa made visits to the towns of Irpin and Bucha. During these visits, he expressed Portugal’s resolute support for the Ukrainian people and offered his condolences for the thousands of civilians who have lost their lives due to airstrikes and shelling carried out by Russia.
Accompanying President Rebelo de Sousa on this visit is a delegation of high-ranking officials, including Minister of Foreign Affairs João Gomes Cravinho and the head of the Civil House of the Presidency, Fernando Frutuoso de Melo.
President Rebelo de Sousa traveled to Ukraine following a two-day official visit to Poland, where he met with President Andrzej Duda and the resident Portuguese community.
Diplomatic relations between Portugal and Ukraine were established in 1992. Portugal maintains an embassy in Kyiv, while Ukraine has both an embassy and an honorary consulate in Lisbon, as well as a consulate in Porto.
Both Portugal and Ukraine are active participants in international organizations. Portugal is a founding member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), while both countries are full members of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) and the Council of Europe.