Portuguese American Journal

Opinion | Portugal standing by Ukraine – Len Port

Peaceful Portugal remains a firm ally of Ukraine, which is now under increasing bombardments, with fears of eventual defeat by Russia

Russia’s advances have intensified so much recently that there are worsening worries in the Western world about Ukraine’s prospects for survival as a sovereign nation.

President Vladimir Putin has been visiting his “friend” Chairman Xi Jinping in China while Russia’s latest electronic warfare techniques have been weakening Ukraine’s air defenses provided by the United States and NATO.

Portugal has long been an adherent member of both the European Union and NATO. There has always been a basic agreement on foreign policy between the two main political parties, the center-right Democratic Alliance and the center-left Socialist Party, both of which have been running the country alternatively since soon after the Carnation Revolution in 1975.

The foreign policy consensus is as strong as ever, grounded on its European integration alongside its trans-Atlantic solidarity. “Portugal’s European integration is the cornerstone of democratic consolidation, and democracy is the source of legitimacy for Portugal’s accession to the EU,” said Nuno Severiano Texeira, director of the Portuguese Institute of Foreign Relations, and former defense minister between 2005 and 2009. Only the Communists with little say in the Portuguese Assembly regard what is going on in Ukraine as merely a “civil war.”

Domestic issues prevail, and so Portugal has only been able to help Ukraine’s war effort financially in a modest way. In terms of military assistance, Portugal has only allocated €70 million. However, Portuga’s military assistance has been noticeable in NATO front-line countries, particularly Romania and the Baltic states

While located on the far west of continental Europe, Portugal is well aware of concerns that should Russia take over Ukraine its aggression may move westward. This could be encouraged should the United States downgrade its economic and military assistance to Ukraine, or no longer be relied upon to support NATO. These are strong possibilities if Donald Trump is returned to the White House in November’s presidential election

That aside, Daniel Marcos, professor at the Faculty of Human and Social Sciences at the new university in Lisbon, is quoted by Joaao Ruela Ribeiro in the “Eastern Europe bi-monthly magazine as saying: “Since the beginning of the Russian aggression, Portugal, following the tradition of transatlantic and European solidarity, has been on Ukraine’s side. First of all by condemning the external aggression that threatened Ukraine’s sovereignty, and secondly by giving its allies who border Russia assurances that Portugal will be as assertive as possible regarding the security of NATO and EU territory.”

The Eastern European, which is widely read in central as well as eastern EU countries, recognizes Portugal’s respect for Ukraine’s war efforts. It notes that Ukraine is a matter of concern within Portuguese society in general, not only among politicians but even more so than some other EU countries.

Last July, the president of Ukraine and the prime minister of Portugal, adopted a joint declaration reiterating their “unequivocal condemnation of Russia’s war “

Portugal’s current center-right government is fragile. It may not last long in power, but it is highly unlikely that Portugal’s sympathy for Ukraine will waiver in any way.


Len Port, born in Northern Ireland, worked as a news reporter and correspondent, mainly in Hong Kong and South Africa, before moving to Portugal many years ago.

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