President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy met with Prime Minister of the Portuguese Republic António Costa, who is on a visit to our country.
The Head of State noted that this was the first visit of the Portuguese Prime Minister to Ukraine. He called it symbolic that António Costa visited our country on Europe Day, because today the Ukrainian people are defending the independence and freedom that are common to all Europeans.
"Today, during the meeting, I once again felt such a closeness of values and a common understanding by our nations of the future of Europe. Portugal has been helping Ukraine since the first days of Russia's full-scale invasion of our land. I am grateful to your country and to you personally, Mr. Prime Minister, for your defensive, political and humanitarian assistance, as well as for the great support for our citizens, forcibly displaced Ukrainians who fled the war and are now on the European continent in various countries, in particular in Portugal," said the President, addressing António Costa during a joint meeting with media representatives following the talks in Kyiv.
Volodymyr Zelenskyy also praised Portugal's readiness to provide financial assistance to Ukraine.
"Relevant agreements on the provision of financial assistance by Portugal today will be formalized at the governmental level," the President said.
In addition, according to him, a wide range of important issues related to the defense of Ukraine was discussed during the meeting, including further defense assistance. Attention was also paid to the issue of prosecuting Russian war criminals.
"We agreed to further increase the sanctions pressure on the aggressor. The key issue now is the sixth package of sanctions against Russia, which must include an embargo on Russian oil, oil blends and petroleum products. We appreciate Portugal's understanding that Russia is using all this to put pressure on Ukraine and a united Europe," Volodymyr Zelenskyy said.
The interlocutors also discussed Ukraine's European integration.
"We hope that the state vote of Portugal will be in support of our country on the status of a candidate for accession to the European Union during the consideration of this issue at the European Council in June," said the President.
Special attention was paid to the post-war reconstruction of Ukraine. Volodymyr Zelenskyy expects Portugal to be actively involved in this process.
For his part, António Costa reaffirmed readiness to join the reconstruction of Ukraine after the war. He noted that his country could be responsible for rebuilding schools and kindergartens that were destroyed during hostilities. According to António Costa, Portugal has significant experience in designing and building educational institutions, which it will be able to use in Ukraine.
The Prime Minister of the Portuguese Republic noted the resistance of the Ukrainian people to the barbaric and completely illegal invasion of Russia and the example of courage that Ukrainians have shown to the world.
He noted the closeness of the people of Ukraine and Portugal, in particular due to the great contribution of the Ukrainian community to the development of the Portuguese economy in recent decades.
António Costa assured Ukraine of his country's support in winning the war and establishing peace throughout Europe.
The Portuguese Prime Minister also said that his country is looking forward to the European Commission's report on the prospects of Ukraine's integration with the European Union and is ready to share its own experience of gaining EU membership.
António Costa spoke in favor of international sanctions and increased investment in alternative energy sources and ways to supply energy to Europe to overcome dependence on Russia.