Portugal: President to meet Polish counterpart ahead of NATO summit

The Portuguese president said on Wednesday that he will hear his Polish counterpart, Andrzej Duda, in Braga, on the decisions being prepared in the European framework regarding Ukraine and the NATO summit.

Speaking to journalists at the Espaço Vita in Braga, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa said that, for health reasons, the president of Slovakia, Zuzana Čaputová, will no longer be travelling to Braga, but that they will speak by telephone.

About the meeting he will have with the Polish president today at 22:00, at Braga City Hall, the head of state said they will talk about the European Council meeting “which will deal with the Ukraine issue” and about the Atlantic Alliance Summit “which will deal with the future of NATO, but probably not forgetting Ukraine either.”

“All this will be in the news in a fortnight’s time, and it is likely that there will be bilateral contacts between the various states on these issues,” he noted.

Asked about the scheduling of this meeting at short notice, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa replied that there was a “request presented urgently” by the Polish president and that “the best solution found was to come to Braga and then go to Lisbon to speak with the prime minister.”

He said: “Whoever took the initiative certainly took it because they have a calendar of contacts and understood that they should have those contacts to present their ideas. And I will listen to those ideas”, he stated.

The Portuguese president said that Andrzej Duda will meet with the prime minister, António Costa, on Wednesday.

Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa stated that he and the prime minister have “always been in tune – as, indeed, with the parliament – regarding Ukraine” and that “it is the government that conducts foreign policy, but always in liaison with the country’s president”.

As for the decisions that are being prepared in the European framework, the head of state said that “the European Commission will present a proposal to the European Council on Ukraine’s wish to come closer to the European Union”.

“The European Council has scheduled the issue of Ukraine, it has scheduled financial support to Ukraine, it has scheduled support for the reconstruction of Ukraine, it has scheduled discussion of the political and military situation in Ukraine. Therefore, a first step is for the European Commission to present its position, a second step is for the member states in the European Council to give their opinion on that position”, he added.