Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa said on Thursday that the Russian-led war in Ukraine had brought about major changes in Europe's security and underscored that the Allies are determined to defend every inch of NATO territory.
He went on to say that the brutal attack on a peaceful country has destroyed peace in Europe and caused the greatest humanitarian crisis on the European continent since World War II. The world is witnessing this human suffering and the loss of human lives, said Costa, while appreciating Romania as a neighbour of Ukraine, for its position and for its efforts in the first line of response to this humanitarian crisis. The outbreak of the conflict in Ukraine after Russia's invasion on February 24th has brought about major changes in Europe's security, he commented. On that day, in order to strengthen NATO's defence posture, Portugal approved the deployment of Portuguese troops in Romania so as to strengthen NATO activities on the Eastern Flank of the Alliance. The Allies thus sent a clear message to Russia, he brought to mind, that an attack against one ally will be considered as an attack against us all, all the allies. Thus, said the Portuguese head of Executive, NATO was very clear in saying that Russia will have a huge price to pay if it goes against any of the Alliance's members. The Russian leadership should have no doubt, in this context, believes Costa, when it comes to our unity and our determination to defend every inch of NATO territory, according to the common commitment of all allies stipulated in Article V of the Washington Treaty.
The Portuguese high official also thanked Romania for receiving the Portuguese troops deployed in Caracal.
He also wanted to salute the professionalism of the Romanian armed forces that have made the integration of the Portuguese contingent very easy, and said he was positive that, by working together, the forces of the two countries will improve their interoperability and increase their operational capacity to meet the challenges they face today.
The Portuguese Prime Minister has assured that his country will remain a reliable contributor to the security and common values of the North Atlantic community.
The Portuguese official visited, together with Romanian President Klaus Iohannis and his Romanian counterpart, Nicolae Ciuca, the 1st Training Battalion "Olt" in Caracal locality, Olt county.