The Lisbon Chamber decided this Wednesday to suspend the Protocol of Friendship and Cooperation between the Portuguese capital and the Russian city of Moscow, with the mayor saying that it is “completely symbolic” due to the war in Ukraine.
Presented by the Mayor of Lisbon, Carlos Moedas (PSD), the proposal to suspend the effectiveness of the Protocol of Friendship and Cooperation with Moscow was approved by a majority by the municipal executive, with only the votes against of the PCP councilors, but it still has to go to vote in the Municipal Assembly.
In addition to this point, the chamber made a motion possible to “urge the Government to carry out the necessary steps to signal the breach of the Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation between the Portuguese Republic and the Russian Federation by the latter, namely through its suspension”.
At the public meeting of the municipal executive, Carlos Moedas explained that the suspension of the Protocol of Friendship and Cooperation between Lisbon and Moscow has a “very strong symbolism” in relation to “a regime of a dictator”, noting that it has nothing to do with the Russian people and who is “completely against canceling the culture” of Russia.
Reiterating that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is “a totally unjustified war”, the mayor stressed the importance of “suspending for a period” the Protocol of Friendship and Cooperation with the Russian city of Moscow, when the Ukrainian people want to “more signs” of support, referring that over the 25 years of the protocol “there was very little implementation”.
Voting against the proposal and the motion, PCP councilor João Ferreira defended that the suspension of the protocol between Lisbon and Moscow “will not strictly help at all” in efforts to pave the way for a political solution that allows “the ceasefire and the end of war and the construction of paths of peace”.
The communist also said that the decision contributes to a path “of instigation, to intensify, to increase the escalation of conflict” and to a movement of “Russophobia”, questioning how the suspension of measures such as the “exchange of experiences and information in the area of urban management and infrastructure” and “cooperation in the field of culture” help to resolve the situation.
In favor of both initiatives, PS councilor Pedro Anastácio agreed with the “unequivocal condemnation” of Russia as an invading country of Ukrainian territory, while BE mayor Ricardo Moreira, replacing Beatriz Gomes Dias, reinforced the need for “other signs of force” against Russian oligarchs.
The councilor of Livre, Patrícia Gonçalves, replacing Rui Tavares, also warned of the possible effect of “feeding Russophobia” and the independent of Cidadãos por Lisboa, Paula Marques (elected by the PS/Livre coalition), expressed concern about the cancellation of European culture of Russian origin.
The Protocol of Friendship and Cooperation between Lisbon and the city of Moscow was signed on February 17, 1997, to “establish bilateral relations of cooperation and friendship in different areas”, including contacts in the areas of education, sport, tourism and politics for youth, development of economic cooperation and “bringing together the inhabitants of the two capitals”.
“The invasion of Ukraine represents an ongoing act of violation by the Russian Federation [iniciado em fevereiro de 2014] of foundational elements of the world order defined and agreed upon after the Second World War: sovereignty, because it constitutes an integral part of the essential elements that make up a free and independent State in the political, territorial or military components; the self-determination of peoples, as it represents the basis for any definition of the path to be followed by the State and its people; the dignity of the human person as the foundation of political action and guarantee of the protection of fundamental freedoms”, reads Carlos Moedas’ proposal.
The text also mentions that the date of February 24, 2022, when the invasion began, “obliges the municipality of Lisbon to clarify its position in the context of the Protocol and the Treaty”.
Russia launched a military offensive in Ukraine on February 24 that has killed more than 2,000 civilians, according to UN data, which warns that the real number is likely to be much higher.
The military offensive has already caused more than 12 million people to flee, more than five million of them out of the country, according to the latest UN data – the worst refugee crisis in Europe since the Second World War (1939). -1945).