Portugal offers military training but no more weapons to Ukraine
Portugal is ready to provide training to Ukrainian soldiers, but sending “more military equipment is not on the table”Portuguese Defense Minister Helena Carreiras told a NATO meeting in Brussels.
At the end of the first session of a two-day meeting of NATO Defense Ministers in Brussels, Helena Carreiras discussed the possibility of providing training in Portugal for the Ukrainian armed forces. “At the moment, sending more military equipment is not on the table”she also told reporters overnight from Wednesday to Thursday (June 15), highlighting the “diversity of aids” granted by Portugal.
It would be, she said, “to provide training to Ukrainian soldiers and armed forces in Portugal”for example for the maneuver of the Leopard tanks, “material that they have and for which they must train their soldiers”, she specified.
“We have already carried out an assessment of the type of training we can offer”she added.
While acknowledging that there has not yet been “concrete request” from the Ukrainian authorities in this sense, the minister said that the feeling is that it is“a need that will be felt” at one time or another for them.
“If that is Ukraine’s decision — and we’re still working towards that, meaning we respond according to Ukraine’s needs — that training can be delivered right away”she said. “In reality, this is not a post-war situation. »
At a press conference ahead of the meeting, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg explained that Alliance members would supply heavy and modern weapons to Ukraine, as requested kyiv, but for such a measure to be effective, it is necessary to train the Ukrainian military in their use.
“We have taken this measure urgently, but these efforts take time”did he declare. “The transition from Soviet-era equipment to modern NATO equipment means that Ukrainians must be prepared to use it. It is a complex and demanding transition. »
He explained that this process involves a “modern artillery, long-range systems and anti-aircraft systems” which require training for their use as well as maintenance.