"Together, stronger," wrote Zelensky on the official account of the Ukrainian presidency on Twitter.

The Ukrainian head of state called the President of the Republic, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, who reiterated Portugal's "strong condemnation" of the Russian invasion of Ukraine and "solidarity support for the courageous Ukrainian resistance", according to a note published in official website of the Portuguese Presidency.

Volodymyr Zelensky said on Twitter that he spoke to Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, whom he thanked for the closure of Portuguese airspace to Russian planes, Portugal's support in excluding Russia from the Swift international interbank platform and for "concrete defense assistance".

"Portugal provided weapons, personal protection and other equipment to Ukraine," he stressed.

Refugees

Portugal has the capacity to accommodate 1,245 people who are displaced from Ukraine, revealed the Minister of State and Presidency, Mariana Vieira da Silva.

At the press conference after the extraordinary Council of Ministers, in which “the resolution granting temporary protection to people displaced from Ukraine as a result of the war situation” was approved in the country, Mariana Vieira da Silva noted the availability of accommodation for these citizens.

“ February 28th was a day with a lot of availability of accommodation and, therefore, the number we have today, at the moment, is the capacity to accommodate 1,245 people. It is a very significant evolution,” she told reporters.

According to the minister, the Government is “working with various institutions, with councils and with civil society to have a list of accommodation already available”, considering that this is a process similar to what happened with the situation in Afghanistan.

"At the moment, the response effort is concentrated on the national support centres for the integration of migrants. There are three at the national level and they are already working with the different public services in this response and it therefore seemed to us to be the first front of this response. Of course, it can be climbed and, similarly to what happened in the past, if we know that there is a flight with many people arriving, the services go to the airport and it is there that they try to give answer", she explained.

According to Mariana Vieira da Silva, the mobile teams travel "to the places of arrival when they are organized and in significant numbers" and there is then "a response in the national territory, in Lisbon, Porto and the Algarve, which is already is being organised in these centres that already bring together many of these public services".

“Full integration”

The Minister of State and the Presidency has said that the Portuguese Government is working on a solution for the “full integration” of refugees from the war in Ukraine, considering that a “global response” to the situation is necessary.

According to Mariana Vieira da Silva, the Government is working “in a situation that could lead to full integration”.

“We know that having a job is always one of the fundamental elements of this integration and also something that allows people to live their lives independently. We are prepared for the social responses that are necessary and this is the moment to give this response”, she emphasised.

Donations

There are many organisations and associations collecting donations for Ukraine across the country. The Portugal News is proud to support these initiatives and is collecting donations from our office in Lagoa of clothing, medicines, blankets, clothes and goods for children, dry foods, milk, food for animals and water. The donations will then be taken to the Bombeiros Voluntários de Albufeira. Alternatively you can drop off your donations directly to the Bombeiros in Albufeira at any time of day.