Russian diplomacy considers that the decision taken by the Portuguese Government to send six Kamov firefighting helicopters to Ukraine, to help in the fight against the Russian invasion, is a “violation of contractual obligations” by Lisbon.

“We ask our (Portuguese) colleagues to refrain from taking steps that could discredit Portugal as a reliable partner,” said Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova on Twitter.

In October, Portugal announced that they would be sending six Kamov helicopters, which were currently without a license to operate, as they were of Russian origin.

“At the request of Ukraine and in conjunction with the Ministry of Internal Affairs, we will make available to Ukraine our fleet of Kamov helicopters which, due to the current scenario, we are no longer able to operate, in fact they do not have their certificates of airworthiness and we won't even be able to repair them”, said the Minister of Defense of Portugal, Helena Carreiras.

The minister stressed that the helicopters would be transferred in the state they were in, needing repair, but believing that they will be “very useful to Ukraine”, adding that Kiev had thanked the Portuguese government for the gesture.