28 February 2022

All outlets focus on events in Ukraine and the imposition of sanctions on Russia. None of the people on the EU sanction list is resident in Portugal, while one who had applied for a “Golden Visa” has had their application suspended. There were protests against the war outside the Russian embassy in Lisbon. Campaigning in the rerun of the European Circuit election gets underway.

Expresso, Público and DN expand on a Lusa report with FM Augusto Santos Silva saying there is currently no Russian citizen in Portugal with a “Golden Visa” who is on the list of Russian citizens subject to EU sanctions, adding that all applications from Russian citizens are suspended. However, the Interior Ministry noted that “there is one citizen who is on the list of those sanctioned and who was in the process of applying for a golden visa and that process was suspended”.

CNN PT cites FM Santos Silva’s reaction following a meeting of EU FMs in the wake of news that Russia had put its nuclear forces on alert, stating that the EU was not intimidated and that the new sanctions would “greatly strengthen those previously applied”, adding that authorisation had been given to provide Ukraine with €450 million to arm itself with “lethal equipment”.

Lusa, Expresso and CNN PT report on a telephone conversation between President Rebelo de Sousa and Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky in which the former reiterated “Portugal’s strong condemnation and solidarity support for the courageous Ukrainian resistance”, while underlining “the role of the exceptional Ukrainian community in Portugal”. President Zelensky later tweeted his thanks to Portugal “for the closure of airspace to Russian planes, for supporting Russia’s withdrawal from SWIFT and for concrete support at the defence level”, adding “Together we are stronger”.

Público reports a demonstration of 4,000 people outside the Russian embassy in Lisbon yesterday which was attended by members of the Ukrainian community in Portugal, which is the second-largest after the Brazilian community. There are also reports of similar demonstrations on the streets of Coimbra, Porto, Albufeira and Faro.

Campaigning in the European Circuit elections that the Constitutional Court ordered is underway, with RTP reporting José Luís Carneiro, Deputy General Secretary of the Socialist Party (PS), promising emigrant voters that the PS will modernise consulates to facilitate the relationship between them and the Portuguese administration. DN reports that while campaigning at a meeting of members of the Portuguese community in Paris, Social Democratic Party (PSD) President Rui Rio claimed the elections to choose his replacement must be held in July and that they should “be conducted calmly, with maturity, with a sense of responsibility” rather than “doing it the way some people internally seem to want, which is to kick the can down the road”.

Dinheiro Vivo reports that the war in Ukraine has forced the government to rethink its 2022 budget. This is because the average price of oil is now more than 30% above the base hypothesis used in the budget and because interest rates must be increased to check inflation.

Negócios notes that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has sent the price of oil and oil products soaring on international markets. Fuel prices will rise sharply in Portugal from today, with the cost of a litre of petrol and diesel rising by about two cents to €1.834 per litre for 95 petrol and €1.675 per litre for diesel. DN picks up a Lusa article on a report from the National Statistics Institute that says the price of liquid fuels, such as diesel and petrol, have risen 11.1%, while the price of gas has risen by 7.2% in the last two years.

DN carries a report from the National Statistics Institute that states the price of food and non-alcoholic beverages has risen between 0.9% and 12.5% in the last two years, with fruit rising by 9.9%, bread and cereals up 5.4% and coffee up by 4%. Vítor Machado, director of the Products and Services Area of consumer defence organisation Deco Proteste, believes that the effects of rising prices will worsen in the near future due to the current context of drought and the worsening of the conflict in Eastern Europe.

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