Portugal “worried” about a military agreement between Sao Tome and Principe and Russia

The Portuguese government expressed “great concern” after learning this week that Sao Tome and Principe, one of its former colonies in Africa, had signed a military cooperation agreement with Russia

Portugal “worried” about a military agreement between Sao Tome and Principe and Russia

The Portuguese government expressed “great concern” after learning this week that Sao Tome and Principe, one of its former colonies in Africa, had signed a military cooperation agreement with Russia.

“As soon as this agreement was known, we began consultations with the authorities of Sao Tome,” said the Portuguese Minister of Foreign Affairs, Paulo Rangel, in an interview given Thursday evening, May 9, to SIC Noticias television.

“Portugal first, then other European countries, expressed surprise, apprehension and perplexity at this agreement,” he said while recognizing that Sao Tome was an “independent and sovereign” state and had a “total legitimacy” to make such a decision.

But, he stressed, "as we find ourselves in an international situation where the Russian Federation is responsible for a war of aggression which, moreover, involves the European continent, we have obviously expressed our great concern ".

The Portuguese media echoed from Wednesday the information reported by Russian news agencies according to which Sao Tome and Russia signed on April 24, in Saint Petersburg, a military cooperation agreement providing for training or movement of Russian planes and ships in this archipelago in the Gulf of Guinea.

The developments came as the president of Guinea-Bissau, another former Portuguese colony, was in Russia to attend commemorations of the victory over Nazi Germany.