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Portugal, Ukraine sign memorandum on restoring Ukrainian schools

by Dinara Khalilova and The Kyiv Independent news desk February 5, 2024 9:37 PM 2 min read
Portuguese and Ukrainian officials sign a Memorandum of Understanding on rebuilding Ukrainian schools at a recovery conference in Zhytomyr Oblast, northwestern Ukraine, on Feb. 5, 2024. (Portugal’s Foreign Ministry/X)
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Portuguese officials visited the third international forum on the reconstruction of Zhytomyr Oblast and signed a Memorandum of Understanding on rebuilding Ukrainian schools affected by the war, Portugal’s Foreign Ministry reported on Feb. 5.

The delegation led by Portugal’s Foreign Minister Joao Cravinho and Education Minister Joao Costa arrived in the country earlier the same day for a two-day visit "with the war and the recovery of Ukraine on the agenda."

The memorandum describes how Ukraine and Portugal can cooperate to build and rebuild Ukrainian schools and other educational institutions, particularly in the northwestern city of Zhytomyr, according to Ukrainian media outlet Suspilne.

"For the full implementation of this Memorandum, specific cooperation agreements must be signed to determine agreed joint actions, relevant implementation plans, the total estimated cost, anticipated funding, relevant terms of payments, and other obligations," reads the document, cited by Suspilne.

Apart from signing the memorandum, the Portuguese delegation presented a project to rebuild a school in Zhytomyr destroyed by Russian attacks in March 2022.

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During the second day of their visit, Costa and Cravinho will meet with their Ukrainian counterparts Oksen Lisovy and Dmytro Kuleba, according to the Portuguese Foreign Ministry.

Cravinho and Kuleba will reportedly discuss the latest developments of the war, Kyiv’s path to the European Union accession, and relations between the two countries.

The Portuguese ministers are also set to meet President Volodymyr Zelensky and discuss the Ukrainian peace formula, reconstruction of schools, and the integration of Ukrainian refugee children in Portugal.

Portugal joined the Group of Seven (G7) declaration on security guarantees for Ukraine in July 2023, which aims to bolster Ukraine's ability to resist Russian aggression. The guarantees also address sanctions, financial aid, and post-war reconstruction.

Portugal is also one of 11 members of an international coalition to train Ukrainian pilots on F-16 fighter jets, which was announced by former Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov at the NATO summit in Vilnius in July 2023.

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