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Portugal has issued a harsh warning to the European Union in the wake of the discussion over Ukraine’s EU membership application.

Portugal’s Prime Minister, Antonio Costa, has warned that such talks risk fracturing the EU and leading to “false expectations.”

He considers the EU’s split on the issue to be a gift to Russia.

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According to the Financial Times, Costa stated that while he did not officially reject Ukraine’s candidacy, his country’s goal was to provide “clear and urgent support” to Ukraine.

“The enormous risk is that false hopes may lead to terrible disappointment,” he cautioned, emphasizing that now was not the time to start a multi-year negotiation. He observed, “There should be fewer legal arguments and more practical responses.”

“The best support that the European Union can give to Ukraine is to keep its unity,” António Costa stated in an interview with the Financial Times. “The best we can offer is European unity.”

“At the next European Council, my goal is to get a clear commitment on urgent support and to lay a long-term framework to support Ukraine’s recovery,” Costa told the Financial Times.

“To me, this is the most important thing.” He emphasized that “practical deliverables, not legal arguments about Ukraine,” are the most important.

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