The fact that my first trip in 2023 is taking me to Portugal is no coincidence. Portugal’s geographic location might be at the westernmost tip of Europe, but the country’s heart beats in a profoundly European way.
Germany and Portugal are already working hand in hand on many issues. We are close partners – in the EU, in NATO and in the United Nations. And we want to join forces even more, on climate and energy issues, for example. Scorching temperatures like the 44.6 degrees recorded in Alvega last July will be part of everyday life for many people in Europe in the future. With its ambitious climate and energy policy, Portugal is facing up to the reality of increasingly dry and hot summers. In addition, Portugal recognised early on the key role that the world’s oceans play for the climate and our food security. We want to learn from each other also in this area. That is why Federal Government Commissioner for the Ocean Sebastian Unger is accompanying me to Lisbon.
Despite the more than 3000 km separating Lisbon and Kyiv, Portugal is tirelessly supporting Ukraine in its fight for freedom. It is not only supplying heavy weapons, but is also bringing its influence to bear in the lusophone world. The bond between the people of Lisbon and Brasilia, Luanda and Maputo is an important bridge between Europe, Africa and Latin America. The renewed widespread Russian airstrikes in recent days and weeks, aimed at deliberately and systematically depriving Ukrainians of their livelihoods, remind us how important resolute international support for Ukraine is and remains in 2023.