Ending his visit to the Russian Federation, Portuguese President Jorge Sampaio declares that Russia must be involved in all decision-making processes, rather than playing the role of a bystander.
President Jorge Sampaio declared in Saint Petersburg that Russia cannot be merely looking on as the European organisations make their decisions, but rather should become an active participant and partner in forming strategy in a new international order.
“We will not spend our time communicating to the Russians what we are going to do, but will discuss measures together”, he said.
President Sampaio is favourable to the idea of Russia joining both the European union and NATO: “We cannot determine the end of this enlargement process or exclude any country from it”.
He referred to the “legitimate interests” of a country with such a great dimension, in number of inhabitants and history, as the Russian Federation and maintained that it is impossible to speak of security and peace in Europe without involving Russia in the process.
Regarding the issue of terrorism, President Sampaio claims that without the active support of Russia, it will be impossible to fight organisations such as Al Qaeda.
The President of Portugal said that he was “impressed” by Red Square, Lenin’s Mausoleum and the Kremlin and that “nobody can resist” the Hermitage Museum in saint Petersburg, with its three million pieces 14,000 collections of paintings.
Timothy BANCROFT-HINCHEY PRAVDA.Ru LISBON PORTUGAL