Portugal has delivered a strong warning to the European Union over the debate surrounding Ukraine’s bid for EU membership.

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Antonio Costa, the Prime Minister of Portugal, has cautioned that such debates could fracture the EU and lead to “false expectations.”

He believes that the EU’s divide over the topic is a gift to Russia.

Costa was quoted in the Financial Times as saying that while he did not publicly oppose Ukraine’s candidacy, his country’s objective was “clear and urgent support” for Ukraine.

“The huge risk is to create false hopes that become painful disappointment,” he warned, adding that now was not the time to begin a years-long negotiation. “There should be fewer legal discussions and more practical answers,” he remarked.

In an interview with the Financial Times, António Costa said, “The best support that the European Union can give to Ukraine is to retain its unity.” “European unity is the best we can give.”

“My goal is to get a clear commitment on urgent support and to develop a long-term foundation to support Ukraine’s recovery at the next European Council,” Costa told the Financial Times.

“This is the most important thing to me.” “Practical deliveries, not legal discussions over Ukraine, are the most crucial,” he stressed.

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