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Portugal Wants to Cooperate With Russia on Economic Crises, COVID-19, Refugees, President Says

© REUTERS / PEDRO NUNESGeneral view inside a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccination centre in Seixal, Portugal, September 11, 2021. Picture taken September 11, 2021
General view inside a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccination centre in Seixal, Portugal, September 11, 2021. Picture taken September 11, 2021 - Sputnik International, 1920, 22.09.2021
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UNITED NATIONS (Sputnik) - Lisbon is interested in strengthening cooperation with Russia on addressing various global challenges, including the COVID-19 pandemic response, terrorism, climate change, and migration, among others, Portuguese President Marcelo Nuno Duarte Rebelo de Sousa told Sputnik.
"Nowadays, the pandemic is still a vital subject. Economic and social crises, emerging from the pandemic - another vital subject," De Sousa said when asked about areas where the two countries could strengthen cooperation.
The Portuguese president went on to add the need to cooperate on the challenges posed by terrorism, migration and refugees along with security in Europe, Africa, Latin America and Asia.
De Sousa pointed out that the issues to be addressed are numerous and require a broad multilateral approach that does not just involve "classic allies," but the cooperation of everybody in international organizations such as the United Nations.
"In that sense, they require cooperation, a broad cooperation, and in that cooperation, of course, there is space left for countries such as those belonging to the European Union and neighbors such as the Russian Federation," he said.
De Sousa emphasized that a "permanent relation of dialogue" exists between Moscow and Lisbon.
However, he reiterated that the current challenges require even greater cooperation via multilateralism in that that no one country, regardless of its status, can address them alone.
"Little by little, we need each other. No power, no global power, no regional power, no local power can act by itself, alone," he said. "That's why we think it's useful to go on keeping the dialogue with countries that are, at the same time, European nations, which is the case of Russian Federation."
De Sousa also emphasized that cooperation at the level of international organizations, necessitates even greater emphasis on "respecting international law, respecting the values and principles and coexistence of different points of view, trying to reinforce human rights and the rule of law."
De Sousa spoke to Sputnik on the margins of the UN General Assembly in New York.
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