Three Pillars of RussiaPortugal Relations

DOI: 10.20542/0131-2227-2017-61-10-66-75

N. Yakovleva (,
Institute of Latin American Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences, 21/16, B. Ordynka Str., Moscow, 115035, Russian Federation 

Abstract. Russia and Portugal established diplomatic relations in the last quarter of the 18th century. Since that time, they experienced natural periods of rise and fall. Russia and Portugal are not comparable on many parameters: size of territory, population and workforce, the volume of economy, etc. In its turn, the Portuguese nation also can boast of considerable achievements. Political or ideological considerations have always dominated in bilateral relations, which for a long time have prevented building cooperation in accordance with strategic interests. The membership of Portugal in NATO and accession to the European Communities in 1986 obliged Lisbon to form its relations with Moscow in line with overall negotiation processes of these international associations and with an eye on the partners’ position. In certain periods, this fact made it difficult to engage in a constructive dialogue, forcing both sides to see each other through the prism of global confrontation between two hostile social and political systems. At the same time, there has never been acute, intractable disagreements or open conflicts between the two countries. High-level visits and the ruling elites’ interest degree were of great importance for the development of the bilateral relations. In this respect, the period of 1990s and 2000s belonged to the most fruitful. The legal base of cooperation was expanded, important treaties were signed, an exchange of the heads of state visits took place during this time. However, in the following years of the global financial and economic crisis, the Russia–Portugal political relations stalled, later hampered by the consequences of the Ukrainian crisis and the sanctions war. Largely due to the change of political power in Portugal in 2015, contacts between Moscow and Lisbon have a chance to restart. The current government and the President hold a more flexible position towards Russia, seek new opportunities for development of a mutually beneficial dialogue. However, even the years of political difficulties did not stop cooperation in trade, tourism and culture. These areas have become the three pillars for resumption of the dialogue today. 

Keywords: Russia, Portugal, history of interstate relations, cooperation, trade, tourism, culture 


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For citation:
Yakovleva N. Three Pillars of RussiaPortugal Relations. World Eonomy and International Relations, 2017, vol. 61, no. 10, pp. 66-75.

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