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Portugal

Portugal

  • Portugal is generally unconcerned with Russia, and it remains outside of immediate Russian interests.
  • The government has developed a few media education policies, but these suffer from a lack of consistency and resources.

Relations with the Russian Federation


No relations with Russia. Geographically distant from Russia and has almost no interest in any of the related issues.[1]

Portugal is one of the founding NATO member states and one of the westernmost EU member states. The country’s distance from Russia makes it generally less aware of the issues at the Union’s eastern borders. It is generally independent from Russian fossil fuels. Portugal is generally unconcerned with Russia, and it remains outside of immediate Russian interests as well.[2]

Political acknowledgement of the threat


Russian subversion operations do not pose a visible threat to Portugal, therefore, this topic is not of much relevance for the Portuguese.

Government activities against Russian influence & disinformation


Besides cooperation at the EU and NATO level, the government currently does not show any activity regarding this issue.

The state is more active as far as media literacy is concerned and it has developed a few media education policies, however, these policies have suffered from a lack of consistency and a lack of resources to put them into practice.[3]

Given the disinterestedness of Portugal in the topic of Russian disinformation and influence operations, neither excessive activity nor obstructions are to be expected from the country. As for media literacy, the academia and associations of civic society have played a very important role in promoting media education in Portugal and calling the topic to public agenda.[4]

The approach of intelligence agencies to Russian interference


It is not known that the Portuguese intelligence agencies would occupy themselves extensively with the issue of Russia, however, a Portuguese spy was once caught selling secret NATO documents to a Russian handler.[5]

Activities of the non-governmental sector


There are currently no known initiatives in Portugal focusing on the issue of Russian disinformation campaigns.




[1] “How do European democracies react to Russian aggression”. European Values. 22 April 2017. Available at: http://www.europeanvalues.net/russia/ 
[2] Janda, Sharibzhanov, Terzi, Krejčí and Fišer: “How do European democracies react to Russian aggression?”. European Values Think-Tank. 22 April 2017. Available at: Janda, Sharibzhanov, Terzi, Krejčí and Fišer: “How do European democracies react to Russian aggression?”. European Values Think-Tank. 22 April 2017. Available at: http://www.europeanvalues.net/vyzkum/european-democracies-react-russian-aggression/ 
[3] Conceição Costa, Ana Jorge and Luís Pereira:

 “Media and Information Literacy Policies in Portugal (2013)”. Universidade Lusófona de Humanidades e Teconologis, Universidade do Minho, Universidade Nova de Lisboa. May 2014. Available at: http://ppemi.ens-cachan.fr/data/media/colloque140528/rapports/PORTUGAL_2014.pdf 
[4] Ibid. 
[5] John R. Schindler: “NATO’s Big New Russian Spy Scandal”. Observer. 25 May 2016. Available at: http://observer.com/2016/05/natos-big-new-russian-spy-scandal/ 

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