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The UEFA Executive Committee today held an extraordinary meeting following the grave escalation of the security situation in Europe.

The UEFA Executive Committee decided to relocate the final of the 2021/22 UEFA Men’s Champions League from Saint Petersburg to Stade de France in Saint-Denis. The game will be played as initially scheduled on Saturday 28 May at 21:00 CET.

Together with the French government, UEFA will fully support multi-stakeholder efforts to ensure the provision of rescue for football players and their families in Ukraine who face dire human suffering, destruction and displacement.

At today’s meeting, the UEFA Executive Committee also decided that Russian and Ukrainian clubs and national teams competing in UEFA competitions will be required to play their home matches at neutral venues until further notice.

European parliamentarians wrote to Uefa demanding an end to their relationship with Russian company Gazprom, as the German club Schalke removed the gas company from their shirts.

The football associations of Poland, the Czech Republic and Sweden refused to travel to Russia for the World Cup play-offs.…/0272-148740475a92-1b97baa3e9d7…/



Russia attacks Ukraine


On 24th February 2022 Russian forces attacked Ukraine by land, sea and air at multiple points, causing deaths, injuries and damage to infrastructure.

In view of the global impact of the attack, including Portugal’s role as a NATO member, Safe Communities Portugal has created a major incident page where you can find a summary of updates.

The updates can be followed on this page here

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What do Russia and Ukraine represent for the Portuguese trade balance


Exports of Portuguese goods to Russia increased 0.6% in 2021, and 16.7% to Ukraine, from where Portugal imports large amounts of maize.


Last year, exports of goods and services to Moscow grew by 7.8% in 2021 to 269.6 million euros and imports doubled (102.5%) to 1,071.9 million euros, year on year, with a negative trade balance for Lisbon by around 802 million euros, according to data from the National Institute of Statistics (INE). Exports of Portuguese goods to Ukraine rose 16.7% last year, compared to 2020, to 35.9 million euros, according to the National Statistics Institute (INE). In the same period, imports of goods from Ukraine by Portugal rose 44% to 296.5 million euros, which represents a negative trade balance for Lisbon of 260.7 million euros.

In 2021, Moscow was Lisbon’s 37th customer and its 13th supplier. A year earlier, Portugal was Russia’s 86th customer and its 54th supplier. In 2020, Portuguese companies that exported to that market totalled 572, 54 fewer than in 2019 (626), when there was the highest number of national exporters since 2016.

The five groups of products most sold to Moscow are agricultural (16.6% of total exports in 2021), wood and cork (15.8%), machinery and equipment (13.3%), food (13%) and footwear (7.6%).


Exports of Portuguese goods to Ukraine rose 16.7% last year, compared to 2020, to 35.9 million euros, according to the National Statistics Institute (INE). In the same period, imports of goods from Ukraine by Portugal rose 44% to 296.5 million euros, which represents a negative trade balance for Lisbon of 260.7 million euros.

Last year, Ukraine was Portugal’s 68th customer and its 30th supplier. In 2020, Portugal was Ukraine’s 43rd customer and its 62nd supplier.

According to the data, in 2020 there were 374 companies exporting to Ukraine, a progressive increase that has been registered since 2017, when there were 251.

The main five groups of products exported to Kiev include machinery and equipment (with a total weight of 20.6% in 2021), food products (16.3%), wood and cork (16.2%), cellulosic pulp and paper (11.6%) and base metals (7.2%).

Thus, total exports (goods and services) last year totalled around 79.2 million euros (an increase of 57.3%) and imports amounted to 296.5 million euros (+43.3%). , a negative trade balance for Lisbon of 217.3 million euros.What do

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UN experts warn of increasing intensity and frequency of wildfires


Climate change and changes in land use are making wildfires more frequent and intense, with extreme fires predicted to increase by up to 50% by the end of the century, warns a United Nations report.

According to the experts who produced the report by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), based in Nairobi, even the Arctic, until now virtually immune, faces a growing risk of wildfires.

According to the document, released today, the climate crisis and land use change will result in a global increase in extreme fires of up to 14% in 2030, 30% by the end of 2050 and 50% by the end of the century.

“Lightning and human carelessness have always caused wildfires, but climate change caused by human activity, changes in land use, and mismanagement of land and forests mean that wildfires more often find the right conditions to be destructive”, says the study, which had the participation of the Norwegian Environmental Centre GRID-Arendal.

“Forest fires burn longer and impose more heat on places where they have always occurred, but they are also appearing in unexpected places, such as dry peat bogs or during permafrost thaw,” added the UNEP report, which involves all continents.

In addition to destroying large parts of some of the planet’s last havens of biodiversity, such as Brazil’s Great Pantanal, the fires are also emitting huge amounts of polluting gases into the atmosphere, facilitating rising temperatures, drier and more fires.

Experts advise governments to involve indigenous leaders in fire management, as well as invest in forest fire planning, prevention and recovery, rather than just focusing on putting them out.

They also ask governments to adopt a new investment formula, with two-thirds of spending devoted to planning, prevention, preparedness and recovery, and the remaining third to the response.

Currently, direct responses to wildfires receive more than half of related expenditures, while planning and prevention receive less than one percent.

“Current government responses to wildfires are often putting money in the wrong place,” said Inger Andersen, UNEP Executive Director, adding: “We have to minimize the risk of extreme fires by being better prepared – investing more in reducing the fire risk, work with local communities and strengthen the global commitment to combating climate change.”

Likewise, the report underlined the importance of the international community, through the United Nations, also getting involved in fire management, which until now is almost the exclusive responsibility of national governments.

“Wildfires should be placed in the same category of global humanitarian response as major earthquakes and floods,” the UNEP study noted.

From 2002 to 2016, around 423 million hectares were burned each year, a total area equivalent to that of the European Union.

Africa is the continent most affected by these fires, accumulating about 67% of the annual global area burned.

“We must learn to better manage and mitigate the risk of wildfires that threaten human health and our livelihoods, biodiversity and the global climate,” said Susan Gardner, director of UNEP’s Division of Ecosystems.

The experts further warn that wildfires disproportionately affect the world’s poorest nations and have an impact that spans days, weeks and even years after the flames subside, impeding progress towards the UN’s sustainable development goals and deepening social inequalities.

In the document, they argue that ecosystem restoration is “an important way” to mitigate the risk of forest fires. Restoration of wetlands and reintroduction of species such as beavers, recovery of peat bogs, maintenance of distance between vegetation and preservation of buffer zones with open spaces are some examples of essential investments in prevention, preparation and recovery.

The report was released a few days before the 5th session of the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA), which will take place from 28 February to 2 March in Nairobi.


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According to the cybersecurity solutions company, Portuguese bank card data has been sold at an average price of 10.8 euros per card.

The cybersecurity solutions company NordVPN went to listen to the traffic of bank cards on the dark web and found some numbers revealing the potential embezzlement underway around the world – and also in Portugal. According to experts, data from more than four million bank cards from 140 countries have been transacted by cybercriminals on the dark side of the Internet. This batch of data includes 3,281 Portuguese payment cards.

Among the cards issued in Portugal, 1,002 were issued by Visa, 367 by Mastercard and nine by Maestro.

According to NordVPN, bank cards have been sold with average prices per unit of 10.5 dollars (9.26 euros) – and this is the average calculated when the calculation focuses on the cards found. NordVPN also reveals that, for Portuguese bank cards, each unit has been transacted with a higher average cost: 12.26 dollars (10.80 euros) for each card.

“The answer is that hackers can easily make a lot of money. Even if a card costs just $10 on average, a hacker can earn $40 million selling a single database like the one we analysed.”

NordVPN reports that credit card fraud has been on the rise since 2014. The US leads the way among the most affected countries, with more than 1.5 million bank cards identified in NordVPN’s analysis. The experts of the cybersecurity brand classify the USA as one of the countries with the most reliable bank card systems, but they also recall that it is one of the countries with the highest rate of adhesion and use of credit and payment cards, and this factor may have contributed to the fact that about a third of the cards analysed are American.

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APAV supports victims of all crimes.

If you have been a victim of crime or violence, contact us through the Victim Support Line 116 006 (8am to 10pm).

Marking the European Day of the Victim of Crime, on February 22, the Portuguese Victim Support Association presents a new awareness campaign. This new campaign focuses on a call to action, with the motto: “Take action! “.

The campaign was developed by Ana Sofia Olivença, in the context of the Communication Design course of the Superior Institute Miguel Torga – Coimbra.

This anniversary was instituted by Victim Support Europe (VSE), an organization that brings together 61 victim support institutions from 31 European countries, to remember the rights of victims of crime. The Portuguese Association for Victim Support was one of the founding members of the VSE and currently the presidency is held by João Lázaro, also President of APAV.

Among the objectives that are part of APAV’s mission, stands out the investment in the protection and recognition of specific rights, needs and interests of victims of crime and, in particular, of particularly vulnerable victims



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If the situation worsens, Portugal has a plan to withdraw Portuguese citizens that, within hours, can be activated. For now, informed the Minister of State and Foreign Affairs, Augusto Santos Silva, in an interview with RTP, there were Portuguese who have already left and others who informed that they want to stay in Ukraine. The minister guarantees that on the table is not a NATO military response to a possible Russian aggression against Ukraine.

With the tension intensifying in the last two days in the Donbas region, Ukraine, between the official forces of Ukraine and the separatist forces supported by Russia, the Minister of State and Foreign Affairs wanted to clarify the Portuguese (and NATO) position: “An aggression by Russia on Ukraine does not mean an aggression by Russia on NATO,” he said. However, he added, “NATO defends its border” and therefore a Russian aggression “will trigger an immediate response in economic sanctions never seen before”, he said. “This is not a military response, but an economic one”, he guaranteed.

This is because Ukraine is not part of NATO and, as such, it is not possible to trigger Article 5 of the Atlantic Alliance which says that an offensive against a NATO member is an attack on all remaining members and therefore triggers a collective offensive.

At the Security Conference that is still taking place in Munich NATO leaders hinted that a war in Ukraine is getting closer and closer. Augusto Santos Silva still believes in diplomatic means – “Russia is not under threat from anyone”, he said – especially after the conversations that French President Emmanuel Macron had already today, first with Putin, then with Volodymyr Zelensky, the Ukrainian president. “We are closer, unfortunately, than we were days ago [to a conflict], but it is not irreversible and inevitable. There is still a political window that must be taken advantage of,” he said in the same interview.

The “logical consequence of the worsening of what is happening in Ukraine” is the preparation of the Portuguese Embassy in Kiev in case it is necessary to withdraw Portuguese citizens from the country. Therefore, guaranteed Santos Silva, a “withdrawal plan” has been prepared for weeks that can be activated if there is an interruption of commercial flights to that country.

Meanwhile Joint Military exercise between Russia and Belarus near Belarusian border with Ukraine were due to end today but the Belarusian defence ministry has announced that they will continue. They have been seen as a significant element in the Kremlin’s menacing posture towards its neighbour.

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Via Verde, as of January 5, divided the services into two modalities:- Via Verde Auto-estradas remains as it is;- if you have other services on your contract (parking, fuel, etc.) you will pay a fee €0.49 – €0.99 (monthly) or €5.75 – €11.65 (annual)If you did not declared in December (when an email was sent to the subscribers) that you did not want to maintain the transponder and did not returned it to Via Verde:- between January 5th and March 31st 2022, a trial period runs during which customers can choose the modality of Via Verde of their preference.

The three new Via Verde modalities that came into force on January 5, 2022 are:1- Via Verde Autoestrada – includes only the electronic toll payment service using the Via Verde identifier;2- Via Verde Mobilidade – includes the entire offer of currently existing Via Verde mobility services;3 – Via Verde Mobilidade Leve – modality with an offer identical to that of Via Verde Mobilidade, but for occasional use.If you don’t make this choice you will start paying, even if you don’t use them, the services of the modality to which you were automatically migrated.In the email that you have received from ViaVerde in December, there is an email address to contact in case of doubt.


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Minister assured that the Portuguese Embassy in Kiev will remain open to guarantee support to Portuguese citizens.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs said that Portugal does not recommend travel to Ukraine and that the consular services suggest that Portuguese people residing there temporarily leave the country if they do not have to stay for essential reasons.

“Firstly, we strongly recommend that any Portuguese who does not need to travel to Ukraine now for strictly indispensable reasons, do not do so. We recommend that no trips to Ukraine be made, other than those that are strictly essential,” said the minister in statements to journalists.

“As for the Portuguese residing in Ukraine, which are around 240, the Embassy and consular section in Kiev are in permanent contact with all of them. Those who do not have to stay in Ukraine for essential reasons, who consider temporarily leaving that country”, reinforced Augusto Santos Silva.

The minister assured that the Portuguese Embassy in Kiev will remain open to guarantee support to Portuguese citizens living in Ukraine, with Portugal defending the right to sovereignty of Ukrainians in this conflict against Russia.

We have no doubt in defending the right of Ukrainians to have their sovereignty, their choices and their territorial integrity respected”, said the Portuguese minister.

Augusto Santos Silva also mentioned that Russia is “building a set of military capabilities on its border with Ukraine and is carrying out exercises on a scale never seen before in Belarus”, which characterizes a “very dangerous” situation in the region.

Contact details Portuguese Embassy Kiev herePhone(00380) 442 875 861 (Chancery)(00380) 442 875 871 (Consular Section)(00380) 442 875 872 (Consular Section)Fax – (00380) 442 872 066 (Consular Section)E-mail – (Embassy) (Consular Section)


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The recent cyber attack on Vodafone is a wake-up call that no one is immune to hacking and gaining unauthorised access to your computer system.

Post-pandemic cyber security for small and midsize businesses and technology enterprises is now more important than ever. The rise of remote working has left many firms more vulnerable to attacks, while data breaches have become both more costly and potentially more disruptive.

No matter the size of the business, cybersecurity is an essential focus in today’s professional landscape. Although large companies are often the preferred target of cybercriminals, the fallout from a security breach can mean the end of a smaller organization without the resources for significant damage control. For this reason, even a small business must be vigilant to protect its sensitive data from unauthorized access.

To make sure all your security bases are covered, use this cybersecurity checklist as a guide.

1. Keep an Updated Inventory

2. Keep Software and Operating Systems up to Date

3. Manage User Accounts

4. Audit Employee Security Knowledge

6. Restrict Web Traffic

7. Utilize Endpoint Protection Applications and Firewalls

8. Set up a Data Recovery Plan

9. Restrict Wi-Fi Use

10. Be Aware of New Threats

11. Develop a Response for Security Breaches

The check list can be downloaded here. It takes about 10 minutes to read, but in doing so could save you and your business a great deal of disruption should a data security breach happen to your business. Remember cybercrime is increasing and without vigilance we are all vulnerable.…/