Spain expedites the shipment of two ships to the Black Sea and analyze add planes the deployment of NATO in Eastern Europe in the face of tension with Russia over the possibility of Ukraine joining the Atlantic Alliance.
The decision, taken by the socialist wing of the coalition government led by Pedro Sánchez, is questioned by its partners of Podemos that, once again, they do not avoid adding fractures to the marriage of convenience that they sealed with the PSOE in order to reach Moncloa in 2020.
“These are very tense moments where we all hold our breath, but it is also the time for diplomacy, more than ever. This is the time for dialogue, but dialogue is not negotiation”, said this Friday the Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation, Jose Manuel Albares, at a breakfast in which he participated Clarion.
The Foreign Minister, José Manuel Albares. Photo: EFE
“What is being resolved at the moment in Ukraine is the very basis of the European construction. Europe assumes respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries and that is what we support”, said Albares about the threat of Vladimir Putin’s government to advance on the territory of his former Soviet republic.
Some 100,000 Russian soldiers were moved to the Ukrainian border, a move that strains relations between the United States and European NATO allies with Russia.
“Spain’s commitment within NATO with the security of Europe is total. We have been participating in missions that reinforce security on NATO’s eastern flank for years,” said the Minister of Foreign Affairs during the breakfast organized by the Europa Press agency.
Since 2016 Spain keeps 300 soldiers in Latvia reinforcing the presence of NATO and now, given the increase in tension with Russia, it is evaluating deploying a fleet of fighters in Bulgaria.
Already dispatched a warship, Meteor Minesweeper, which departed from Las Palmas de Gran Canaria towards the Black Sea. And this Saturday the Blas de Lezo frigate will do it.
“To talk about NATO is to talk about the Cold War. That stage is over. We cannot recreate it again because we would lose all of them”, disavowed the Spanish government Unidos Podemos, the minority partner in the coalition, through a statement.
Spain joined NATO in 1982 and in June this year it will host the next summit of the Atlantic Alliance.
This week, Albares was in Washington with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who this Friday met in Geneva with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, although they did not make much progress in resolving the conflict. “We will be prepared for both options: the path of dialogue or the path of aggression and the consequences”, Blinken said at the end of the meeting.
In Spain, meanwhile, the spokesman for the United We Can parliamentary group, the Argentine Paul Echenique, expressed his opposition to Spanish intervention in the conflict: “Not to the war”, he expressed from his social networks.
Minister Albares dismissed the rejection of the Spanish position by the partners of the socialist government of Pedro Sánchez: “Spain’s foreign action is marked by the president of the government,” he limited himself to saying.
The former vice president and former leader of Podemos, Pablo Iglesias, warned Sánchez that “today it would be a great clumsiness for the socialist part of the government to confront all its partners and set up the war party with the PP,” Iglesias said in reference to the support that the Popular Party (PP) expressed for the Spanish intervention in the Ukrainian crisis.
The conflict over gas
Europe’s position in the tension with Russia could cost it 35 percent of the gas supply that the continent receives through Russian gas pipelines.
-Do you assess what the consequences may be for Spain in terms of supplies from Russia if it retaliates for Spanish support for NATO in Ukraine?he asked Clarion to the Spanish Foreign Minister.
– Let’s hope there are no problems. It is a debate that we are having within the European Union and NATO. But there will be no shortage of gas here. Most of Spain’s gas energy supply comes from Algeria and the gas supply is fully guaranteed. The Spanish can be very calm.