Spain prepares new arms shipment to Ukraine

by Lorraine Williamson
arms to Ukraine - https://twitter.com/desdelamoncloa/status/1507087196393775111

MADRID – The Spanish prime minister announced a new arms shipment to Ukraine on Friday. The government will again send “offensive and defensive equipment” to Ukraine “in the coming days”. 

Sánchez shared the news about the arms shipment on arrival at the European Council in Brussels on Friday morning. Here, government leaders will discuss the consequences of the war started by Russia and any measures to be taken jointly. 

The Prime Minister explained that for security reasons he cannot specify when and how this arms delivery will take place. However, he said he would comply with the request of the government of Volodímir Zelensky. 

Pedro Sánchez attends European Council in Brussels

In an official Tweet by La Moncloa, Pedro Sánchez is shown attending a meeting of the European Council in Brussels.

Former arms shipment to Ukraine

Defense Secretary Margarita Robles proposed on Thursday the “possibility” that the government would again supply weapons against the Russian invasion. At the beginning of March, Spain contributed 1,370 grenade launchers, 700,000 rifle cartridges and machine guns, and light machine guns. 

These direct arms shipments come in addition to the investment of €1,000 million that the European Union has earmarked for the purchase of military equipment for the Ukrainian armed forces. 

Disagreements in the Council of Ministers over the first arms delivery 

The first arms shipment of weapons to Ukraine caused some discomfort within the coalition government. This was a result of the public resistance of the ministers Ione Belarra and Irene Montero, both from Unidas Podemos. The decision, which divided the purple formation, was instead supported by the same party’s second vice president, Yolanda Díaz. 

According to the government spokeswoman, the socialist Isabel Rodríguez, the parliament assured that the executive spoke with one voice. Yet Podemos general secretary and minister of Social Rights and Agenda 2030, Ione Belarra, called those who support the arms shipment “parties of war”. 

Others interpreted this as a frontal attack on the PSOE. Subsequently, the spokesman for Podemos, Isa Serra, quickly denied the earlier statements. “Sánchez knows he has our support, even if we think about other things,” he said. 

Both Serra and Belarra insisted on emphasising diplomatic channels to end the invasion. In that sense, the spokeswoman found it “hypocritical” to continue sending weapons to Ukraine “while paying Putin millions for the gas we import”. 

“Unity” in NATO and the EU 

After the NATO summit, also held in Brussels, Sánchez emphasised the “presence of all” member states to “send a message of unity and condemnation. This, to make it clear to Putin that he will not get away with it and once and for all forever ends with the unjust invasion.” 

The meeting – which was also attended by US President Joe Biden – concluded with the decision to send weapons. They also asked China “not to support the Russian war in Ukraine”. The Atlantic Alliance will also not intervene directly in the conflict to prevent a global escalation of the war. 

Sánchez recalls EU origins 

Sánchez also recalled that the invasion, “a real tragedy”, has already resulted in more than 3.5 million refugees. In this regard, he called for unity in Europe. “70 years ago, war and the energy formed what we now call the European Union,” he stressed. 

Also read: Over 25,000 refugees reach Spain

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