Spain, after being one of the last European countries to close its airspace to Russian airlines, will limit the sending of offensive weapons to Ukraine just to the agreement adopted by the European Union. It does not plan to increase the defence budget, as other EU governments will do in response to the Russian invasion of Ukrainian territory.
This was announced on Monday by Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez, in an interview granted to RTVE. However, he avoided specifying whether his partner in the Executive, Unidas Podemos, has vetoed these two aspects so as not to fuel a new crisis within the coalition which forms the Council of Ministers.
In this way, Sánchez has ruled out sending arms – as countries such as Germany, amongst others, have done – with the idea that support for Ukraine already comes through three channels: “Humanitarian aid through Poland and Moldova, the sending of defensive material – helmets and waistcoats – and the activation of the mechanism fund for peace, of 500 million euros, to supply offensive material”.
On Monday, the “Purple” party redoubled pressure on the European Union’s sending of offensive weapons to Ukraine to deal with the Russian invasion. It criticised the fact that this manoeuvre “increases the escalation of war” in the conflict and goes in the opposite direction to the “pacifying” role that EU countries should assume.
The European Commission’s decision to prohibit media outlets supporting the Russian government – such as Russia Today or Sputnik – from broadcasting content on European territory was also criticised by UNO Podemos. This is something they defined as “censorship” that “does not benefit” “information” in any way. And then came the icing on the cake. They gave the cold shoulder to the Minister of Defence Margarita Robles’ announcement of the intention to increase the deployment of Spanish troops in the Baltic countries, as part of the NATO mission, in order to prevent Russian aggression.