Home Politics Monitor Arms delivery to Ukraine: Europe assures that aid will continue and puts pressure on Spain
Politics Monitor

Arms delivery to Ukraine: Europe assures that aid will continue and puts pressure on Spain

The European Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Defense met on Monday April 22 in Luxembourg to discuss the aid to be sent to Ukraine. After the adoption by the United States of a vast aid plan, the 27 countries of the Union have, in particular, promised to provide ammunition, but above all anti-aircraft defense systems. The Spanish media report that the government of Pedro Sanchez has suffered strong pressure in recent days from the European Union and NATO to donate its anti-aircraft defense systems, the famous Patriot.

Europe therefore agreed on Monday to accelerate the pace in two directions: 155 mm shells for artillery and anti-aircraft defenses. These priorities have been set for months, but the head of European diplomacy, Josep Borrell, now believes that the time for debate is over and that EU member states can and must now decide on new contributions. Several countries hope that American aid will have a ripple effect in Europe.

Germany and the Netherlands, two supporters shown
And this is particularly the case of Germany which is renewing its aid to Ukraine for anti-aircraft defense. Secretary of State for Defense Siemtje Möller reminded Luxembourg that Germany had just decided to send to Ukraine a third battery of Patriot missiles, these American-made missiles held by half a dozen European armies . But if Germany is one of the most supportive countries in terms of aid to Ukraine, there remains an unresolved issue that weighs heavily in the federal political debate, namely the Taurus cruise missiles. Chancellor Olaf Scholz has ruled out the idea of sending them to Ukraine, because they are likely to provoke an escalation that would, according to some, involve Germany in the conflict, since their range of 500 kilometers would make it possible to strike targets in Russia .

Among the support shown for tangible military aid, there is also the Netherlands which is pushing Europe and NATO for new arms deliveries. The Netherlands announced ten days ago to increase their military aid to Ukraine from 2 to 3 billion euros and to put the same amount on the table. The announcement was made by outgoing Prime Minister Mark Rutte, tipped to become the next Secretary General of NATO. The Alliance has become the focus of European mobilization since last week because it was decided to henceforth entrust it with leadership of the Ramstein group, the coalition of around fifty countries engaged in military support for the Ukrainian armies.

Spanish Foreign Minister denies any pressure
According to the Spanish media, it was the Financial Times newspaper which revealed the pressures that the head of the Spanish government, Pedro Sánchez, suffered last week during the summit in Brussels from his Union allies. European and NATO. According to the British daily, some European leaders have personally asked him to transfer part of Spain’s air defense equipment to Ukraine, given that Spain faces no immediate threat to its security.

On Monday, during the meeting held in Luxembourg with the Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Defense of the European Union, the head of Spanish diplomacy, José Manuel Albares, wanted to respond to the rumors and criticism. “Spain has always stood by Ukraine in everything it needed,” he assured. Minister José Manuel Albares therefore assured Spain of support for Ukraine in this war. But he also avoided saying whether the Spanish government would soon deliver Patriot air defense systems to kyiv. Furthermore, José Manuel Albares denied that Spain had received criticism or pressure from the rest of the European Union.

This article is originally published on francetvinfo.fr

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