By Anna Ellis • 14 June 2022 • 16:43
Obama in Malaga: "Putin is a threat to European democracy ". CC/Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0
He described Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as “a wake-up call” for European stability and considered Russian President Vladimir Putin “a threat to European democracy”.
Obama, who recalled in his speech the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Spanish Civil War and the Cold War, said that there is now an area of peace and democracy which, with the invasion of Ukraine, there is an attempt to destabilise. “What Putin is doing, imposing himself on a small country in this way, is to flout democratic norms”, he warned.
He stressed that in order to win the battle of ideas between democracy and authoritarianism, it is necessary to “create an inclusive capitalism that reduces inequalities”. In this way, he invited citizens and the new generations not to forget the past, and to “look at what is happening in Ukraine and Russia, but also to look at ourselves”.
Obama then pointed out that “sometimes there is a mentality that nations do not matter”, but he assured that people “need a sense of belonging”, which, as he stressed, should be “healthy, without creating enemies and without expelling others”.
Obama wanted to acknowledge the solidarity of the whole of Europe, including Spain, with the Ukrainian people. In fact, he alluded to the Obama Foundation, which he heads with his wife, and which seeks to create a network of committed young people.
In the case of Ukraine, he highlighted the collaboration of activists from his organisation in facilitating the communication of leaders between countries.
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