By Chris King •
Updated: 23 Jan 2023 • 20:15
Jose Manuel Albares, the Foreign Minister of Spain, today, Monday, January 23, distanced his country from Poland’s proposal to create a coalition to supply leopard tanks to Ukraine. He appealed for unity among EU members when adopting a decision on the supply of these battle tanks.
Yesterday, Polish Prime Minister, Mateusz Morawiecki criticised the German government’s delay in agreeing to deliver the Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine. He threatened to create a ‘smaller coalition’ which would go ahead and supply the hardware anyway, without Germany’s involvement.
Speaking after a meeting of EU Foreign Ministers held in Brussels, the minister explained: “It is what Spain wants, that there are no issues that can be divisive because we can break the unity that is fundamental at this time. And, secondly, because that would not be effective for Ukraine”.
Avoiding any direct criticism of Warsaw or Berlin, Alabares continued: “Aerating alleged divisions, when at the moment all Europeans are united in support of Ukraine, does not help Ukraine at all, and does not make Ukraine’s task any easier. Because unity is a very important part of how Ukraine and Europe come together, they are facing the challenge of Vladimir Putin”.
Alabares also showed the need for “discretion” and “reserve” in order not to give any details about how many Leopard 2 tanks Spain could send to Ukraine if in the end there is an agreement in the EU that includes Germany, as reported by elespanol.es.
“We have made it clear that we have to support Ukraine militarily in everything it needs, at all times, to safeguard its independence and its sovereignty”, he limited himself to pointing out.
He insisted: “Spain perfectly understands the different national sensibilities, the different histories of each one of the countries. And of course, Spain is not going to contribute to delving into debates that are sterile for the defence of Ukraine. It will always find us in debates that reinforce the unity”.
During today’s meeting, the 27 foreign ministers approved the release of a new tranche of €500 million from the EU budget to finance the delivery of military material to Ukraine. Since the outbreak of the war, the EU has already allocated €3.6 billion from the Peace Support Fund to arm the Kyiv government.
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Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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