Spanish prime minister Pedro Sánchez told the Nato parliamentary assembly annual meeting in Madrid on Monday morning, 21 November, that the Atlantic Alliance needs to play a firm and rational leading role in bringing the “absurd and cruel” conflict in Ukraine to an end.
Describing it as an “illegal and unjust” aggression by Vladimir Putin, he said it had been a direct attack on the security of the European Union and the multilateral structure constructed during decades.
“It would be good if between all of us we told Putin to leave Ukraine in peace, respect its national sovereignty and its ability to decide its own future,” he said, and he also committed Spain to maintaining military and humanitarian support for Ukraine “until it is free”.
Sánchez reiterated that this was not a case of Nato being against the Russian people, who are also suffering the consequences of the war, but against “Putin’s autocracy”, his “sinister will” to destroy Ukraine and cause the deaths of innocent victims in his cruel headlong rush forwards.
“We know that Ukraine will resist, we know the world order will prevail and we know the ways to achieve that are through standing firm, a just response to provocation, and unity” he said.
He also explained that in the nine months since the Russian invasion, Spain has provided 38 million euros in direct aid to Ukraine and had taken 135,000 Ukrainian refugees, of which 35,000 are children and are now attending schools here. In military terms, as well as sending material for defence, the European training centre has now been set up in Toledo and has received the first Ukrainian soldiers aged between 19 and 40.