The crisis in Ukraine reaches Congress amid criticism of the PP | Spain

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The crisis in Ukraine reaches Congress amid criticism of the PP | Spain
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Pedro Sánchez, on Saturday during the round of diplomatic talks on the situation in Ukraine.
Pedro Sánchez, on Saturday during the round of diplomatic talks on the situation in Ukraine.BORJA PUIG DE LA BELLACASA (EFE)

Foreign policy has again become, this time with the threat of an invasion of Ukraine by Russia, a major issue in domestic politics. The Foreign Minister, José Manuel Albares, has requested to appear urgently at his own request in Congress “before the extraordinary situation” that is developing in Eastern Europe. The head of diplomacy wants to explain the Spanish position in the geopolitical crisis, as well as the conclusions of the Council of Foreign Ministers that is being held this Monday in Brussels, according to ministerial sources. This Tuesday is the only day that Albares can go to Parliament: on Wednesday he will accompany the King to the inauguration of the new president of Honduras, Xiomara Castro, and will not return until Friday.

Meanwhile, Pedro Sánchez has multiplied his contacts this weekend with other international leaders and has exchanged criteria with the Secretary General of NATO, Jens Stoltenberg, and the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen. The President of the Government has conveyed to the head of the Atlantic Alliance his commitment to dialogue and his confidence that diplomacy is the path to de-escalation, according to government sources. Sánchez has reiterated Spain’s commitment to NATO and the security of Europe. The two leaders discussed the preparations for the next summit in June in Spain. Stoltenberg thanked Spain for the “vital contributions” to the organization’s missions, with a specific mention of the deployment of the frigate Blas de Lezo. “We are united, ready to defend each other and ready for dialogue,” said the Secretary General of the Alliance on social networks.

The President of the Government also spoke with the President of the European Commission, with whom he agreed on the importance of the unity of the EU in resolving the crisis. Both have shared, according to the Government, that the EU is prepared for all eventualities. Sánchez planned to contact the Prime Minister of Latvia, Arturs Krišjānis Kariņš, in the afternoon to analyze the latest events.

Pablo Casado has taken advantage of the discrepancies between the PSOE and United We Can about sending Spanish troops to Eastern Europe, within the NATO strategy in the face of a possible conflict, to demand a “clear position” from the Sánchez Executive. “Half measures on a conflict as serious as the one that is now being experienced are not worth it (…). And it is not worth that some say the opposite of the decisions made by the Government”, sentenced the leader of the opposition.

The criticism of Pablo Iglesias against the PSOE, focused on the Minister of Defense, Margarita Robles, for the response to the crisis in Ukraine has brought to the surface the differences that the coalition government maintains over one of the most sensitive and considered ministries of State. And Casado wanted to highlight them to convey the feeling of misrule within the Executive.

Sánchez, are you going to put order in your government so that they stop insulting your Minister of Defense and stop saying that what you have decided on Ukraine is nonsense? Who rules your government, you or Yolanda Díaz? Who rules in the governability of Spain, you or Pablo Iglesias? ”, The president of the PP urged in an intervention in Palencia.

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The former Second Vice President of the Government and former Secretary General of Podemos accused Robles on Saturday of treating the Spanish as “fools” for their “militaristic brilliance” and justifying NATO’s role in the geopolitical crisis. Spain, which plays a very active role in the Alliance with troops deployed in the former Soviet Baltic republics, will send four fighters to Bulgaria in February to reinforce NATO’s dissuasion. In addition, the Blas de Lezo frigate has already set sail from the Ferrol naval base (A Coruña), advancing its integration into the NATO SNMG-2 escort fleet by three weeks. The forecast is that it will patrol the waters of the Black Sea, an area now of maximum tension.

“We have heard the Minister of Defense say something that PSOE voters do not believe, that NATO was born to defend peace, the LGTBI community, human rights, democracy, public health,” Iglesias charged. Podemos, Izquierda Unida, En Comú Podem, Alianza Verde, EH Bildu, BNG, Compromís, Más País and the CUP expressed on Friday in a joint manifesto their “deep concern” about the increase in military tension between the US and Russia and rejected “frontally any threat or military aggression against a sovereign State, as well as the sending of Spanish troops to the Black Sea and Bulgaria within the framework of NATO.” Albares had to go out and remind United We Can that foreign policy is marked by the president. Ukraine focused most of the minister’s meeting on Tuesday with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Washington.

Casado, who, unlike United We Can, transferred support to the Government on Friday as a “State position” in the Ukraine crisis, already reproached the lack of unity of the Executive and asked it to act “as a single Government.” This Sunday he has gone much further when he has affirmed that Sánchez had been in favor of eliminating the Ministry of Defense: “Do you still think that it should be abolished? Rubbishy? I say it now that you want to host a NATO summit, you should clarify it (…) We think that it is worth a lot. It is valid to guarantee the security of all Spaniards but it is also valid to participate in peace operations and safeguard the freedoms of other citizens of the world”. In the Government they consider Casado’s allusions taken out of context. To the question of “what Ministry is left over and what budget is missing” in an interview in The world On October 4, 2014, months after being elected secretary general of the PSOE, Sánchez replied: “There is a need for more budget against poverty, gender violence… And there is plenty of the Ministry of Defense.”

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