Politics Spain champions military support for Ukraine in the face of doubts in the EU

The Government was determined to do the rest

Politics Spain champions military support for Ukraine in the face of doubts in the EU

The Government was determined to do the rest. Granada is the "great milestone" of the Spanish Presidency of the Council of the EU. The showcase. The picture. The message. An event that has been in preparation for months and that has had in the presence of Volodimir Zelenski the icing on the cake that La Moncloa was looking for. Fifty European delegations, including the highest representatives of Brussels, in a complex moment for Europe, and a decision: to lead military support to Ukraine in the face of doubts - with a new shipment of six Hawk missile launchers - and the rejection of some countries like Poland and Slovakia, which break the image of the unity of Europe, which until now was the backbone of the decisions.

Wearing his usual military green outfit, Zelensky set foot on Spanish soil for the first time early on Thursday morning. He had never been to Spain. Not even when he was not yet the top leader of Ukraine. Firm, determined step. Always escorted. And a clear message that resonated in the Nasrid city and the member and non-member countries of the EU present there: "The first challenge that we all have is to protect unity in Europe, and I am not talking only about the EU countries but of the entire Europe". A call that hints at the fear that political strength or decision will begin to falter.

Zelensky is not only concerned that the pro-Russian current could gain pawns in Europe, but also the situation in the United States. He defined it as the "political storm" in the United States that questions support for his country. The Ukrainian president is fighting not to be left without the support of his two lungs against Russia now that winter is approaching and warns that Putin is "freezing" his offensive to rearm.

If until now the unity of Europe in the face of Russia's invasion of Ukraine has been the dominant tone, the movements of countries like Poland and Slovakia open a waterway that the main locomotives seek to plug, fearing that it could get worse. Just a few days ago, Poland already announced that it will not send more weapons to Ukraine. It will comply with the "already agreed upon" deliveries, but will not add new ones.

This same Thursday, the president of Slovakia, Zuzana Caputova, who had always expressed herself as a defender of military support for Ukraine, found it necessary to stand up and reject the sending of more weapons to this country. The reason? That the winner of the elections that have just been held in the country, Robert Fico, rejects these contributions.

Faced with these doubts, Spain decided to pick up the gauntlet thrown by Zelensky. And he wanted to raise the flag of military support. Lead by example. The Ukrainian leader held a bilateral meeting with Sánchez that lasted half an hour. An appointment in which both addressed the new military aid package that Ukraine is expected to receive, which includes additional air defense, artillery and anti-drone systems capabilities.

This request - the "importance for Ukraine of having a defensive shield for the winter" - and the knowledge this Thursday of at least 51 deaths in a Russian bombing in Groza, a town in the Kharkiv region, reinforced Spain's position to become, in these moments, an example that scares away doubts.

Government sources explained that after the conversations held with President Zelensky throughout the day - therefore not only in the bilateral meeting - the Government of Spain decided to make six Hawk launchers available to Ukraine to face possible Russian bombings. against civilian targets, critical infrastructure as well as for the defense of the new grain corridor. Added to this is the promise of two armored ambulances and a new contribution of 1.5 million euros for demining.

This new commitment made by Sánchez seeks, according to government sources, to help Ukraine defend its critical infrastructure. "The commitment is to maintain military and humanitarian aid to the extent possible," these sources add. "The key for us, especially before winter, is to strengthen air defense and there is already a basis for new agreements with partners. We are preparing to confirm and implement them," was Zelensky's plea.

In his role as host and before the members of the European Union and those who aspire to be part of it, Sánchez wanted to send a conciliatory message to his star guest: "Despite the enormous distance, even physical, that separates us, our vocation of unity in the face of Russian aggression is even stronger. A declaration of intentions when some cracks emerge and that found the support of the President of France, Emmanuel Macron, who at the end of the day was quite explicit: "We have no right to feel fatigue."

Dotting the i's, and putting aside tensions and debates for a few hours, the summit, as happened with the NATO summit in Madrid, has left some dream images with the reception at the Alhambra. Sánchez and his wife, Begoña Gómez, have been receiving all the leaders in the Patio de los Arrayanes. Looks of astonishment, walks, selfies between different leaders, Josep Borrell, high representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, immortalizing every corner, relaxed conversations...

Before the official dinner there was also time for the King to have a meeting with Zelensky. The Monarch, since the war with Russia began, has defended "the importance of maintaining unity of action with our partners and allies" and has censured the "illegal and brutal" Russian invasion.

Felipe VI has defended that Europe, as has happened "in recent decades", unite around "common values" such as "the aspiration for true peace, not based on the strength of one actor, but on the free consent of all." , large and small" or "around an aspiration for true democracy, as the system that best respects our diversity, both within our borders and throughout our continent."

The leaders' dinner was at the Parador de Granada located next to the Alhambra and had a cost of almost 140,000 euros. The menu was the work of chef Paco Morales, whose company, Pamoga Gastro, was awarded the contract for the event by the Ministry of the Presidency after a negotiated procedure without publicity, Europa Press reported.