Outside the coalition government and against the theses of the Second Vice President and Minister of Labor, Yolanda Díaz, the Minister of Social Rights and General Secretary of Podemos, Ione Belarra, has launched a European campaign against the sending of arms to Ukraine agreed within the EU and that Spain also carries out bilaterally. The initiative once again highlights the internal differences within United We Can about the role that the 27 must play in the face of the Russian invasion.
Sánchez's announcement to send weapons to Ukraine divides United We Can
As this newspaper has learned from sources close to Belarra, the leader of Podemos "is working to promote a movement for peace in the face of Putin's aggression against Ukraine." In recent days, Belarra "has intensified contacts with other European forces and movements that are committed to diplomatic channels and dialogue as the only ways to address the conflict" and therefore reject the sending of weapons, a circumstance that has divided United We Can in Spain.
From Podemos they assure that Belarra is working with the Frenchman Jean-Luc Mélenchon (Rebellious France) and with the British Jeremy Corbyn (historic leader of the United Kingdom labor party) to "promote a European movement for Peace".
Belarra, in fact, has recorded a video with Melénchon and will publish another in the next few hours with Corbyn. "The planet can be completely destroyed by a war if we let it spread," says the leader of the French left in the aforementioned video. "The invasion of Ukraine is the exclusive responsibility of the nationalist government of Vladimir Putin in Russia," says Melénchon, before stressing that he recognizes the "right to defence" of the Ukrainians, although he considers that the EU should make a "diplomatic offer radical". "There is no other way than diplomacy to solve this problem", adds the French leader who remarks: "Either diplomacy, or total war". "In the European continent we have already known two world wars, we do not want a third", Melénchon insists.
The differences in United We Can
"It is the moment for politics. Today, when the right and the extreme right throughout Europe are beating the drums of war, many of them trying to hide their links with Putin, it is the moment to say loud and clear that the weapons are silent and that the EU work actively for peace and international mediation. We must redouble, support and accompany the talks that are already taking place between Russia and Ukraine," says Belarra, in the video together with the leader of the French left.
These statements deepen the disagreements about the war within the United We Can, which are limited to whether Spain should send lethal weapons to the Ukrainian resistance bilaterally, as as he announced he would do last Wednesday in Congress, the President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, without having reached a consensus –although he did communicate it previously– with his partner in the Executive and only a few hours after Moncloa assured that he would not do so.
Belarra, the head of Equality, Irene Montero; and the spokesman for Podemos in Congress, Pablo Echenique, have positioned themselves against it. Yolanda Díaz, leaders of En Comú Podem such as Jaume Asens and the Minister of Universities, Joan Subirats, as well as the head of Consumption and leader of IU, Alberto Garzón, on the other hand, have supported him.