The Government of Pedro Sánchez does not intend to send weapons to Ukraine, as European countries such as Germany have announced. The material that leaves Spain directly will be humanitarian and defensive (such as helmets or bulletproof vests), but the "offensive" material will be channeled through the EU's European peace support fund. The twenty-seven agreed this weekend that 500 million euros of that fund be allocated to finance Ukraine: 450 of them will be for weapons and another 50 for humanitarian material.
"As we are witnessing a threat to the security and values and principles that the EU represents, we have to propose a European response," the president said in an interview on RTVE in which Carlos Franganillo asked him if he would make the "gesture" what other European countries have done with Ukraine by sending weapons outside the agreements reached in Brussels. "We are making the gesture with humanitarian aid and defensive material and we are going to do the offensive through this mechanism," replied Sánchez, who recalled that Spain is the fourth country that contributes the most to that fund that has been used until now for missions abroad "related to the formation and training of military units".
Sánchez has ignored the question about the different sensitivities within the Government regarding the response to the Russian invasion after Podemos has questioned the arms aid for Ukraine and has referred to the fact that the "origin of the conflict" is that Valdimir Putin "does not accepts the EU" since it "experiences as a threat" the "consolidation of democracy". "What Putin would like is, approaching political, economic and fake newstry to separate and divide the EU and the opposite has been found: it has been blunt, resounding, forceful in the response", added Sánchez, who has recognized that not only "the territorial integrity of Ukraine is at stake but the security of Europe and the European project".
Despite the strong support for Ukraine and the recognition of its "European vocation", Sánchez has ruled out that its entry into the EU will take place in the short term after the president, Volodímir Zelenski, has signed this Monday the official request for entry. "When a country wants to be a member of the EU there is a process, requirements, reforms that have to be put in place. It is a long procedure," explained Sánchez, who has assumed that "the debate" is going to take place, although he has admitted that there are different positions in the member states. "He is one of us and we want him with us," said the president of the European Commission, Ursula Von der Layen, on Sunday. "The EU already has a strategic association with Ukraine and the eastern partnership," added the president, who pointed out that these mechanisms are already being put into operation.
At a time when EU countries are preparing for an avalanche of refugees, Sánchez has announced that the regularization of Ukrainians in Spain will be facilitated in such a way that temporary visas will be extended and granted so that "they can live legally or work legally. "That they can access education or health as just another citizen," she summarized. Moncloa sources specify that it is intended to "guarantee the legal permanence of all people of Ukrainian nationality in our country", which translates into residence and work permits.
Sánchez considers that Putin has made a "strategic mistake" by thinking that the EU was going to divide while he has shown a common position in all the answers he has been giving in recent days. And he has been especially confident that the harsh economic sanctions - to which a traditionally neutral country like Switzerland has joined - will have their effect. The president has specified that these sanctions will remain in place until Putin withdraws troops from Ukrainian territory. "All of Ukraine", he has reiterated it.
It has also taken advantage of this plea for unity within the twenty-seven to claim it at the state level at a time when the Government is aware that the sanctions against Russia will have an effect on the rest of the economies. "Yes, as we are seeing, we are all united in the sanctions, we must unite in terms of the economic responses that we have to articulate at the domestic level," said the socialist, who has acknowledged that they have to talk to "economic agents to see, among all, what should be the answer?