The President of the Government of Spain defends the need to show the world the unity and cohesion of the NATO Allies

President's News - 2022.6.29

Madrid Trade Fair and Exhibiton Center (IFEMA) , Madrid

During the meeting, the 30 North Atlantic Treaty Organisation Allies discussed the war situation in Ukraine following Russia's invasion and approved the 'Madrid Strategic Concept'.

The Allies have shown their interest in continued support for Ukraine. During the meeting, the President of Ukraine, Volodymir Zelensky, spoke by videoconference, recounting to the leaders the latest details of the situation in his country four months after the invasion that began Russia's war. He also expressed the hope that next year he would again be invited to the Summit and that he would be able to take part in person.

The President of the Government of Spain, after listening to Zelenski, stressed that the war in Ukraine is an existential challenge for all of us and we must stay aware of this. Sánchez also stressed that the people of Ukraine have shown impressive resolve for the values enshrined in the Washington Treaty that define us as free societies: their struggle for democracy, individual freedom and the rule of law. The President stressed that Ukraine's borders are today, more than ever, our borders.

Spain, a country committed to Ukraine

Spain has joined the condemnation of Russia from the outset, supporting the sanctions packages approved within the European Union and providing bilateral humanitarian and military aid.

In humanitarian aid, Spain has approved the largest humanitarian aid package in its history for a single country, endowed with €31 million, of which €23 million are for Ukraine and the other €8 million are for neighbouring countries that have been affected by the war. Our country has granted temporary protection to more than 124,000 people from Ukraine. Spain is also sending more than 400 tons of military equipment and contributes around €200 million to the EU's European Peace Facility.

In this regard, the President has pinpointed Spain's commitment to strengthening NATO's deterrence and defence posture on the Eastern Flank. Spain has deployed 14 fighters to Bulgaria and Lithuania and will deploy to Estonia in September. Our country has also deployed four warships in the Mediterranean and we maintain 600 ground troops in Latvia, as well as the presence of a 'Patriot' battery in Türkiye.

As Sánchez stressed, reinforcing the Eastern Flank is a priority that is compatible with the need to have a 360º security approach and, to this effect, he specified that the threats coming from the South are increasingly "Russian threats".

Madrid Strategic Concept

The first document endorsed by the 30 heads of state or government is the 'Madrid Strategic Concept', a document that will serve as a guide for the future of the organisation and which replaces the current one, dating from 2010. The text identifies Russia as "the most direct and significant threat" to the security of the transatlantic area and highlights the "challenge" posed by China to NATO's interests and values.

With respect to the Southern Flank, the new paper notes that NATO's southern neighbourhood, in particular the Middle East, North Africa and the Sahel regions, "face demographic, economic, political and security challenges" compounded by the impact of climate change, fragile institutions, health emergencies and insecurity, "providing fertile ground for the proliferation of non-state organisations, armed groups and terrorist organisations".

The 'Madrid Strategic Concept' notes that NATO is indispensable to Euro-Atlantic security, guaranteeing peace, freedom and prosperity, and adds the commitment of the 30 Allies to "remain united in defending our security, values, and democratic way of life".

The President concluded his first address to the Atlantic Alliance Council by stating his conviction that, in these days' meetings, "we have shown that we are living up to the expectations placed on this Summit. The world is watching us. Let us show them our unity and cohesion.

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