Sánchez announces Spain will send weapons to Ukraine but not which ones, how many or when

Analysis: While MPs in Madrid debated the Russian invasion of Ukraine, 2,500 migrants violently rushed over the border fence in Spanish North Africa.
By Matthew Bennett
Mar 02, 2022, 9:11 am


1. Let's go. Spanish parliament debates Russian invasion of Ukraine. Sánchez begins: Putin's actions are “cruel” and “premeditated”, his arguments “fallacious”. He expresses “the pain of the Spanish people” over the loss of life in Ukraine in recent days.

Published: Mar 02, 2022, 9:11 am | On Twitter

2. Sanchez calls the invasion of Ukraine a “massive attack”. Putin has also threatened Sweden and the Baltics, which is an “unacceptable” and “inexplicable” provocation. He contrasts this with the challenges of fighting against the pandemic or climate change.

Published: Mar 02, 2022, 9:13 am | On Twitter

3. Sánchez says Putin fears Europe because of its democratic values. “Putin fears Europe because he fears democracy. That's why he's attacking Europe,” says the Spanish prime minister. It is a struggle a between “liberal democracies and human rights” and “authoritarianism”.

Published: Mar 02, 2022, 9:18 am | On Twitter

4. In Madrid, Sánchez demands Putin release the people he has arbitrarily detained in Russia. Sánchez switches to his achievements during the pandemic against Covid and talks a little about European funds. He says the invasion of Ukraine is now a “defining” crisis.

Published: Mar 02, 2022, 9:22 am | On Twitter

5. Sánchez says the position of the Government of Spain is to contribute money to the European fund, as “the fourth largest donor”. He announces Spain will give Ukraine “offensive military material”. He doesn't specify what type. “Spain is a peace-loving country”.

Published: Mar 02, 2022, 9:24 am | On Twitter

6. Sánchez's announcement on Spanish weapons would represent a u-turn compared to his previous position on the subject, which he confirmed less than 48 hours ago in the interview on TVE. The details are missing. “No to the Iraq war is no to Putin's war,” he says.

Published: Mar 02, 2022, 9:29 am | On Twitter

7. Sanchez says it is “more than likely” there will be an impact on Spanish companies in Russia, exports and imports from Russia and on Russian tourism in Spain. Regarding the energy market: “The impact will be large in our country and in the European economy”.

Published: Mar 02, 2022, 9:37 am | On Twitter

8. Sánchez says the conflict with Putin will last a long time: “Europe will undoubtedly prevail, but we are facing a long crisis.” Europe must strengthen its “strategic autonomy”. He advocates greater European defence integration, alongside NATO.

Published: Mar 02, 2022, 9:39 am | On Twitter

9. What kind of weapons will Spain send to Ukraine? How will the other half of the Spanish government, Podemos and United Left, react now to this 180-degree turn of the socialist, Sánchez, who had confirmed the opposite position just 36 hours ago in his interview on TVE?

Published: Mar 02, 2022, 9:42 am | On Twitter

10. Sánchez's u-turn on Spanish weapons for Ukraine is already a breaking headline on global news wires. Now he needs to specify which weapons and how many of them. The Prime Minister has just announced Spain's new commitment to the world.

Published: Mar 02, 2022, 9:47 am | On Twitter

11. Sánchez says that Spain will call for the activation of European mechanisms for the protection of agriculture due to the consequences of the Russian invasion of Ukraine in the primary sector in Spain.

Published: Mar 02, 2022, 9:56 am | On Twitter

12. “War is never the solution,” says Sánchez, concluding his opening remarks, adding that “we are determined to defend” European values and “the path of international peace and legality” against Putin's path.

Published: Mar 02, 2022, 10:00 am | On Twitter

13. Cuca Gamarra speaks for the PP, since neither Casado nor García Egea are in parliament anymore after leadership crisis. What will the position of this interim PP be? How will they criticise the government? Gamarra starts by condemning the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Published: Mar 02, 2022, 10:10 am | On Twitter

14. Gamarra (PP) says Putin has attacked a “militarily weak” Ukraine but that “Kiev is the heart of Europe”. She asks Sánchez to specify which weapons Spain is going to send to Ukraine: “Do not fail either the people of Ukraine or the people of Spain”.

Published: Mar 02, 2022, 10:10 am | On Twitter

15. The PP demands Sánchez adopt a position for Spain that will see this country regain its rightful position at the international level, “not the one you are condemning us” to with current coaltion partners who are really trying to hide “their belligerence in favor of Putin”.

Published: Mar 02, 2022, 10:14 am | On Twitter

16. Gamarra (PP) praises Borrell's speech yesterday and recommends Sánchez follow his advice on the use of real power in defense of a more united Europe, given Borrell used to be a minister in his government.

Published: Mar 02, 2022, 10:18 am | On Twitter

17. Gamarra says Sánchez has asked for unity and that the PP is willing to work along those lines. An attempt to distance the PSOE from Podemos?

Published: Mar 02, 2022, 10:23 am | On Twitter

18. Abascal (Vox) began by telling the Ukrainian representative, who is in the visitors' gallery, that Spain supports Ukraine “despite the debate” that he will be witnessing today in the chamber. He tells Sanchez that everything he has just said is “absolutely irrelevant”.

Published: Mar 02, 2022, 10:24 am | On Twitter

19. Abascal says Podemos, United Left and Bildu are Putin's international partners. He tells Sánchez that since they are in his coaltion government, they are not “credible” or “respectable” and that creates distrust among Spain's international partners.

Published: Mar 02, 2022, 10:27 am | On Twitter

20. Abascal (Vox) says refugees from Ukraine were not “young men of military age and of Muslim origin who had launched themselves against different European borders in an attempt to destabilise and decolonise it”. Says that Vox and Poland were right.

Published: Mar 02, 2022, 10:33 am | On Twitter

21. The position of Vox and Poland, says Abascal, is that “we must defend our borders, we must defend our sovereignty and we must defend our nations”. He advocates for greater national military, energy and industrial capacity.

Published: Mar 02, 2022, 10:37 am | On Twitter

22. Echenique (Podemos) says “no to war”, that the important thing “is that there should be no deaths, that there should be no suffering” and that Podemos supports the government of Spain, [since they are half of it], “it is our duty to defend peace in this chamber”.

Published: Mar 02, 2022, 10:41 am | On Twitter

23. Echenique (Podemos): “We think that sending arms [...] is a mistake because it is not effective. Many military personnel have told us in private that arming civilians against a professional army is not going to change the balance of forces.”

Published: Mar 02, 2022, 10:43 am | On Twitter

24. Podemos says the two options for an end to the conflict are: “a peace agreement or, hopefully not, with a US-led NATO troop mission, something that would be extremely dangerous and could lead us to a global conflict, but not by arming civil society.” Link

Published: Mar 02, 2022, 10:49 am | On Twitter

25. What does not seem to enter into Podemos's worldview of the Russian invasion of Ukraine is that Putin ends up crushing Ukrainian cities and killing tens of thousands of Ukrainians, as he has already begun to do. Via @RALee85 Link

Published: Mar 02, 2022, 10:54 am | On Twitter

26. Rufian (Esquerra): “Putin is far-right. He is an ultra-nationalist and Putin is a dangerous egomaniac who must be stopped [...] Putin is not a Bolshevik, he is a tsar”. He frames this as an anti-fascist struggle. Rufian recognises the right to self-defense in the UN charter.

Published: Mar 02, 2022, 10:58 am | On Twitter

27. Rufián (ERC): “so there was a rule for the unlimited reception of refugees”. “What is the difference between a dead man in the Mediterranean and a dead man on the streets of Kiev?” “The answer is extremely cruel: now they are blond with blue eyes”. Link

Published: Mar 02, 2022, 11:11 am | On Twitter

28. Bel (PDeCat) is concerned about money and the impact of the Russian invasion of Ukraine on public finances in Spain and, we can imagine, the money that will not now make it to Catalonia.

Published: Mar 02, 2022, 11:21 am | On Twitter

29. Putin has become a geopolitical ideological problem everyone wants to run away from. Errejón (Más País) starts by replying to Vox: “Mr. Putin is one of yours. Mr. Putin belongs to the Hate International, the Bolsonaros, the Trumps and the Le Pens".

Published: Mar 02, 2022, 11:25 am | On Twitter

30. MoD tells me there are no currently no specific details about the weapons the Prime Minister announced this morning that Spain will send to Ukraine. “We will inform [people] of the material that Spain will send to Ukraine in due course”.

Published: Mar 02, 2022, 11:32 am | On Twitter

31. BREAK: Melilla. As MPs in Madrid debate the Russian invasion of Ukraine, there has been a new large immigrant assault on the border fence in the Spanish North African city of Melilla, the southern flank of Spain and Europe. Via @unpolicialocal Link

Published: Mar 02, 2022, 11:53 am | On Twitter

32. AFP, citing the central government office in the Spanish North African city, reports the number of people who have tried to jump over the border fence this morning in Melilla is now 2,500. 500 have succeeded. Link

Published: Mar 02, 2022, 11:56 am | On Twitter

33. Abascal (Vox) demands the government deploy the Army to protect the Spanish North African city: “Morocco has launched thousands of men against our border in Melilla”.

Published: Mar 02, 2022, 12:08 pm | On Twitter

34. Europa Press reports “great violence used by migrants” in Melilla this morning: “they were kitted out with hooks, sticks and screws in their shoes and started to throw stones” to overcome the six-metre-high double border fence. Link

Published: Mar 02, 2022, 12:14 pm | On Twitter

35. @cope_melilla reports the number of people who jumped the fence this morning in Melilla is enough for three queues to get in to the North African city's immigrant centre. Central govt office says 500 people managed to get into Spain like this today. Link

Published: Mar 02, 2022, 12:23 pm | On Twitter

36. Another video of the migrant assault on the Spanish border in the North African city of Melilla this morning. Hundreds of people run across the fields. Via @cope_melilla Link

Published: Mar 02, 2022, 12:29 pm | On Twitter

37. So while in Madrid Sánchez defends, rhetorically for now, his u-turn on sending Spanish weapons to Ukraine, with Podemos in the middle of the coalition government, another migrant crisis has erupted on his southern flank with a new large assault on the border in Melilla.

Published: Mar 02, 2022, 12:34 pm | On Twitter

38. Spanish National Police and Civil Guard officers overwhelmed by the number of migrants in Melilla who suddenly jumped over the border fence this morning. “Get down, down!” , shouts one officer here: “For fuck's sake! Get down!” Via @jucilnacional Link

Published: Mar 02, 2022, 12:39 pm | On Twitter

39. Here is the video of the ovation for the Ukrainian representative at the beginning of this morning's debate in the Spanish parliament in Madrid. Via @Congreso_Es Link

Published: Mar 02, 2022, 1:11 pm | On Twitter

40. There was also a standing ovation for the Ukrainian Ambassador in the British parliament in London this morning. He was also in the visitors' gallery. Via @SkyNews Link

Published: Mar 02, 2022, 1:13 pm | On Twitter

41. Sánchez says that “the government of Spain has tried to be as coherent as possible in this crisis”. He defends Europe's collective response with the fund in contrast to the bilteral Spain-Ukraine option. He again dodges the details of the weapons he says Spain will send.

Published: Mar 02, 2022, 1:19 pm | On Twitter

42. Sanchez says he finds it “sad” that Abascal (Vox) uses a debate on the Russian invasion of Ukraine to articulate a “xenophobic” discourse about different types of immigrants: “xenophobic speech, denial speech”. Abascal and Espinosa de los Monteros laugh.

Published: Mar 02, 2022, 1:26 pm | On Twitter

43. Sánchez says that the European response to the crisis in Ukraine will entail a greater transfer of sovereignty in the area of foreign policy.

Published: Mar 02, 2022, 1:32 pm | On Twitter

44: Sánchez: “Europe's problem is Putin, Europe's problem is not Podemos or Bildu”.

Published: Mar 02, 2022, 1:54 pm | On Twitter

45. Speaker adjourns the session. Debate on the Russian invasion of Ukraine in the Spanish parliament is over. Batet thanks the Ukrainian representative, on behalf of all Spaniards, for coming to parliament and assures him that “your freedom is the freedom of all Europe”.

Published: Mar 02, 2022, 2:50 pm | On Twitter

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