The Spanish Foreign Minister, Jose Manuel Albaresvisited Kiev on Wednesday to show Spanish support for Ukraine in the crisis with Russia and insisted that “it’s time for diplomacy“.
“We work in the scenario that any difference is resolved through dialoguea dialogue that gives way to de-escalation, and for that a de-escalation is necessary at this time”, Albares declared at the joint press conference with his Ukrainian counterpart, Dmytro Kuleba.
“That’s the path we took. It is the time for diplomacy, it is not the time to open scenarios and hypotheses that are not there“, Albares insisted when asked about the possibility of Spain selling weapons to Ukraine, as the United States and some European countries are doing on their own initiative.
“There is also a scenario of deterrence, and the EU and Spain, as a supportive party, have approved a package of massive economic measures. But we are in the time of diplomacy and dialogueand we think that all the conditions are met for this to be the way to redirect the crisis”, argued the Spanish minister.
Albares has framed his visit in the “diplomatic efforts” that these weeks are being carried out, guided, as he has said, by the principles of “dialogue, de-escalation, relaxation, and if necessary, dissuasion”.
The Spanish minister’s visit to Kiev follows that of other European ministers and leaders to the Ukrainian capital, and comes after the tour of the French president Emmanuel Macron, who has met with the presidents of Russia, Vladimir Putin, and Ukraine, Volodimir Zelenski. Macron assured that had identified possible “solutions” to “advance” the negotiations.
Dissuasive, “non-preventive” sanctions
Within that dissuasion is where Albares has placed the threat of a package of sanctions against Russia. “It’s part of a scenario that we do not want, that is not inevitable, but for which we are also prepared together”.
The minister has made it clear that “this is not the situation we find ourselves in” at the moment.
“They are dissuasive sanctions, not preventive. Our objective, and we believe it is feasible, is to find solutions to protect the security of all European states while safeguarding the principles on which international law is based: sovereignty, territorial integrity of states and the prohibition of the use or threat of use of force,” he stressed.
Ukraine believes that the EU should have already imposed sanctions on Russia
For his part, the Ukrainian Foreign Minister, Dmytro Kulebathanked Albares for his visit and Spain’s support and expressed his confidence that “only Europe’s unity and containment” will stop a hypothetical Russian aggression.
Kuleba welcomed the fact that the US and the EU have announced that a Russian aggression will be met with sanctions and thanked Spain “for its willingness to support said sanctions”.
“However – he added – in recent years Russia has violated the norms of international law and has failed to comply with the Minsk agreements, for which it should be punished”.
“For example, it is a clear violation of the Minsk agreements the mass handover of Russian passports to Ukrainian citizens in the temporarily occupied territories of Donetsk and Luhansk. And for these actions could have been adopted, before or now, certain measures, sanctions to demonstrate the determination to carry out severe actionss,” Kuleba concluded.