We can keep the pulse with the PSOE for the crisis in Ukraine. The Minister of Social Rights and the 2030 Agenda, Ione Belarra, sent a proposal to the Foreign Ministry this Friday with 16 measures to promote a “peace agenda” and “guarantee” a de-escalation of the conflict “from dialogue and diplomacy”. The person in charge of the 2030 Agenda asks to assume, “within the framework of the dialogue and European solution to the crisis for which the coalition government is betting”, the mandate of said Agenda for peace.
Belarra’s proposal comes after the Minister of Foreign Affairs, José Manuel Albares, recalled on January 21 that it is President Pedro Sánchez who directs the Executive’s foreign policy after several senior officials from United We Can express their opposition to the sending of troops announced by the Minister of Defense, Margarita Robles, Belarra reminds the Socialists of the resolution signed by Spain: “We are committed to promoting peaceful, fair and inclusive societies that are free from fear and violence. There can be no sustainable development without peace, and no peace without sustainable development”.
Among the proposals sent to Foreign Affairs, Social Rights advocates the “mutually agreed withdrawal” of the troops mobilized in recent days, guaranteeing the “prohibition” of the sale of weapons and war material in cases of conflict and human rights violations, and reinforcing and “Streamline” the reception processes for asylum seekers in Spain and the EU. According to Belarra’s ministry, these ideas are “inspired” by the “spirit” of the government agreement between PSOE and United We Can,
In a statement provided to the media, Belarra considers that after the escalation of tension in Eastern Europe at the beginning of the year, the crisis “has entered a new, even more dangerous phase”, and warns of the risk that “any incident could trigger a military conflict between nuclear powers. The Minister and the Secretary of State for the 2030 Agenda, Enrique Santiago, met met the same Friday morning with groups and associations that work for peace.
In the field of diplomacy, among the proposed measures, Belarra advocates “strengthening” all multilateral mechanisms, such as the Normandy Quartet —Germany, France, Russia and Ukraine—, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) or the UN, and diplomatic channels to resolve the conflict at the dialogue table and “not by sending troops and threatening sanctions.” “The recognition of Ukraine’s national sovereignty will not prevent Spain and the EU partners from ceasing to promote NATO’s expansion to the East,” warns the text sent to the media.
The Minsk Agreements
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The United We Can sector in the Executive defends “promoting respect and full compliance” with the Minsk agreements, a pact on the conflict in Ukraine signed in 2015 by Germany, France, Russia and Ukraine to alleviate the war in Donbas, the region eastern Ukraine under the control of pro-Russian rebels. On this basis, Belarra asks “to ensure compliance with the ceasefire and the withdrawal of troops from the area; proceed with the prisoner exchange; guarantee humanitarian aid to victims, displaced persons and vulnerable persons; and ensure safe access for the OSCE Special Mission to fulfill its mandate to promote peace, stability and security”.
Social Rights also calls for “implementing” the community discussions on the strategic autonomy of the EU, that is, adopting an “independent foreign action strategy” and “promoting” the architecture of treaties on military aspects in Europe, supporting the negotiations to the return of Russia and the US to the treaties they abandoned, such as the Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty and the Open Skies Treaty.
In another of the sections, the ministry claims to promote the energy transition of the EU. Regarding the model of international relations, Belarra advocates “promoting” with Ukraine a “non-aligned status” that allows the full sovereignty of that country; promoting a European conference on “detente” in the East with the participation of all the actors in the region; and work for denuclearization by “supporting” the negotiations between the nuclear powers to prevent their deployment in Europe and the international efforts for the abolition of nuclear weapons, including the signing of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), agreed between the PSOE and United We Can in 2018, and the control of lethal autonomous weapons systems.
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.