Friday, March 31

Publisher | More help for Ukraine

The presence in kyiv of the Prime Minister, Pedro Sánchez, entails a Greater involvement of Spain in the triple general strategy of the EU: to help Ukraine militarily and with the reception of refugees, to contain Russia and to threaten to bring before the International Criminal Court (ICC) those responsible for the war crimes committed by the invading power. There is no specific novelty in the step taken by Sánchez, but the confirmation that European solidarity with the attacked country goes beyond the usual declarations of condemnation, the door is ajar for Ukraine to join the EU and there is the conviction that the sanctions program will palpably weaken the Russian economy.

The shipment of 200 tons of military material and 40 armored vehicles –the largest Spanish contribution to the war effort–, the disbursement of 31 million in humanitarian aid, the decision that 39 forensic experts and eight specialists from the Ministry of the Interior collaborate with the ICC to gather evidence against Vladimir Putin and his entourage, and the reopening of the embassy in kyiv are measures of a practical and symbolic nature similar to those adopted by other European partners, proportional in any case to the fact that Spain is the fourth largest economy in the EU. None of them should stress the government coalition in view of the many hells experienced by the Ukrainian population, the multiplication of mass graves and the latest attack on the city of Mariupol, under siege. If any member of the government continues to harbor doubts about the need to provide Ukraine with defense means, it is because they are insensitive to the damage report that arrives from the battlefield at all hours.

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There is no other way to break the space of comfort that Putin has sought, Russian public opinion anesthetized by censorship and propaganda, which making it as difficult as possible to achieve your current objective: culminate the occupation of Donbas and present it as the culmination of the “special military operation” launched on February 24. That is Putin’s goal after almost two months of fighting and once the Kremlin has verified the failure of the blitzkrieg dreamI am the replacement of the Government of Volodimir Zelensky by another puppet. That is the reason why Ukraine needs permanent help from the United States – another 800 million dollars announced yesterday – and from the Europeans, to prevent the Russian president from scoring a victory, whether or not it is certain. Accounting for the damage that would be caused to the aggressor if gas and oil imports were canceled is little more than a theoretical exercise: the energy dependence of countries like Germany and Hungary is too great for the disengagement to have immediate effects without damaging the unity of European action, which the strategists in Moscow never believed possible.

Military aid to Ukraine and the approved sanctions is, for the time being, the only realistic way to wear down Putin; bringing him before the ICC along with some of his generals and henchmen is objectively impossible. The Russian regime is an autocracy with the opposition in jail or in exile and, in the immediate term, even with its damaged economy, it has resources – the strategic alliance with China – to resist the punishment of a part of the international community. For this reason, although Sánchez, after going to Borodianka, has expressed his desire that war crimes not go unpunished, it is inevitable to remember that, for the moment, the Kremlin walls are impregnable.

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