Robles guarantees that Spain will continue to invest in Defense to reach 2%
The Defense Minister, Margarita Robles, has guaranteed that Spain will continue to invest in Defense to fulfill the Executive’s commitment “without any doubt” to reach 2% of GDP in 2029 and has stated that the 2023 budgets “will lead the way” for years to come. During Robles’ speech at the 68th annual NATO parliamentary assembly held in Madrid and which brings together representatives of partner countries, the minister was emphatic in stating that “Spain will continue to being a serious, rigorous and responsible ally” and it has stressed that it will contribute with “generous” contributions and with increases in Defense and security.
“We do not go to haggle no efforts“He said after advancing that the priority is currently the war in Ukraine and that next week Spain will once again send new Military Supply, The content of which has not been revealed, although it has stressed that the “fundamental” material that is being sent refers to anti-aircraft defenses.
He recalled that today the 36 Ukrainians who have received military training in Almería and that in addition to the four Hawk launchers already sent there are two more committed. “One more supply is coming out this week, which is important, but I cannot say for security reasons,” said Robles, who explained that the effort that Spain is making with Ukraine “is important” although shipments must also be coordinated with the rest of the NATO countries.
Robles has stressed when asked by parliamentarians about the differences with his government coalition partners, Podemos, regarding investment in Defense that “we will never carry out this policy for partisan interests.” He recalled that the current Government has spent four years investing a total of 13,000 million and that next year an investment in Defense of 0.9% of GDP will go from 1.2% thanks to the 26% increase in the 2023 budgets.
“That commitment we will fulfill it“, he said after stressing that there is “progressive planning and the will of the Government is clear and manifested by the president, Pedro Sánchez, without any doubt.” “We cannot let our guard down. On the part of Spain, the support is maximum for the deployment of deterrence material on the borders with Russia and the sending of troops requested by NATO”, he stressed.
Robles has asserted that NATO “is today more necessary than ever” and has demanded a 360-degree vision from the Alliance so as not to forget the southern flank and the Sahel, where it is necessary to “cooperate more strongly”, since the threat to Europe’s security posed by Putin’s war in Ukraine means that that area of Africa is “more and more a focus of threats”.
The minister has also made self-criticism in front of the parliamentary representatives and members of NATO in this Assembly and has recognized that “we can’t be proud of some missions” like the withdrawal of the Alliance in Afghanistan after 20 years of presence. “And how is the country now?, the situation of Afghan women, girls… sometimes NATO has to rethink the missions so that military presence incorporates scenarios so that a country can later develop according to the values that this organization represents.
Values of peace, security, freedom and democracy that he has reiterated during his appearance at this annual Assembly in which he has shown the support of Spain unconditional support for the “bravour” of the people of Ukraine and he recalled that the “only person responsible is Vladimir Putin, who is carrying out a war of particular cruelty and violating all the rules”.
Robles, in addition, has blamed Putin of the missile that recently landed in Poland and has stated “absolutely that the only person responsible for these deaths is Putin. Let’s not try to look for any more explanation“. “Only Putin and this cruel war have been responsible for that missile,” he has settled.
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