THE SPANISH government announced on Wednesday that it will send Leopard tanks to Ukraine to help in its defense against Russia, now that Germany has agreed to do the same.
The Socialist Party-led administration has reportedly been waiting for a pan-European deal to supply the country with military equipment, which will help it combat Russia’s tank firepower.
At a working breakfast organized today by Europa Press, the Minister of the Presidency, Félix Bolaños, said: “Of course we will support our partners in NATO and the EU because unity is what gives the answer.” [to Russia] fortress.’
He added that the operation is being carried out in ‘coordination’ with the allied countries, but did not specify how many units would be sent from Spain.
For her part, Defense Minister Margarita Robles told the EFE news agency that Spain is prepared to send Leopard tanks to Ukraine and train Ukrainian fighters in their use.
The decision to send more military material to Ukraine – Spain began supplying material 11 months ago, when the Russian invasion began – will not be debated in the Lower House of Parliament, the Congress of Deputies.
The junior partner of the Socialists in the coalition government, the leftist United We Can, has already expressed its rejection of the plan, which, it assures, will only lead to an “escalation of the conflict.”
It could also, the party added, provoke an “unpredictable and dangerous” response from Russia, given that it is a nuclear power.
The central government lacks an active majority in parliament, which means it must rely on the votes of smaller parties to pass legislation.
Two of these groups, Esquerra Republicana Catalana (ERC) and the Basque nationalist party EH Bildu, have today called for the measure to be debated in Congress before it becomes a reality.
“It is the basis of democracy,” said ERC spokesman Gabriel Rufian. ‘A decision of this importance should go through Congress.’