The West continues to send strong messages to Vladimir Putin. This Friday, on the occasion of the first anniversary of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the European Union (EU) reaffirmed its support for Kiev, highlighted the joint response of the international community to Moscow’s aggression and announced that cooperation will continue until reaching “a just and lasting peace”.
The ambassadors of the Member States of the European Union accredited in Argentina (Germany, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Croatia, Slovenia, Slovakia, Spain, Finland, France, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Sweden) met at the headquarters of the continental bloc in Buenos Aires with the Chargé d’Affaires of Ukraine -Sergiy Nebrat- and with the Heads of Mission of the G7 and related countries, such as Australia, Georgia and Norway, to condemn the “unjustified” Russian invasion.
During a conference in which he participated infobae, Amador Sánchez Rico, ambassador of the European Union in Argentina, said that the EU and its partners work together to achieve “peace” in Ukraine. But he clarified: “Obviously we are appealing for peace, but we are appealing for a just peace, a lasting peace, a comprehensive peace, which is what the United Nations voted for. And to win that peace, you have to win the war.”
In this sense, he contradicted those who maintain that to end the armed conflict, it is necessary to stop assisting Kiev: “It is the other way around, much more must be given to Ukraine and much faster so that this ends as soon as possible. Because it is a Putin war, totally illegal. All we want is for Ukraine to prevail, to survive, a democratic, sovereign Ukraine, with all its territorial integrity; a Ukraine that expels the invader, and the rules-based international order prevails.”
Regarding the 12 months of war, the Spanish diplomat considered that the most important thing is “to see what has not happened, and what many predicted would happen”. In this regard, he recalled that many thought that the Russian military incursion would last two days: “And here we are, with a series of defeats on all fronts for President Putin.”
“They also predicted that the European Union was not going to be sufficiently united to face what is happening. We are closer than ever. They predicted that the European Union was not going to be united with its transatlantic partners and we are here to prove the contrary”, he added.
He also valued the resistance of the Ukrainian Army, maintaining that “it is braver than ever.”
Sánchez Rico maintained that, in addition to the lack of results on the battlefield, Russia reaped diplomatic failureslike the vote on Thursday in the UN General Assembly, where Moscow received 141 votes against, and just 5 in favor.
In his pronouncement, he also highlighted the Western sanctions policy. As he pointed out, These measures “are having the effects we wanted”: “Russia’s trade and economic deficit has never been higher. Russia is 50% dependent on EU technology; At the moment, 80% of its car and aircraft factories are without capacity”.
Yamauchi Hiroshi, Japan’s ambassador to Argentina, spoke on behalf of the G7, since the Asian country has the pro-tempore presidency of the forum, and warned that Ukraine’s partners will continue to impose sanctions against the Russian Federation “to counter their illegal attempts to alter the status of the Ukrainian territory”. He also recalled that the international community faced the disinformation campaigns promoted by the Kremlin, and accused Moscow of having used energy and food “as weapons, causing suffering in the world population.”
“The G7 and international partners have supported Ukraine through regional, bilateral, multilateral actions. We pledge to continue to provide financial, military, humanitarian, and development assistance as necessary. And we reaffirm our full support for the comprehensive territorial independence and sovereignty of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders; and their rights to defend themselves against Russian aggression and regain full control of their territory,” he added.
Sergiy NebratFor his part, he said that “today is a sad day” and stated that Putin’s intention from the moment he started the invasion is “destroy the whole country, occupy the whole territory and think about a new empire”: “We fought in an anti-colonial war”. Along these lines, Sánchez Rico opined that the head of the Kremlin is “moved by eager neocolonialist imperialist aspirations.”
The threat of a military alliance between China and Russia
Asked by this means if Putin seeks to involve the Asian giant in the war in Ukraine, Nebrat said that Kremlin chief ‘seeks all allies, not just China’: “To North Korea, Iran… It is well known that he used Iranian Shaheed 136 drones against Ukraine, killing children and women.”
“About China I can say, in my opinion, that it is unreasonable to be at war with Russia. China has very good economic relations with all the countries of the world. War would complicate that,” she added.
And concluded: “In my opinion, China is not going to be at war. We are going to work together with everyone so that this does not happen”.
The position of Latin America and Argentina before Putin’s war
The Japanese ambassador in Argentina urged all countries that support an international order – “including Argentina” – to Demand that the Russian Federation “cease this flagrant violation of international law and be held accountable.”
Nebrat acknowledged that in the first months of the Russian invasion the Ukrainian government “hoped for more support” from Argentina, but highlighted and thanked the subsequent humanitarian aid sent by Buenos Aires, and the votes in favor of Kiev in international organizations: “In the first months we expected more support from the Argentine government. Now I can say that we are satisfied with the humanitarian aid. With the help of chancery and white helmets. We have 12 items of humanitarian aid. Voting in favor of our resolutions is also very important for Argentina. We will do more to end this terrible Russian war as quickly as possible.”
The charge d’affaires in the country affirmed that the arrival of an ambassador to the country will strengthen bilateral relations between the two nations: “We are going to work together with Argentina to end this war.”
Asked about Latin America’s response to the Russian invasion, Sánchez Rico stressed that “it is the region that has most practically unanimously condemned the invasion in multilateral forums.” “Just look at the voting patterns and compare them with other continents. Just look at yesterday’s vote at the UN, where it is the only part of the world where everyone has voted against Russia, with some exceptional abstentions.”
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