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Russia's invasion of Ukraine direct attack on EU; over one lakh Ukrainian refugees in Spain: PM Sanchez

Russia's invasion of Ukraine direct attack on EU; over one lakh Ukrainian refugees in Spain: PM Sanchez

Published:24 May 2022

Spain's Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez on Tuesday said Russia's invasion of Ukraine is also a direct attack on the European Union (EU) and Europe must walk together going ahead.

Davos | Spain's Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez on Tuesday said Russia's invasion of Ukraine is also a direct attack on the European Union (EU) and Europe must walk together going ahead.

He also said that Spain is now hosting more than 100,000 Ukrainian refugees.

In a special address at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2022, the Spanish leader said he was still a teenager when the Berlin wall fell and the Soviet Union collapsed.

"The decade that followed was defined by Francis Fukuyama's thesis on the end of history: liberal democracy and the market economy had prevailed, and there was no way back. That's how my generation grew up: thinking that economic growth, interconnectedness, freedom of thought and speech and human progress were just as predictable as they were inevitable," he said.

Now, in 2022, we know well that liberal democracy does not come naturally and it requires considerable effort and nurturing, he noted.

"As I speak here to you today, Ukrainians are fighting for freedom and democracy -- not just theirs, but also ours. We never thought that we would see again such horrifying images of bombings and massacres on European soil. Names like Bucha or Mariupol have become synonyms of barbarity and war crimes that cannot go unpunished," Sanchez said.

He said "this illegal, irrational and unjust war" is causing suffering and despair in Ukraine and beyond.

"We are witnessing the largest human exodus since World War II, with over 6 million people fleeing the country and a further 8 million internally displaced. But this is not just a local, or even a European conflict: this is a major international crisis, with consequences for all of us, regardless of where we come from," he added.

He also said that the Russian invasion of Ukraine has triggered an unprecedented global food crisis with dramatic consequences for the most vulnerable countries, individuals and families.

He said Spain is committed to do its part and assured his country's support for Ukraine and its resolve in helping ensure that Putin does not achieve his goals.

"Spain has once again set an example of solidarity. Ukraine can be rest assured that we will welcome Ukrainian refugees in our country, now totalling well over 100,000, for as long as needed.

"We will also continue to back, as we have done so far, the toughest sanctions against the Putin regime, and providing humanitarian aid and assistance to Ukraine," he said.

"Make no mistake: Putin's brutal aggression against Ukraine is also a direct attack on the European Union (EU) and all it represents. By responding with unity and determination, the EU is not only defending the basic principles of the international order: it is preserving the very values that underpin it since its foundation," Sanchez said.


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