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Spanish prime minister Pedro Sánchez urged the European Union on Thursday to "come to the aid" of Ukraine after Russia launched a generalised invasion of the country starting before dawn this morning. In an institutional statement from the Moncloa government palace, the head of the Spanish executive condemned the decisions taken by Vladimir Putin, and said that the Russian leader had "breached international peace." "The facts are grave, but simple: a nuclear power has violated international law and invaded a country and threatened retaliation to those countries that come to its aid," said Sánchez; he stated that the invasion was a "frontal attack on the countries and the values ​​of peace that have provided Europe with years of stability and prosperity."

In the face of this, Sánchez argued that the West must respond to Russia. "Today, two paths open up before Spain and Europe: that of peace and that of international legality, and that of illegitimate force." According to the Spanish prime minister, the choice "is tough but simple". "We are a union committed to peace," he said. The Spanish president also addressed the Russian president directly, calling on him to "put an end to his attacks and meet his commitments." "To put it simply, we ask that you comply with international law," he added. Sánchez also said that in recent days Spain and other EU members have been trying to prevent what has happened in the last few hours from taking place: an invasion of Ukraine by Russia. "We will not accept any unjust aggression and will denounce any breach of international law," he said.


As well, Sánchez predicted that the conflict that has started in the last few hours will not only affect diplomatic relations between Russia and the West, but will also have consequences for the "energy markets". The Spanish PM admitted that Europe and Spain will suffer these consequences, but promised that his executive "will take the necessary measures" to mitigate their effects. However, he warned that there would be an "economic impact".

Sánchez also wanted to give a message of support to Spanish citizens who are currently in Ukraine, and said that the embassies in those geographical areas are working to ensure that as many Spaniards as possible can leave the country. "The government will attend to and provide assistance to Spanish citizens who are still in Ukraine," he said. The Spanish PM also added that the European Union now has an "opportunity" to demonstrate the "unity" that, according to him, has already been demonstrated during the management of the Covid pandemic.