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Minister Robles stresses "unwavering unity" in support of Ukraine at NATO Defense Ministers' Meeting

​The Minister for Defense, Margarita Robles, attended the Defense Ministerial Meeting held at NATO Headquarters in Brussels.

October 13, 2022

At the meeting, the Alliance once again expressed its "unwavering unity" in support of Ukraine, and followed up on the progress of key measures adopted at the Madrid Summit related to strengthening the Allied military stance.

In what was their first meeting after the June meeting in the Spanish capital and during a session devoted to Deterrence and Defense, the allied ministers - together with Sweden and Finland as invited guests - discussed issues such as the future concept of Allied Command and Control, increased investment in capabilities and industry, technological innovation, resilience and the new NATO Force Model. They also held a first exchange of positions on the orientations to be contained in the future Alliance's Policy Guide 2023.

"This was a key meeting that once again underlined the seamless unity of all NATO countries, that we are standing by Ukraine, and that what is happening is unacceptable from all points of view", she said. "Putin's threats cannot be tolerated in any way and he will always find NATO united in its support for Ukraine".

Ministers discussed the implications of the war in Ukraine for Allied security from the perspective of defense industry and international cooperation, to support certain needs of the Ukrainian Armed Forces and to expeditiously supplement national inventories and stockpiles, which are affected by substantial Allied donations.

At the first meeting on Thursday, the need to "stand together" in protecting critical infrastructures was raised. "We know that Russia may be tempted, as it has already been, to attack these infrastructures and that worries us", said Robles.

In this regard, the Spanish Defense Minister said that it is very important to continue supplying all materials to Ukraine, for which "we are calling on each of the countries to call on the industries that currently have to supply materials so that they can speed up production as much as possible".

In her speech, Robles paid tribute to the Armed Forces and the people of Ukraine for their heroic resistance, and praised the solidarity, cohesion and resilience shown by all Allies through the reinforcement of the Eastern flank.

She also highlighted the efforts that allies are making in favor of resilience and innovation, while maintaining solidarity and assistance to the country under attack.

According to Robles, "cohesion in NATO will become increasingly crucial, so it is vital that allied planning is done in a realistic and sustainable manner", and that it "responds both to the responsibility of maintaining a secure eastern flank and to the security challenges and threats from all directions, with particular reference also to those from the South".

Spain reiterates its commitment to the Alliance

The latest session, which was attended by the European Union's High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell, dealt with Alliance operations and missions, with a special focus on those in the Western Balkans, in the maritime domain and in Iraq.

The Defense Minister reiterated Spain's commitment to the Alliance's missions, which is very visible in the significant reinforcement of the land, sea and air contribution to the security of the eastern flank.

With regard to Iraq, which Robles considered a critical anchorage area in the Middle East, she underlined Spain's commitment to the country and its intention to maintain a balanced contribution between NATO's Mission in Iraq (NMI) and the Coalition's anti-Daesh Operation "Inherent Resolve".

She also stressed the importance of improving knowledge and control of the maritime security situation, with special reference to the Mediterranean Sea, reiterating Spain's support for the Permanent Naval Forces and NATO's maritime operation against terrorism 'Sea Guardian', in which Spain always plays a key role.

Training for Ukrainian forces

The fringes of the ministerial meeting allowed the Spanish delegation to present the wide range of training opportunities that the new Spanish offer represents to the Ukrainian Defense Minister, Oleksii Reznikov.

The offer is open to be developed both bilaterally, as is currently the case with the training of Ukrainian military personnel in Zaragoza in the operation of the "Aspide" anti-aircraft missile battery, and as part of the future EUMAM mission of the European Union, which is expected to be approved on 17 October.

Spain will continue to contribute materials to help defend Ukraine against Putin's vicious attacks.




Original statement from La Moncloa (Spanish Presidency)