In a meeting with President Joe Biden, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez plans to advocate for more weight to be given to the opinions of non-NATO countries, such as Brazil and China, on the conflict in Ukraine. This move follows Madrid’s mediation efforts in the Ukrainian conflict, taking advantage of its close ties with Latin American countries and more conciliatory relations with Beijing. While Madrid agrees with Washington’s stance on the illegality of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the Spanish government believes that the views of non-NATO countries that are also affected by the war should also be considered.
Sanchez’s recent visits to Beijing and meetings with Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva have provided an opportunity for him to understand the positions of these non-NATO countries on the Ukrainian conflict. China, an ally of Russia, has advocated for an alternative peace plan that differs from the one proposed by NATO allies. Lula’s controversial statements on ending the conflict in Ukraine were not supported by Sanchez, as he sought to distance himself from them.
The Spanish Government’s Role in Resolving the Ukrainian Conflict
The Spanish government has been working towards resolving the Ukrainian conflict by positioning itself as a mediator due to its close ties with Latin American countries and its more conciliatory stance towards Beijing. Spain recognizes the illegality of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and supports arming Ukrainian forces, as per Washington’s stance. However, Madrid believes that non-NATO countries, such as Brazil and China, should also have a say in the resolution of the conflict.
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Sanchez’s recent visit to Beijing and his meeting with Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva provided him with insights into the positions of non-NATO countries on the Ukrainian conflict. Madrid hopes to convey these views to President Biden during their meeting and suggests that more weight be given to the opinions of non-NATO countries that are also affected by the conflict.
The Significance of “Open Strategic Autonomy”
Spain’s concept of “open strategic autonomy” is a central policy of its upcoming EU presidency, aimed at reducing the “vulnerability” of Europe. It seeks to achieve this by expanding Europe’s economic sovereignty and promoting strategic partnerships with non-EU countries, particularly in areas of technology and energy.
The Spanish government believes that Europe needs to secure reliable sources of raw materials and energy and to match the green subsidies announced by the Biden administration under the Inflation Reduction Act. The production or procurement of microchips and semiconductors and the exploitation of rare earth minerals from Latin America are potential areas of cooperation that will be discussed during the meeting between the two leaders.
Implications for the Biden Administration
Sanchez’s meeting with Biden comes at a time when Europe is seeking to bolster its domestic industries and secure reliable sources of raw materials and energy. The Biden administration’s recent announcement of green subsidies under the Inflation Reduction Act has put pressure on Europe to match these incentives. In this regard, Spain’s concept of “open strategic autonomy” could provide a basis for cooperation between Europe and the US in areas of technology and energy.
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Moreover, Sanchez’s suggestion that non-NATO countries be given more weight in the resolution of the Ukrainian conflict could help to broaden the perspective on the issue. It could also help to bring about a more comprehensive resolution that takes into account the views of countries that are directly affected by the conflict.
The convergence of Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez and President Joe Biden in their upcoming White House meeting piques curiosity in the realm of international diplomacy. With the Ukrainian conflict as a focal point, Sanchez aims to emphasize the significance of non-NATO countries, such as Brazil and China, in shaping the discourse surrounding this intricate issue. Madrid’s alignment with Washington on the illegitimacy of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the necessity of empowering Ukrainian forces resonates firmly. Nevertheless, Spain’s deft diplomatic approach, facilitated by its close associations with Latin American nations and its conciliatory rapport with Beijing, provides a unique vantage point. As the discussion unfolds, the dissemination of the varied perspectives from Beijing and Brazil shall be pondered, alongside the proposition to bestow greater weight upon the opinions of non-NATO countries, all while traversing the corridors of power. This summit of minds, to be etched in the annals of international relations, garners the attention of the discerning global community, both within and beyond the confines of Google News.