Germany has added Finland and 13 NATO countries to its anti-missile shield project, among which Spain is not found because, according to Defense Minister Margarita Robles, it has not been invited. “When the proposal is made, we will study it,” said Robles in Brussels, where she has gone for a meeting with the defense ministers of the Atlantic Alliance.
What is the “European anti-missile shield” proposed by Germany and what implications does it have
In this context, the defense ministers of Belgium, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, Slovakia, Slovenia, Romania and the United Kingdom have joined the German initiative to create an anti-missile shield. Countries further from central and eastern Europe, such as Spain, France, Portugal or Italy, have not done so.
Thus, they have signed a letter of intent for the development of a European Sky Shield Initiative. Spearheaded by Germany, the initiative aims to create a European air defense system through the joint purchase of air defense equipment and missiles by European countries. “This will strengthen NATO’s Integrated Air and Missile Defense,” says the Atlantic Alliance.
“This commitment is even more crucial today, as we witness Russia’s ruthless and indiscriminate missile attacks on Ukraine, killing civilians and destroying critical infrastructure. In this context, I welcome Germany’s leadership in launching the European Sky Shield Initiative,” said NATO Deputy Secretary General Mircea Geoană, adding: “The new assets, fully interoperable and seamlessly integrated within NATO’s air and missile defense would significantly enhance our ability to defend the Alliance from all air and missile threats.”
According to Robles, “this is a decision by Germany that is being debated unilaterally. [si bien este jueves lo han firmado 14 países más]. Spain is collaborating with Germany on several projects, but in this specific case we understand that our participation in the NATO anti-missile shield is appropriate, without prejudice to the fact that later, if an express request arrives that has not been made to us by Germany , we would take care of it”.
Spain sends more anti-aircraft defenses to Ukraine
“We had a bilateral meeting the other day with Germany and that issue was not raised with us,” says Robles before an initiative signed by 15 countries: “It has not been formally raised with Spain.”
Of course, Spain “has announced today [por este jueves] a new installment of [cuatro] HAWK anti-aircraft defense launchers” for Ukraine, as reported by the NATO Secretary General, Jens Stoltenberg, after Robles had appeared before the press without communicating that news and, therefore, avoiding being questioned about it.
However, the German ambassador assured in Cadena Ser that there are “low level” “conversations” for the participation of Spain.
“The terrible indiscriminate attacks on Ukrainian cities, civilians killed, critical civilian infrastructure destroyed and, not least, attacks on energy infrastructure, are serious as we approach winter,” the Norwegian had said upon arrival. to the meeting at NATO headquarters on Wednesday: “All this shows the urgent need for more anti-aircraft defense for Ukraine. We need different types of anti-aircraft defense: short-range, long-range, ballistic missile systems, cruise missiles, drones, different systems for different tasks. And then, of course, Ukraine is a big country, it’s a lot of cities, so we need to be able to help Ukraine defend even more cities and more territory against horrific Russian attacks on civilians.”
“Remote use of nuclear weapons”
The NATO secretary general has also stated that the use of nuclear weapons by the Atlantic Alliance in response to a hypothetical Russian nuclear attack on Ukraine is “remote”.
This same Thursday morning, the head of European diplomacy, Josep Borrell, said: “Any nuclear attack against Ukraine would provoke a response, not a nuclear one, but a military response so powerful that the Russian army will be annihilated. Putin cannot afford to bluff. It has to be made clear that those of us who support Ukraine, the EU and its member states, the US and NATO are not bluffing either.”
“The fundamental purpose of NATO nuclear deterrence is to preserve peace, deter aggression and prevent coercion against NATO allies,” Stoltenberg has said: “The circumstances in which NATO might have to use nuclear weapons are extremely remote. Russia’s nuclear rhetoric is dangerous, reckless, and they know that if they use nuclear weapons against Ukraine, there will be serious consequences. And they also know that a nuclear war cannot be won and should never be fought.”
According to the Secretary General of NATO, “there will be serious consequences if Russia uses nuclear weapons, any kind of nuclear weapon, against Ukraine. And this is something that Russia knows, something that the NATO allies have communicated to it in different ways. And we won’t go into exactly how we’ll respond. But of course this will fundamentally change the nature of the conflict. It will mean that a very important line has been crossed.”
Stoltenberg explained that NATO members will continue to deliver “ammunition, weapons and also, of course, air defense systems, partly to protect their forces, critical infrastructure, but also to protect civilians. I trust that the Ukrainian commanders know how to use the different air defense systems that we are delivering. In recent days we are having announcements and deliveries from countries like the United States; Germany, which has just announced that it has delivered a highly advanced air defense system; or Spain, which announced today [por este jueves] a new delivery of HAWK air defense launchers; and France that has announced more anti-aircraft defense to Ukraine, as well as the Netherlands and many other countries”.