We should be more assertive in foreign policy amidst Russian propaganda
I wanted to echo the words of the Chairman of Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada, Ruslan Stefanchuk, from this morning. He asked all of us to be united, to speak with a single voice. This is something that I completely agree with.
But let us consider whether we are doing the utmost, whether we are really doing everything that we can. In my country, Spain, there is political support for helping Ukraine across the political spectrum. Both the party in government and other political parties, including my own, are in favour of providing additional support to Ukraine as it fights the illegal invasion by Russia.
Most of the members of parliament represented at the Second Parliamentary Summit of the International Crimea Platform today, mostly from the EU, but not only, have expressed warmth along the lines of Putin being the enemy of international law and the international rule-based system. There is no doubt about that. We can see it both in Ukraine, and we can see it in Western democracies that are being attacked via social networks, or even personally. The Putin regime is attacking politicians who believe in democracy.
But let us not only look at Europe. Let’s look at other countries. Are they as united as we are? Perhaps it’s a huge challenge for us to ensure they join in.
We had a G20 parliamentary meeting not so long ago, and the representative of the Russian Duma spoke. She was one of the speakers. She was asking to take the floor after the Europeans. Europeans were saying that Russia is waging an illegal war of aggression in Ukraine, while the president of the Duma countered that it’s not true, that Ukraine is killing its own children, that it is bombing its own citizens, and that the fact that Africa is running out of cereal is the European Union’s fault, it’s not Russia’s fault. Now, of course, it’s a pack of lies. But many international delegations applauded her.
So, colleagues, that makes me wonder. We may be united here in Europe, but perhaps we should be more assertive in our foreign policy, spreading our narrative of what goes on in Ukraine elsewhere. Russian propaganda is very fierce. Let’s face it.
The speech of Javier Maroto, Deputy President of the Senate of Spain, at the Second Parliamentary Summit of the Crimean Platform, Prague, Czech Republic, October 24, 2023.