A EuroLat president explained why there was no condemnation of Russia: “Geography determines”

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The differences were exposed yesterday at the close of the Euro-Latin American Parliamentary Assembly (EuroLat). Lawmakers from each bloc disagreed to condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, they presented four different resolutions and none ended up being approved.

There have been criticisms, accusations and cross-speculation. The Europeans blamed the Latin Americans for pushing a “soft” resolution. The other party claimed they didn’t understand the point of breaking what appeared to be a voting agreement. Concretely, only a condemnation of Russia was mentioned in the press release published by the co-presidents of the Assembly.

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One of them is Javi López, the highest authority on the European side, who in an exclusive dialogue with TN admitted that from the beginning of the negotiations there were “nuances” on the sanctions and justifies them by explaining that “geography conditions the positions” of the countries. He also slipped in a criticism adding that “some Latin American countries do not apply sanctions”.

– Can you explain the differences between the legislators of the two spaces?

– There are nuances, of course. It is also obvious that geography ends up conditioning positions in the world, you look at the world from a certain place. We feel that the war in Ukraine concerns us very directly, indeed in a few weeks we have received 4 million refugees from Ukraine and it is probable that they will continue if the invasion and the war continue.

Javi López is a Socialist Party MEP and current co-president of EuroLat (EFE Photo/ Juan Ignacio Roncoroni)

– Within this framework, is it not possible to reach a consensus?

– I would say that there is a very clear consensus between the Latin American sphere and the European sphere on the need to respect international law, to condemn unilateral aggression, and it is a consensus that is reflected in the votes in the United Nations. The region supported these sentences.

– So, what are the nuances that exist?

– For example, the sanctions policy of the European Union is different from that of the world. Today the European Union has decided to have a policy of very aggressive sanctions with Russia. Obviously there are nuances on the tools, but the common goal is to have rules that oblige everyone to have multilateral institutions to solve problems and not to use force as a means of solving conflicts.

– Are you saying that Latin American countries do not agree with the application of economic sanctions, as Europe does?

– There are countries in Latin America that do not apply sanctions.

– There are also differences within the European Union, particularly on the issue of energy.

– It is true that within the Council of States these nuances exist very clearly, because life is also different in these countries that are heavily dependent on fossil fuels. We had a very recent vote in the European Parliament where a large majority demanded that we end our dependence on Russian fossil fuels, especially oil.

He was one of those who opened the Assembly and sat next to Cristina Fernández de Kirchner.  (Photo Telam/Mateos Pepe)
He was one of those who opened the Assembly and sat next to Cristina Fernández de Kirchner. (Photo Telam/Mateos Pepe)

– It is as if there were financing…

– Yes. It doesn’t make much sense that you provide military assistance to an attacked country and at the same time pay the aggressor country for its fossil fuels, funding a billion dollars a day. This message was issued by the European Parliament. As well It’s true that it’s not easy to disconnectis a lively debate today within the European Union.

– Does this open the door to move more resolutely towards a green transition?

– Absolutely. This will accelerate the green transition in the European Union. Today, strategic hardware dependencies like this end up becoming vulnerabilities. So let’s say that geopolitics and the green agenda go hand in hand, in this case in the process of decarbonizing our economies and the objectives set for 2050.

– To be precise, will Europe continue to impose sanctions against Russia?

– In the European case, we are convinced that this must be the mechanism. Europe decided not to enter into direct conflict with Russia because it believed it could escalate it and put the world in a very dangerous position. It seems to me a reasonable exercise, which moreover was done in a very short time by political consensus and unanimity of all the States.

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