The Cibeles Palace and Fountain lit up central Madrid last night, Friday 25th February, in support of Ukraine as Russian tanks advance on her capital, Kiev.
The attack has been sharply condemned by governments across the world, including Spain’s which issued a strongly worded communique.
The Spanish Prime Minister, Pedro Sanchez, attended the European Council´s heads of state meeting which agreed a series of punitive sanctions against Russia following the invasion of Ukraine which started in the early hours of Thursday 24th February.
Sanchez said that “the situation is very serious. This is a flagrant violation of international law that we cannot accept”.
The Spanish Embassy in Kiev is still functioning and believes that there are still around 200 Spaniards in the country.
The EU’s heads of council of the 27 nation states agreed “additional restrictive measures,” with the aim of having “strong and massive effects against the Russian economy”.
The measures include “restrictive measures that will further reduce the financing capacity of Russian public and private institutions, limiting movements, transactions and deposits and establishing strict export controls, in particular on dual-use and technological equipment”.
“This aggression is a frontal attack on European principles and values that opens a crisis of multiple dimensions. Today, we European leaders have reaffirmed our common commitment to confront this clear violation of the international order,” said the Spanish Prime Minister.
— Telemadrid (@telemadrid) February 25, 2022
The economic impact of the conflict on Spain is likely to be mild with relatively small with Russian exports to Spain less than 400 million Euros and Spain exports – mostly travel related – worth 1.2 billion Euros in 2019.
However, there could be a larger impact should Russian gas and energy supplies to Europe be reduced or even cut off.
According to Spain’s Strategic Reserves Corporation, in 2021 Spain imported 10.5 percent of its natural gas from Russia compared to 44 percent from Algeria.
Any disruption could have a knock-on effect on energy prices which have already risen by 46% for electricity, diesel by 25% and 23% for petrol.
Yesterday, Friday 25th February, the price of Brent oil reached $103 a barrel for the first time since 2014.
Trade with the Ukraine is centred on agriculture – representing nearly half of all maize and grain imports to Spain, in addition to 60% of sunflower oil and 31% of vegetable oil.