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Montevideo, May 19th 2022 - 19:01 UTC

 

 

Ukrainian crisis tops agenda in Fernández-Sánchez meeting in Madrid

Tuesday, May 10th 2022 - 19:55 UTC
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Cafiero denied Sánchez had asked Fernández to apply economic sanctions against Russia Cafiero denied Sánchez had asked Fernández to apply economic sanctions against Russia

Argentine President Alberto Fernández Tuesday met in Madrid with Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez on the first day of his European tour which will also include encounters with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and French President Emmanuel Macron.

Topping the list of items reviewed by both heads of government was the armed conflict between Russia and Ukraine.

“Meeting with President @alferdez, with whom I have noted his empathy for the situation we are experiencing in Europe. Spain and Argentina strongly condemn Russia's invasion of Ukraine and show our full respect for international legality and multilateral order,” wrote Sánchez on Twitter.

“A fruitful and warm meeting with @sanchezcastejon, president of Spain. We shared our views on the difficult moment in the world due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the humanitarian crisis, and the economic consequences,” Fernández replied on the same social media.

Argentine Foreign Minister Santiago Cafiero had warned that “Argentina has always had a position of de-escalating the conflict before the war started, after the ceasefire, and after the condemnation. It is a Latin American approach to seek peaceful and dialogued solutions.”

Cafiero also denied Sánchez had asked Fernández to join in applying economic sanctions against Russia.

The Argentine delegation also thanked Spain for its support “in the Malvinas issue”, according to Cafiero, who together with his Spanish counterpart José Manuel Albares Bueno also took part in the bilateral meeting at the Moncloa Palace, which lasted for over an hour. “We were grateful for Spain's support for the UK to return to the negotiating table,” Cafiero stressed.

Sánchez congratulated Fernández on the agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and highlighted Spain's role in making that deal possible. Spain helped make “European countries aware of Argentina's need to reach a good agreement.”

Regarding Argentina's slow economic growth, President Fernándezz explained that “there is a distribution problem that we have to keep on attacking,” while INDEC's report on April's inflation is still to be released Thursday.

The Argentine President was keen on food security. “Alberto said that we had to pay attention to ensure that everyone has access to food,” Cafiero explained. He also admitted Sánchez explored the opportunity to find in Argentina another source of “strategic supplies, fertilizers, and energy,” which Fernández was more than willing to offer due to its “vocation to be a stable and secure supplier of food and energy at this time of so much uncertainty.”

The Argentine leader also praised the work being done with the “Néstor Kirchner” gas pipeline from Vaca Muerta which “will allow Argentina to be self-sufficient in energy” and also probably export some liquefied natural gas.

In his role as president pro tempore of Celac, Fernández agreed with Sánchez to join efforts to try to reactivate the link between that organization and the European Union, when the Spaniard takes the helm of the EU next year.

It was the fourth meeting between Fernández and Sánchez since he took office in December of 2019. They first met last May in Madrid, then a month later in Buenos Aires, then in October at the G20 Summit in Rome.

Sánchez was affected Tuesday by a domestic scandal involving National Intelligence Center Chief Paz Esteban, who was targeted after the spying on the phones of Sanchez himself and Catalan pro-independence leaders became known.

Later in the day, Fernández had a meeting with King Felipe VI at the Zarzuela Palace.

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