Manu Pineda (Malaga, 1965) is IU MEP and Head of International PCE, an organization participating in the NATO Summit Alternative Summit to be held in Madrid this week. The United Left, born out of a mobilization against the Atlantic Alliance in 1986, continues to defend the end of the Cold War-era military organization, which now faces political and military rearmament four months after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
“We are the people of peace,” said the IU MEP. “Then there is no point in having an organization that is waging wars around the world and defending the interests of big international corporations and the United States.”
However, NATO seems to be experiencing a moment of political and military rearmament.
We always choose a world based on peace, respect, sovereignty, respect for human rights. NATO is the opposite. At the convening of the Madrid Summit, we began to work at both the national and international levels to organize an alternative summit, a summit for peace, for life and for the rights of peoples. And, of course, I oppose the militaristic escalation and NATO enlargement that this summit will lead to. This will not be the next meeting, but the reform of NATO, the removal of the corset of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, so that countries like Colombia, Israel and other countries that have never been distinguished by respect for human rights.
Not so long ago, the President of France, Emmanuel Macron, spoke with existential suspicions about a dead organization in the brain. But after the Ukraine war seems to have regained power, Finland and Sweden are demanding membership and increasing military spending.
I believe that Putin made a great gift to NATO. This was not only a desirable but also a forced scenario for NATO. Macron was diagnosed with brain death in NATO during Trump’s presidency. And now they were able to fulfill the prophecy of the invasion of Ukraine. Unfortunately, he created the resurrection of NATO, the strengthening of NATO.
We have the example of Finland and Sweden. But also the fact that the governments of NATO member states, such as the government of Pedro Sanchez, have already decided to increase the military budget to 2% to a level that looks outrageous in a country that is not at war.
We are not at war, but we are sending troops with our taxes: we have missions in 17 countries, six of them established by NATO. When military spending is 2%, it will be four times more than, for example, spent on education. Where does this increase in military spending come from? It will be deprived of social items that, in our view, guarantee the safety of Spanish citizens.
The best way to be safe is not to spend too much on military work, but do not become a nuisance to your neighbors. If we are bothering Russia all day, bothering Algeria, then it is normal that we should invest in military spending to protect ourselves. We are looking for other types of relations with peoples, friendly and fraternal political and diplomatic relations, if possible.
In addition to NATO rearmament, there is talk of a European defense strategy, with more military spending, in addition to sending weapons to Ukraine through the instrument of peace.
We are not talking about gaining autonomy, but about strengthening NATO complementarity, because the United States and NATO are not accelerating enough. We argue that a military structure is not necessary. The EU should not bet on a belligerent, militaristic element. The EU, in our view, is on the diametrically opposite path. We now have a clear example of the war in Ukraine, where instead of playing the role of a bridge, a peacemaker, committed to dialogue, negotiation, what the EU is doing is the policy of the United States, asking for millions of euros in arms and sending weapons to prolong the war.
The goal that the EU is pursuing is not to seek peace, but to stagnate Russia in a sunken war, in war, if possible, for as long as possible to protect the interests not of European citizens but of the United States. The United States, which has decided that Russia and China are its systemic enemies.
We do not bet on the EU military instrument, for more military spending. We are ready to activate and strengthen diplomatic channels, political channels for conflict resolution. But is the role that the EU is playing with the United States when it comes to protecting their interests instead of our interests, imposing sanctions on Russia like they do, which do not affect Putin at all, and it affects us. Citizens.
They are betting on policies that are not what we need, that are very good for the United States arms, energy and primary sectors, but that are sinking our people. We have an EU that works in the opposite direction to the quality of life of the most popular strata of our population.
Josep Borrell, the head of European diplomacy in the European Parliament, once accused him of making peace at any cost. Is that so? Do they want peace at all costs with the fragmentation of Ukraine, along with part of Russia?
We want peace. Peace is not at any cost. Peace is the goal. The EU has the mechanisms, the resources, the means to be able to play a role that promotes peace. I think everyone here knows that no people will win this war. We are already seeing how the Ukrainian people are suffering from this war, as well as the Russians, based on sanctions and interference. I stand for peace that helps the Ukrainian and Russian peoples. Eventually peace will be the result of negotiations, but neither Zelensky, nor the European Union, nor the United States will win this war on the ground in the purely military sphere.
Putin, who has had a very difficult internal situation and is president thanks to fraud, enjoys the fact that when you have a war and an external enemy, the country becomes cohesive. In the political sphere, internally, war is going to win over Putin; In the army, everything points to this. What we do not know in six months or six years and the longer it lasts, the more they will affect not only the Ukrainian and Russian people, but all of us.
In the political arena, NATO is winning, while NATO used to be considered brain dead, but now there is a revival. Now countries that have always been neutral are queuing up to join NATO because the idea has been established that only NATO can protect you from Putin’s military action, which is going to go and eat countries like Hitler did. This is the scenario we have.
We understand that instead of adding oil to the fire, in order for it to last forever, the EU must play the role of negotiator, forcing the parties to sit down, seek agreements, an agreement that is likely to imply the loss of territorial unity. Ukraine. But there are cities like Donbass that have been systematically bombed by the Ukrainian army since 2014, attacked by Ukrainian Nazi gangs and who have little sympathy for the Ukrainian government.
They were chosen as the Crimea of that time, they were no longer Ukrainians. We have to see if this is the solution, but the solution can not be to add fuel to the fire, to give more weapons to Ukraine, which are supplied to the gangs without any institutional control. We already have similar experiences in Syria, for example, when the United States and its environs, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Turkey were arming jihadists to overthrow Bashar al-Assad.
In the end, the weapons are used by jihadists. When the ceasefire was reached, who was going to disarm these gangs? And I’m afraid that unfortunately they will carry out attacks on our land and we may find ourselves in situations like 11 in Madrid. When you feed fascist gangs the way they feed in Ukraine, it turns out you are arming battalions that are not hiding there because they claim Stepan Bandera is a national hero who was a Nazi responsible for killing thousands of people. Mr. Borrell also needs to think about what will happen the day after the agreement is signed.
The IU was born from the mobilization of the movement against NATO and is now holding the NATO Summit in Madrid, under the IU Government. How do you experience this resistance, being a born-in party against NATO and belonging to the government that is organizing the NATO summit?
In a very uncomfortable situation for us. In the governmental agreement with the PSOE, we have no capabilities in the field of defense, neither in the field of foreign affairs, nor, of course, in the field of interior or economy. These are decisions made by the socialist part of the government and which we oppose, but obviously it is considering not doing what the right-wingers are asking the Ukrainian defense minister to do: we are not going to leave the government for that. The reason we are obviously going to oppose it is because it is the backbone for us and we are going to continue to pursue a policy of peace and respectful relations based on mutual benefit with peoples.
But it is true, it creates a surprisingly uncomfortable situation for us. It is not just the peak, because the peak comes and passes. We have several milestones, such as approving some budgets, in which military spending is rising and this will lead to tensions. We have a very difficult scenario ahead of us, but I believe we are going to continue to take consistent action, not be co-responsible for the decisions made by others and oppose them in all areas where this is impossible. We oppose the government, the Congress of Deputies and the streets and oppose the alternative of war and death summit.
Source: El Diario