North Atlantic Council


Hugo Murray-Playfair
United Kingdom

Cite as

**Position Paper – Spain: NATO

Reassessing NATO commitments towards Eastern European partners**

With the instability around the world in regions such as the Sahel, the Maghreb and the Levant, one may overlook the threats faced by Eastern Europe. However, the risk posed by a resurgent Russia under President Vladimir Putin will not be lost on Ukraine, the Baltic States, Poland, and others in the region and must not be ignored by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. In fact, Russia can be viewed as one of the few credible state to state threats faced by NATO, following its annexation of the Crimea in 2014 and continued violent Russian separatism in eastern Ukraine. Such a threat must be met by a coordinated, determined, and considered position by NATO so as maintain the integrity of this alliance. 
Spain is a committed member of NATO and has participated in all NATO military operations: Bosnia, Kosovo, Afghanistan and Libya. Close ties within Europe is central to Spanish interests and so any threat posed to a member of NATO’s eastern flank is taken very seriously. International sanctions have made a limited but positive effect in punishing Russia for its aggressive actions towards Ukraine and must be continued to be used as a tool to pressure Russia to conform to the Minsk Agreement and to deescalate the situation, however the negative effects which have been felt by many economies, particularly in Eastern Europe must be addressed and remedied. While roughly 7,000 NATO t...