Spain warns NATO of Russia's growing influence in Africa
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The Spanish Minister of Defence, Margarita Robles, returned this Saturday to warn NATO allies that Russia is expanding on the African continent, something that the war in Ukraine cannot make us forget.

“Russia is invading Ukraine, but it is expanding in Africa and we must all be aware of that”, said the minister, in Madrid, in a speech at the 68th annual session of the Parliamentary Assembly of NATO (Treaty Organization of the North Atlantic, the defense alliance between European and North American countries).

Margarida Robles stated that Russia “is finding a perfect field of expansion” in Africa, with its own Armed Forces and through the Wagner company (considered a private paramilitary group).

“Any void left by Europe or NATO in Africa is being perfectly used by Russia”, he insisted.

Margarita Robles, in line with what the Spanish authorities have been warning about, drew attention, in particular, to the Sahel region, with the installation of terrorist groups and human trafficking.

Spain, like other countries in southern Europe, including Portugal, have drawn attention to these challenges and threats from the “southern flank” (Middle East and North Africa), related to illegal immigration flows and terrorist movements, claiming that NATO do not ignore them despite the protagonism assumed by Eastern Europe, with the war in Ukraine.

At the NATO summit that also took place in Madrid, in June, the Atlantic Alliance defined a new strategic concept, the document that defines the organization’s actions and options for ten years, in which the need for a “360 degrees” approach was recognized. .

The document defined Russia as the greatest and most direct threat to the countries of the organization.

This year’s session of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, in Madrid, ends on Monday and, according to the official program, will reaffirm solidarity with Ukraine and emphasize the commitment to the defense of all 30 countries of the organization.

One of the speeches scheduled for the plenary of the 68th annual session of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, on Monday, is by the President of Ukraine, via videoconference.

Among other topics to be addressed by the delegates is the Indo-Pacific region, the strengthening of the Euro-Atlantic relationship, terrorism, and the issue of migration and refugees.

The NATO Parliamentary Assembly comprises 269 deputies from the 30 countries of the Alliance and another 100 members from partner states.

The Portuguese delegation comprises seven deputies: Marcos Perestrello, Joana Sá Pereira, Dora Brandão and Diogo Leão, from the PS, and Olga Silvestre, António Prôa and Adão Silva, from the PSD, being chaired by the latter.

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