5 Oct, 2022 @ 15:52
1 min read

German ambassador claims her country is in talks with Spain to create a ‘European missile shield’

Missile attacks in Ukraine
The aftermath of Russian missile attacks in Ukraine earlier this year.

THE German ambassador to Spain, María Margarete Gosse, has stated that there are conversations between the two countries to create a European missile shield. The claim, which was made during an interview on the Cadena SER radio network, came just a day before Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez was due to meet with his opposite number, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, in Spain’s Galicia region. 

According to Gosse, there are “low level” conversations between the two countries for Spain to form part of a multilateral defence system among European Union countries that would be led by Germany. According to stories published in Spanish dailies El País and El Confidencial, Germany is negotiating a plan for a shield that would allow for a more efficient and cheaper defence system. 

The German secretary of state for defence, Thomas Hitschler, visited Spain last week and discussed the initiative with senior Defence Ministry officials, various sources confirmed to El País.

However, sources from the Spanish government told Cadena SER that there had been no such offer and denied that Spain “had received any proposal or communication in that respect”. 

The Russian invasion of Ukraine has prompted Germany to revise its defence systems, and the country has concluded that it needs to urgently improve protection against the threat of ballistic missiles. 

Olaf Scholz, Bundeskanzler, Deutschland, Berlin, Bildtermin Bei Der Begrüßung Des Präsidenten Der Französischen Republik
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in a recent file photo. Cordon Press

Geographically, Spain is far from the current conflict between Ukraine and Russia. But if, as El País reports, Germany plans to integrate a defence system within NATO, the naval base in Rota, Cádiz province, will be of key importance given that the alliance has a component of its missile shield there. 

The bilateral meeting taking place today between the Spanish and German leaders is expected to cover the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, as well as the energy crisis and the political and social situation in Europe. 

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Simon Hunter

Simon Hunter has been living in Madrid since the year 2000 and has worked as a journalist and translator practically since he arrived. For 16 years he was at the English Edition of Spanish daily EL PAÍS, editing the site from 2014 to 2022, and is currently one of the Spain reporters at The Times. He is also a voice actor, and can be heard telling passengers to "mind the gap" on Spain's AVLO high-speed trains.

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