Spain releases 2 million barrels of oil to support Ukrainian army – EURACTIV.com
The Spanish government on Friday approved the release of two million barrels of oil from its “strategic reserves” as part of a coordinated action with the International Energy Agency (IEA) to support the Ukrainian army.
The amount represents 2.6 days of Spanish reserves, Spanish government spokeswoman Isabel Rodríguez explained, EURACTIV partner EFE reported.
The measure entered into force on Saturday March 5 after being published in the Spanish Official Journal (BOE).
On Saturday, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen discussed the war in Ukraine and its impact on European energy markets with Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez in Madrid.
Both agreed on the need to coordinate actions at EU level to mitigate the impact of the crisis on the most vulnerable, with measures aimed at a possible reduction in the energy bill of the poor.
At an extraordinary meeting in Versailles this week, European leaders will propose measures to reduce the bloc’s dependence on gas and oil imports from Russia and tackle rising prices. Spain has been urging its EU partners to tackle this problem for months.
The release of Spain’s strategic oil reserves was part of the extraordinary measures taken by Spain to help mitigate the impact of the war in Ukraine, Sánchez told parliament last Wednesday.
At a meeting last Tuesday, the IEA agreed to release 60 million barrels of oil from its members’ strategic reserves around the world to ensure there would be no shortages after the Russian invasion of the ‘Ukraine.
Spain, Rodríguez added, wanted to send “a strong and coordinated message” to global oil markets about its commitment to protecting stability and preventing excess volatility.
The Spanish government wants to “bring security and calm to the markets”, she added.
Rodríguez recalled that the Council of EU energy ministers agreed last Monday (February 28) that the “preferred destination” of these oil reserves would be Ukraine.
Meanwhile, on Friday, the first of two Spanish Air Force transport planes departed with the first direct shipment of lethal weapons donated by Spain to Ukraine via Poland, the EFE.
A second A400M flew on Saturday March 5 with a new shipment of weapons. The shipments were to be delivered over the weekend to an unspecified point near the Polish-Ukrainian border.
The equipment consists of 1,370 mobile anti-tank grenade launchers, 700,000 rounds of machine guns and light machine guns.