How are Russians treated in Spain

Controversial support in the corona crisis : Europe should be grateful to China, Russia and Cuba for their help

The first team from China arrived in Rome on March 13th. It brought 31 tons of urgently needed medical supplies - protective suits, face masks, ventilators. A few days later, Xi Jinping and Italy's Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte were on the phone. The next team from China flew directly to Milan on March 18th. Aid flights in the corona crisis are also going to Spain and France.

After the Chinese came the Russians. Nine Ilyushin transport planes landed in Italy last Sunday with virologists, epidemiologists and medical equipment on board. “Never before have so many Russian aircraft entered a NATO country,” wrote “La Repubblica”. Other newspapers headlined, alluding to James Bond, “From Russia With Love”.

The objections to China, Russia and Co are piling up

Shortly after the Russians, also on Sunday, a medical brigade from Cuba reached Lombardy with 37 doctors and 15 nurses. They had previously been used in Africa to fight Ebola.

[Follow all current developments on the coronavirus in Berlin and the coronavirus worldwide in our live blogs.]

Whenever news of this kind comes out, warning fingers are raised in Europe. Objection piles up on objection. Then it says: The Chinese, Russians and Cubans just want to spice up their image, drive a wedge between the countries of the European Union.

Do the countries only pursue geopolitical interests?

China wants to make people forget how badly the regime reacted to the first outbreak of Covid-19 disease, and Beijing also hopes for additional influence to drive the Silk Road project forward. And after all, the country says it has overcome the worst itself. Help is not difficult.

Russia, in turn, is speculating on the help of Italy, Spain and France to shake off the sanctions imposed because of the annexation of Crimea. Cuba also needs international solidarity. In short: these countries only help out of self-interest, in reality they are pursuing tough geopolitical interests. So it is said.

More background information on the coronavirus:

Maybe anything, but they help. This simple replica undermines the force of the doubters, who often want to level out the positive because it reminds them of their own passivity. At her looking away, at her silence. Everyone knows that someone who saves a drowning man because he hopes to get a medal of recognition will still save a person. That counts.

The needy are grateful to all who help

The needy in Italy, Spain and France do not ask the reasons of those who help them. You are grateful to everyone who does. You miss the help from Europe and think of dozens of occasions on which, also from Berlin, appeals to "European solidarity" were made. Seldom before have the words “Europe” and “unity” caused such a bitter aftertaste as they do today, during the corona crisis.

China, Russia and Cuba are helping. You're probably not doing this for altruistic reasons. Maybe, but they help. That counts.

Now new: We give you 4 weeks of Tagesspiegel Plus! To home page