Spain on Monday pledged €1bn in military aid to Ukraine as Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez and Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky signed a security deal here.
The deal “includes a commitment for €1bn in military aid for 2024,” Sanchez told a joint news conference “It will allow Ukraine to boost its capabilities including its essential air defence systems to protect its civilians, cities and infrastructure which are still suffering indiscriminate attacks as seen this weekend in Kharkiv,” he said, referring to a Russian strike on the northeastern city that killed at least 16 people.
Zelensky’s visit comes as Ukraine has been battling a Russian ground offensive in the Kharkiv region which began on May 10 in Moscow’s biggest territorial advance in 18 months. With the Russian assault now in its third year, Ukraine has been pleading for more weapons for its outgunned and outnumbered troops, notably seeking help to address its lack of air defence systems. Sanchez said Spain had already pledged to supply Patriot missiles, but what Zelensky needed from Ukraine’s allies was “the systems to launch these missiles”. “That’s what he working on with different allies to see exactly how many we can send to guarantee this aerial security.”
Spain would also send “another batch of Leopard tanks and above all ammunition,” Sanchez said, pledging to keep working with Kyiv “to understand how else — and with what other alternative systems — we can help ensure Ukraine’s air security.”
Zelensky has already signed bilateral security agreements with several countries including France, Germany and the UK.
Sanchez said the security agreement would cover a range of a different issues, ranging from “military, humanitarian and financial support, to collaboration between Spanish and Ukrainian defence industries, as well as help with reconstruction and de-mining among other things”.
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