23 Feb, 2023 @ 17:15
1 min read

Spain’s prime minister makes second visit to Ukraine on eve of one-year anniversary of Russian invasion

Pedro Sanchez pledges Spain's continued support in phone call with Ukraine's Zelensky
Cordon Press image

SPANISH Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez made his second visit to Ukraine today since the Russian invasion, meeting with the country’s president, Volodymr Zelensky, and announcing that his government would be sending a total of 10 Leopard tanks to assist in the war effort. 

In a message posted on his Twitter account, the Socialist Party (PSOE) leader committed to supporting ‘Ukraine and its people until peace returns to Europe’. 

The visit to the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv by the prime minister comes on the eve of the one-year anniversary of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of the country.

Sanchez’s first stop was at the Church of St. Andrew, near Bucha, which was the site of mass killings of Ukrainian citizens by Russian troops at the start of the conflict. 

The Spanish prime minister visited an exhibition of photographs that recounts the atrocities committed in the area, and which came to light after the Russians withdrew.

Then he was taken to nearby Irpin, which was also a theatre for several battles and the closest the Russians got to the Ukrainian capital. 

Sanchez appeared at a joint press conference with Zelenskyy after the two held a meeting. It was there that he upped Spain’s commitment to send more military material to help with the war effort. 

‘We are going to go from sending six to 10 in the coming weeks,’ he said. On Wednesday, Defence Minister Margarita Robles had committed to sending six

Sanchez also said that he was not ruling out sending fighter jets, as Zelenskyy has been calling for in recent weeks. But this step, he added, would have to be ‘studied and discussed with the other European Union and NATO countries’. 

The Spanish prime minister added that his government would try to bring Ukraine closer to EU membership while the country holds the Presidency of the Council of the European Union, a term that will begin in July and last the rest of the year. 

Sanchez’s first visit to Ukraine came in April of last year, and saw him voice similar words of support for the country as those heard today. 

The PSOE leader is embarking on a series of tours of European countries ahead of Spain assuming the presidency. One of the key issues of that term will be the conflict in Ukraine.

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