26 Apr, 2024 @ 15:23
1 min read

Spain bends to pressure from EU and Nato and will send Patriot missiles to Ukraine

Ukraine President Zelensky to address Spain's parliament next week
Cordon Press image

SPAIN has succumbed to pressure from both the European Union and Nato and will send Patriot missiles to Ukraine in a bid to strengthen the beleaguered country’s defence against Russian air attacks. 

That’s according to Spanish government sources, who were speaking to newspaper El Pais

The same sources said that just a small number of the missiles would be handed over to Kiev. 

Each of the units has a cost of more than €1 million and an aerial range of 24 kilometres. 

Read more: Threat from Russia is ‘total and absolute’, warns Spain’s Defence Minister Margarita Robles

Ukraine President Zelensky to address Spain's parliament next week
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in a file photo. Credit: Cordon Press image

The move comes after the Spanish Defence Ministry ruled out the option of passing on a battery of the missiles that it has deployed on the border between Turkey and Syria since 2013. 

In total, the Spanish army has three Patriot missile batteries, according to El Pais, each with a launcher, as well as radar and control systems. They were purchased second hand from Germany in 2004 and 2014. 

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has been requesting six missile batteries to defend key areas of his country ahead of a Russian offensive that is expected to begin in a matter of months. 

Zelensky had reportedly been eyeing Spain’s aforementioned battery on the Turkish-Syrian border but the Defence Ministry ruled that option out on the basis that it is already low on such missile systems. 

Instead, a reduced number of Patriot missiles will be sent. 

The Spanish government has repeatedly voiced its support for Ukraine since Russia’s invasion back in early 2022. 

In fact, Madrid is preparing a new package of arms, according to El Pais, which includes 10 Leopard tanks, in addition to 10 it has already sent. 

Spain has also sent 12 Hawk medium-range surface-to-air missiles to Ukraine. 

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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