15 May, 2024 @ 11:03
1 min read

Zelensky cancels trip to Spain ‘over Russian advances in northern Ukraine’: Sources say major cities like Kharkiv are at risk of falling to Putin

Zelensky and Sanchez had been set to sign a bilateral security agreement
Pedro Sanchez pledges Spain's continued support in phone call with Ukraine's Zelensky
Cordon Press image

UKRAINIAN president Volodymyr Zelensky has cancelled a planned visit to Spain amid Russian advances in northern Ukraine, according to reports.

Zelensky had been due to visit Spain in the coming days to sign a bilateral security cooperation agreement with Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez that would reaffirm Spain’s commitment to supporting the war-torn nation in its fight against Russian forces.

Ukraine’s president had also been due to hold a reception with King Felipe VI on May 17, who was set to hold a meal in Zelensky’s honour at Zarzuela Palace.

According to CNN Portugal, where Zelensky was also set to visit, the trip has been called off thanks to the ‘serious internal situation in Ukraine at the moment’.

Some 30,000 Russian troops launched a new offensive into northeastern Kharkiv province last Friday with Ukrainian sources anxious that the region could fall to Vladimir Putin’s forces and sway the momentum of the war into Russia’s favour. 

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

King Felipe of Spain defends his country's constitution as he opens congress after months of political deadlock
Zelensky had been set to meet with King Felipe VI. Credit: Cordon Press

The Spanish government said they were unable to comment on the situation for security reasons.

Alongside other European Union nations, Spain committed to supporting Ukraine with financial and military aid in the wake of Russia’s invasion over two years ago.

The bilateral security agreement that Sanchez and Zelensky were set to agree to is similar to documents already signed by the leaders of France, Germany, Italy and the UK. 

The trip, which had been expected to start this Friday, had remained a secret with Spanish and Ukrainian sources tight-lipped over security worries.

Jose Manuel Albares, Spain’s foreign minister, said: “For security reasons I am not going to make any comment, not to deny, confirm or add any information, about any of President Zelensky’s movements anywhere in the world”.

Zelensky and Sanchez most recently called on May 7, with the pair thrashing out details of the impending bilateral security agreement which further guarantees Spain’s support.

Ben Pawlowski

Ben joined the Olive Press in January 2024 after a four-month stint teaching English in Paraguay. He loves the adrenaline rush of a breaking news story and the tireless work required to uncover an eye-opening exclusive. He is currently based in Barcelona from where he covers the city, the wider Catalunya region, and the north of Spain. Send tips to [email protected]

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