27 May, 2024 @ 12:59
1 min read

Zelensky lands in Spain: Ukraine president is met by King Felipe in Madrid ahead of sit down with PM Pedro Sanchez

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

UKRAINIAN President Volodymyr Zelensky landed in Madrid on Monday morning, where he was greeted off the plane by Spanish King Felipe VI. 

The Ukrainian leader is due later today to meet with Socialist Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, with the pair scheduled to sign a bilateral security agreement. 

The gesture by the king to personally receive Zelensky at the airport is not a common one. After Zelensky disembarked from the airport at Barajas airport, the two heads of state stood solemnly while their national anthems played out. 

The visit comes at a time when Russia is stepping up its attacks on Ukraine, more than two years after it invaded the sovereign country. 

Read more: Zelensky WILL visit Spain: Ukraine president will land in Madrid within days after cancelling trip ‘over troubling Russian advances in the war’

Ukraine President Zelensky to address Spain's parliament next week
 President Volodymyr Zelensky in a file photo from 2022. Cordon Press image

Zelensky had been due to visit Spain 10 days ago, but had to cancel that trip due to the major Russian offensive that is threatening the security of Kharkov, Ukraine’s second-biggest city.

The agreement that will be signed today between Sanchez and Zelensky includes a package of arms worth more than €1.1 billion, an unprecedented sum in Spain’s efforts to support the beleaguered country. 

Spain will be supplying Ukraine with military equipment such as Patriot missiles and Leopard tanks. The material will mostly be manufactured by Spanish suppliers rather than coming from existing stock, government sources told newspaper El Pais.

The Spanish government has already furnished Ukraine with military equipment, including Patriot missiles and Leopard tanks. 

This time around the country will also receive artillery, anti-drone systems and portable rocket launchers. 

Zelensky’s visit to Spain has been interpreted by security experts as a way of showing that the RUssian advance is under control albeit not having been stopped dead, El Pais reported. 

The Ukrainian president’s last visit to the country was back in October 2023, when he took part in the European Political Community Summit held in the southern Spanish city of Granada. 

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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