28 May, 2024 @ 10:50
1 min read

Spain agrees to send €1billion of arms to Ukraine – as Putin’s forces hammer the north of the country

President Zelensky met with PM Pedro Sanchez in Madrid on Monday
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky (left) is greeted by Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez (right) at Moncloa Palace in Madrid. Both have signed a bilateral security agreement, which includes military supplies ranging from Patriot missiles to Leopard tanks, amounting to 1.129 billion euros. (Photo by Miguel Candela / SOPA Images/Sipa USA) *** Local Caption *** 53553028

SPAIN has pledged to send €1billion worth of military aid to Ukraine this year after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez signed a decade-long bilateral agreement in Madrid on Monday.

“This deal 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”, Sanchez told a press conference after the deal was signed.

The Spanish government said the agreement also covered other areas, including intelligence, training, reconstruction, de-mining and humanitarian aid.

The pact provides a much-needed boost to Ukrainian supplies amid an ongoing bloody surprise Russian advance in the north-eastern oblast of Kharkiv and a stalemate in the European Parliament with Viktor Orban’s Hungary blocking efforts to send an aid package worth over €6billion to the war-torn nation. 

Although Sanchez and Zelensky declined to provide specifics on the content of the military aid, the Spanish daily El País reported that Spain would commit to sending Ukraine a dozen American-made Patriot anti-aircraft missiles and 19 second-hand German-made Leopard 2A4 tanks alongside Spanish-made arms including anti-drone equipment and ammunition. 

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

Zelensky visited Spain’s Congress after signing the bilateral security agreement. Credit: Cordon Press

Zelensky said Ukraine needed at least seven more Patriot missile launchers to adequately defend itself from Russian forces using Soviet-style glide bombs and pleaded with allies to step up.

“How do you fight that?”, said Zelensky, in reference to Russian advances inside Ukraine. “There aren’t enough air defence missiles to stop thousands of bombs a month…Those partners who are afraid to give us this or that weapon should understand that air defence is defence, not offence”, he added.

The Ukrainian President also said he was pushing allies to get more involved in the conflict by helping to intercept Russian missiles or by allowing Kyiv to use Western weapons on convoys near the border.

Zelensky had been poised to visit Spain earlier this month, but his visit was abruptly cancelled as fears grew over Russia’s offensive on Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city.

Prior to meeting Sanchez, Zelensky was greeted by Spanish King Felipe VI as he landed at Adolfo Suarez Madrid-Barajas Airport.

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

From Spain, Zelensky is set to visit Lisbon to meet with Portuguese premier Luis Montenegro and President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa and is widely expected to sign a similar decade-long bilateral security pact. 

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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