The President of the Spanish Government, Pedro Sánchez, arrived in Kyiv this Thursday morning, 21 April, to hold a face-to-face meeting with his Ukrainian counterpart, Volodimir Zelensky, with a view to conveying Spain's support and solidarity with his country in the face of the Russian invasion and its commitment to peace.
Sánchez's trip takes place a day after he visited the reception centre for Ukrainian refugees in Malaga, an event during which he revealed that there are already 134,000 refugees who have arrived in Spain, of which 64,000 have received temporary protection.
The news of the imminent Sánchez trip was known on Tuesday, but the spokesperson, Isabel Rodríguez, avoided going into details for security reasons and to guarantee the safety of the prime minister during the hours that he remains on Ukrainian soil. He will be accompanied in Ukraine by a team from the Special Operations Group (GEO) of the National Police, according to police sources.
In addition to his meeting with Zelenksy, it is hoped that the visit will also serve to announce the reopening of the Spanish Embassy in Ukraine. The diplomatic post was closed on 25 February, one day after the invasion of Ukraine by Russian troops, ordered by Vladimir Putin.
Sánchez becomes the latest European leader to visit Zelensky in Kyiv since the beginning of the conflict on 24 February. The last to do so was the President of the European Council, Charles Michel, on Wednesday. The first political leaders to go personally to Kyiv were the heads of Poland, Mateusz Morawiecki; from Slovenia, Janez Jansa; and from the Czech Republic, Petr Fiala. On behalf of the EU organisations, the president of the European Parliament, Roberta Metsola, travelled first, and then from the European Commission, Ursula Von der Leyen, and the High Representative for Foreign Policy, Josep Borrell, who went together.
So far in April, the Prime Minister of Slovakia, Eduard Heger, and the Austrian Chancellor, Karl Nehammer, as well as the presidents of Poland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania - Andrzej Duda, Alar Karis, Egils Levits and Gitanas Nauseda - travelled together, in addition to the British PM Boris Johnson.