Sánchez (right) meets Volodymyr Zelensky in Ukraine on Thursday. AFP
Spain's PM Sánchez promises more aid to Ukraine on second visit to Kyiv

Spain's PM Sánchez promises more aid to Ukraine on second visit to Kyiv


The Spanish leader also wanted to send a clear signal to his coalition partners in Madrid who have turned more anti-war again in recent weeks

Paula de las Heras / Alberto Gómez


Friday, 24 February 2023, 11:15

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez made his second visit to Kyiv on Thursday this week since the Russian invasion of Ukraine ordered by Vladimir Putin began just over a year ago.

On meeting President Zelensky of Ukraine it was announced that, in addition to the six Leopard tanks already committed to the Ukrainian forces, in the coming days, the Spanish ministry of defence will consider the delivery of four more, bringing the total number of armoured vehicles sent to ten.

It is more than likely that the unease of Sánchez's coalition partners, Unidas Podemos, will increase with this second shipment of armoured vehicles, given they already opposed the first shipment.

The PM's trip, confirmed by his office on Thursday morning for security reasons - only when Sánchez was already on his way to his meeting in Kyiv - redoubles the commitment that Spain has made to Ukraine - to whom it has sent arms, humanitarian resources and now the Leopards - in line with the seriousness of the situation and the involvement by Nato.

Sánchez first visited the towns of Bucha and Irpin, where the Russians wreaked havoc in the early days of the invasion.

In the case of Bucha, accusations of human rights violations and summary executions have been confirmed by international bodies. During the PM's visit, which concluded with an appearance with Zelensky, anti-aircraft alarms were sounded in the Ukrainian capital after the approach of a Russian drone was detected.

«Spain and the European Union are with Ukraine and we will continue to support it as much as necessary. Ukraine is going to win,» Pedro Sánchez said.

This is Sánchez's second trip to the Ukrainian capital since the Russian invasion. The first, accompanied by Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen, took place on 21 April last year and served to show Spain's commitment to offer «all the help it can».

The meeting between Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez and President Zelensky of Ukraine on Thursday this week SUR

The situation is now particularly sensitive. On Tuesday, Putin responded to the surprise visit to Kyiv by US President Joe Biden - a clear symbol of his support for the Ukrainian cause - by suspending the latest nuclear control agreement

Sánchez met with Zelensky at a particularly sensitive moment for his own PSOE coalition with Unidas Podemos (UP). The visit sends an internal message to some coalition members who have started advocating an antiwar agenda again in recent weeks. Sánchez is keen not to compromise in front of UP on his foreign and defence policies.




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