The Ukrainian ambassador, Serhii Pohoreltsev, has urged the Spanish government to send more weapons to his country so it can continue fighting the Russian invasion.
“The situation remains very difficult; the enemy is still attacking us and therefore we need more weapons in order to resist,” he said after a meeting with Defence Minister Margarita Robles on Wednesday.
She, however, avoided making any commitment regarding the request, saying only that “Spain will continue to support Ukraine with humanitarian aid and combat material within our possibilities”.
The meeting took place one day after Robles announced that a shipment of Leopard tanks to Ukraine had been cancelled because of their “deplorable” condition. This type of heavy equipment is on the list of requirements provided by Ukraine months ago.
“We continue to need more and more things,” Pohoreltsev said and, in a clear message to Spain, “if someone wants to help they will always look for and find a way of doing so”.
One thing that Robles did promise, although without saying when, was that warm clothing would be sent for Ukrainian fighters for the winter. She also explained that Ministry of Defence staff meet representatives from the Ukraine embassy almost every week and that the decision about what will be sent next will be made soon.
President Zelensky has made it clear since the Russian invasion began that Ukraine needs to make up for the Army’s lack of heavy weapons. However, Spain has been one of the few Nato countries to have avoided sending these, and has limited its aid to defensive material and food. In fact, the last shipment from the Spanish government was sent in May, three months ago.