The Ukrainian president has spoken to several foreign governments since the war began. / agencies

Ukrainian president to address Spanish parliament this afternoon

It will be the first time Volodymyr Zelenskyy has appeared before a foreign parliament since the Russian massacre in Bucha

JAVIER ARIAS LOMO Madrid

Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy is addressing the Spanish parliament this afternoon and it will put to the test the political parties’ apparent unity regarding the war in Ukraine. While there was unanimous support for the invitation to the Ukrainian president, different opinions that have been expressed since the Russian invasion began have not given a picture of perfect harmony.

President Zelenskyy will be speaking virtually at 5pm in a special session attended by senators and MPs which will last no longer than 30 minutes. This is for security reasons, as the Ukrainian leader is a primary target for the Russians.

As he has done in previous addresses to different countries, he will condemn the Russian invasion and call for additional help for Ukraine from the EU. There are differences of opinion about the level of assistance that Spain should provide, with the Unidas Podemos spokeswoman Isa Serra yesterday opposing the idea of sending more weapons to Ukrainian resistance and increasing military spending to two per cent, as prime minister Pedro Sánchez has promised.

Horrified by slaughter

Cuca Gamarra, the PP’s new general secretary, however, says that her party will support Sánchez in something as important as this, as the whole of Spanish society is horrified by the “slaughter” being perpetrated by the Russians in Ukraine.

The body of a man with his hands tied behind his back lies on the ground in a street in Bucha, a town near kyiv, recently recaptured by Ukrainian forces. / REUTERS

Vox, meanwhile, pointed out yesterday that they had called for the Ukrainian president to be invited to address the Spanish parliament in a letter to Sánchez on 8 March, and said it was a shame that Zelenskyy has not done so until now although he has spoken to those of many other countries. “It shows that we have lost all relevance,” said Jorge Buxadé, the party’s vice-president for Political Action.

This will be the first time Zelenskyy has appeared before a foreign parliament since the Bucha massacre, and it is believed he will go on to speak to those in Ireland and Greece.