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Madrid – Spain will donate 1.129 billion euros to Ukraine for this year that will be allocated to armaments under a security agreement signed this Monday in Madrid by the President of the Government of Spain, Pedro Sánchez, and his Ukrainian counterpart, Volodymyr Zelensky.

This was announced by Sánchez at a press conference in Madrid, where the Ukrainian leader has traveled for the first time on an official visit. King Felipe VI received Zelensky on the runway at Barajas Airport in an unusual gesture of deference to show the importance given to this visit.

Spain is the tenth country to sign such an agreement with Kyiv and, according to Sánchez, the document, which is projected to ten extendable years, ratifies Spain’s commitment to Ukraine.

The head of the Spanish government explained that the agreement, of “great importance”, is structured on three axes. The first of these is an “important” contribution to the security and defense of Ukraine, where one billion is included. So far, Spain had contributed 300 million euros to Ukraine in bilateral aid.

 “They will allow Ukraine to strengthen its capabilities,” explained the president, who especially focused on the donation of Patriot missiles for Ukraine’s air defense, a request that Zelensky has repeatedly made.

Sánchez noted that air defense is “essential” to defend the civilian population, cities, and infrastructure that “continue to suffer from indiscriminate attacks” and specified that Ukraine needs at least seven.

The Spanish president also focused on the Leopard combat tanks that will arrive in Ukraine at the end of June. This second batch of combat tanks will be accompanied by several Patriots and various types of ammunition.

On the other hand, the agreement refers to the supply of “modern military equipment in the land, air, maritime, space, and cyberspace fields, prioritizing Ukraine’s key capability needs.”

In addition, both countries will collaborate in the development of common operational concepts and procedures, especially improving interoperability with European and Euro-Atlantic partners and supporting training and education in the provided systems.

The aid and support will be channeled preferably through the capacity coalitions, which are designed to segment and group Ukrainian needs, but can be done outside this framework when appropriate.

In addition, the agreement provides that Spain and Ukraine will collaborate in the management of chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear risks and that they will cooperate in security and intelligence, fighting crime, and defense industries, with a view to solving supply chain bottlenecks that prevent the development of the capacity of both to manufacture priority weapons and ammunition.

Similarly, Spain is committed to maintaining aid to meet the humanitarian needs of the Ukrainian people and reaffirms its commitment for Kyiv to join the European Union (EU) and NATO.

According to Sánchez, the second pillar of the agreement is the Peace Summit in Switzerland, which will take place in mid-June. Sánchez explained that the Swiss government intends to “lay the foundations to make progress towards a negotiated end of the conflict” based on the principles of territorial integrity and national sovereignty and respect for International Law and the United Nations Charter.

Sánchez called for “the widest and most representative participation possible” and sources from Moncloa specify that the president is personally involved in getting as many heads of state and government to attend.

The third pillar of the signed agreement is the reconstruction of Ukraine, with a special emphasis on demining the country.

During the press conference, Zelensky expressed his gratitude to Sánchez and the Spanish people for the “lifesaving help in this difficult time of war.” “Spain is a reliable partner and has been helping us defend ourselves since the first day of the criminal Russian aggression, it did not close its eyes nor was it weak,” he emphasized.

After the meeting with Sánchez, Zelensky attended a lunch at the Royal Palace, where King Felipe VI reiterated Spain’s commitment to providing material support to help Ukraine in its “legitimate defense.”

“In these terrible times that Ukraine is experiencing, it knows that it will continue to count on Spain and we trust that with the rest of its international partners for as long as necessary,” he noted. (May 27)