The Spanish President of the Government also confirmed that he will send six Leopard tanks to Kiev

Pedro Sánchez promises support for Ukraine from Spain's EU presidency

photo_camera Pool Moncloa/Borja Puig de la Bellacasa - The President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, is received by the President of Ukraine, Volodímir Zelenski, in Kiev

The President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, pledged on Thursday in Kiev to the Ukrainian President, Volodímir Zelenski, to support Ukraine's European aspirations during Spain's upcoming presidency of the European Council. 

"Spain is ready to support the process of fulfilling Ukraine's legitimate aspirations to become a full member of the European Union (EU)," said Sánchez, who visited Kiev on the eve of the first anniversary of the war. 

Zelenski responded that Ukraine "counts on that support" to "fulfil its strategic goal of full integration into the Euro-Atlantic space". 

Spain will hold the rotating presidency of the EU in the second half of this year. Sánchez also stressed the need for unity in the EU to continue with sanctions against Russia as long as it does not cease its aggression against Ukraine. 

"We are facing a clear case of imperialism," Sánchez said of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, before warning against any "equidistance" between the aggressor and the attacked country.

"All the military support we offer is to defend Ukraine, not to attack Russia," declared the head of the Spanish government, in line with other Western leaders who have insisted in recent days that they do not want to dismember or attack Russia. 

Sánchez stressed the importance of the EU continuing to support Ukraine "financially and economically", and said that Spain is working with Kiev and the international community to ensure that Russian crimes in Ukraine do not go unpunished. 

The Spanish President of the Government confirmed to Volodymir Zelenski that Spain will send six Leopard tanks to Kiev and could increase the aid to ten tanks. "We are going to send six Leopard 2 A4 tanks," said Sánchez, who added that his government's "intention" is to "increase from six to ten in the coming weeks and months" the number of tanks that Spain will deliver to Ukraine. 

In addition to confirming the shipment of six tanks, which was announced on Wednesday by the Minister of Defence, Margarita Robles, Sánchez also recalled that Spain will train Ukrainian soldiers in the operation of these war vehicles.