Spain reaffirms its support for Ukraine with a multi-million euro defence and security agreement

Madrid to provide 1 billion euros in military support to Ukraine by 2024 
El presidente de Ucrania, Volodymyr Zelensky, le da la mano al primer ministro, Pedro Sánchez, después de firmar un acuerdo de seguridad en el Palacio de la Moncloa en Madrid el 27 de mayo de 2024 - OSCAR DEL POZO / AFP
Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky shakes hands with Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez after signing a security agreement at the Moncloa Palace in Madrid on May 27, 2024 - OSCAR DEL POZO / AFP

In an unusual gesture, the King of Spain, Felipe VI, has received at the airport the President of Ukraine, Volodimir Zelensky, who has travelled to the country to sign a bilateral security agreement. The Ukrainian leader thanked the Spanish monarch for welcoming him personally on the tarmac, describing this reception as "a special honour for Ukraine and for Ukrainians".  

Zelensky's visit to Spain was initially scheduled for 17 May, but the president had to cancel the trip due to the Russian offensive on the Ukrainian region of Kharkov

After being received by the Spanish king at Barajas airport, Zelensky travelled to the Moncloa Palace to meet with the President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, and sign the security and defence pact.  

According to RTVE, the agreement states that both countries "will deepen their cooperation, in particular to enable Ukraine to defend itself against Russian aggression and prevent future aggression" and "will support Ukraine's economic stability, reconstruction, resilience and reform programme, and will facilitate Ukraine's integration into the Euro-Atlantic community, in particular the EU and NATO".  

It also states that Spain 'is determined to provide support to Ukraine for as long as necessary, in coordination with its international partners and allies, to help Ukraine defend itself, thus preventing the possible escalation of the ongoing aggression, and to restore its territorial integrity within the limits of its internationally recognised borders since 1991'. 

The terms of the agreement also underline Ukraine's need to 'secure a free and democratic future', as well as to 'continue to provide services to its people, keep the Ukrainian economy functioning and prevent future Russian aggression'.  

To achieve all these goals, Spain will provide 1 billion euros in military support in 2024. This unprecedented figure envisages support to Ukraine based on three pillars: military, humanitarian and financial".  

At a joint press conference, Zelensky thanked Spain for its support since the beginning of the Russian invasion, recalling that "Ukraine's struggle is the struggle for universal values".

With regard to the recently signed agreement, the Ukrainian leader assured that it will allow Ukraine to reinforce its air defences and thus avoid damage such as that caused this weekend in Kharkov after several Russian attacks.   

Sánchez also reiterated Madrid's commitment to Kiev. "Ukraine can count on Spain", stressed the president, who also confirmed that he will send another batch of Leopard tanks to Ukraine. 

As Zelensky himself announced on social networks, the agenda of the meeting with his Spanish counterpart would revolve around "defence cooperation, the preparation of a new military aid package and the training of the Ukrainian army". "We have two summits ahead of us: the Peace Summit and the European Council Summit. Let us coordinate our steps so that each of them produces specific results," he added. 

Sánchez, for his part, said in his X account that "Spain today renews its commitment to contribute to the defence and security of Ukraine as we continue to work together for a just and lasting peace". "After more than two years of Russian aggression, it is more necessary than ever to redouble our support for Ukraine", he stressed.   

In addition to his meeting with Sánchez, Zelensky will also meet with King Felipe VI, Queen Letizia and Spanish political leaders.