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Spain pledges USD 1 billion military aid to Ukraine

May 28, 2024 11:43 AM

Madrid : Spain has pledged USD 1.1 billion in military aid to Ukraine as the country continues to defend itself against Russia's invasion, reported Al Jazeera.

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy signed a security deal in Madrid on Monday.

The deal "includes a commitment for 1 billion euros in military aid for 2024", Sanchez said at a joint news conference.
The pact, which covers the next decade, calls for the supply of modern military equipment for ground, aerial, naval and other uses, "prioritising Ukraine's key capacity needs", and an emphasis on protecting sea routes for Ukraine's food exports, but it gave no specifics, Al Jazeera reported.

"It will allow Ukraine to boost its capabilities including its essential air defence systems to protect its civilians, cities and infrastructure, which are still suffering indiscriminate attacks as seen this weekend in Kharkiv," Sanchez said, referring to a Russian strike on the northeastern city that killed at least 16 people at a hardware hypermarket on Saturday.

Ukrainian President Zelenskyy visited Madrid as the country battles a Russian ground offensive in the Kharkiv region that began on May 10 and has seen Moscow make its biggest territorial advances in 18 months.

As Russia's full-scale invasion reaches its third year, Ukraine has been appealing for more weapons for its outgunned and outnumbered troops and seeking help to address its lack of air defence systems, Al Jazeera reported.

The Spanish PM stressed that Spain had already pledged to supply Patriot missiles but what Zelenskyy needed from Ukraine's allies was "the systems to launch these missiles".

Following the deal, the Ukrainian President thanked Spain for "tangible and truly life-saving support" to Ukraine.
He further said that the two leaders also discussed how Madrid could play a role in strengthening Kyiv's air defence.

Spain will send "another batch of Leopard tanks and above all ammunition", Sanchez said, pledging to keep working with Kyiv "to understand how else - and with what other alternative systems - we can help ensure Ukraine's air security"

Moreover, Zelenskyy has signed bilateral security agreements with several other countries, including France, Germany and the United Kingdom, as reported by Al Jazeera.

He said that Ukraine needed at least seven more Patriot missile launchers to defend itself and would pressure its allies to obtain them, stressing that said Russian forces have used about 3,200 guided aerial bombs this month.

"How do you fight that? There aren't enough air defence missiles to stop thousands of bombs a month...Those partners who are afraid to give us this or that weapon should understand that air defence is defence, not offence," he added.

Following his visit to Madrid, Zelenskyy will next visit the Portuguese capital, Lisbon, where he is scheduled to meet Prime Minister Luis Montenegro and President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa today and is expected to sign a similar 10-year agreement.

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