February 26. 2024. 5:10

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Spanish PM vows full support for Ukraine following second visit

Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez pledged Spain’s support for Ukraine for ‘as long as necessary’ during his second trip to the country since the start of the Russian invasion on Thursday.

Sánchez spoke with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on the eve of the first anniversary of Russia’s full-blown invasion, EURACTIV’s partner EFE reported.

“I’m very glad to be in Kyiv almost a year after my first trip in April 2022 and a few hours away from the first anniversary of the beginning of the war,” he told a joint press conference in Kyiv.

Confirming the government’s plans to send six 2A4 Leopard tanks to Ukraine, Sánchez reiterated his country’s “full support” in the face of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s “illegal and unjustified” war.

“We will continue to support you for as long as is necessary. Ukraine will prevail,” he added.

He added that Spain could send a further four tanks – to make a total of 10 – to Ukraine in the coming weeks and months in conjunction with other European nations supplying Kyiv with the battle vehicles.

Sánchez added that Madrid would “study” the provision of fighter jets in the future in response to repeated calls from Kyiv that its Western allies have so far held back on.

Zelenskyy thanked Sánchez for Spain’s continued and growing support for Ukraine.

Sánchez’s latest trip to Ukraine follows soon after visits so far made by US President Joe Biden and Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni.

As well as meeting Zelenskyy, Sánchez addressed Ukraine’s parliament.

About 65% of Spaniards (almost two in three) favour the EU financing the purchase of arms for Ukraine and the supply of military equipment for the country, according to a Eurobarometer survey published Thursday.

This support of 65% of the Spanish population is the same percentage of support that the poll shows for this issue, on average, in the EU as a whole, after adding up the responses in favour of financing arms purchases in the 27 countries of the EU.

The Eurobarometer also notes that 64% of Spaniards believe that more money should be spent on defence in the EU, while the European average on this issue stands at 68%.

(Marcel Gascón | EFE)