Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez has arrived in the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv on the eve of the anniversary of the Russian invasion of Ukraine on 24th February.
Sánchez used the visit to announce he would send 10 Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine as he visited Kyiv on Thursday for the second time since the beginning of Russia’s attack.
Western allies are ramping up the supply of military hardware to Ukraine, as it prepares to face a potential renewed Russian onslaught this spring.
In a joint press conference with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Sánchez said: “You are not alone in this war. We will stand with Ukraine as long as necessary.”
The delivery of the tanks will take place “in the coming weeks or months,” Sánchez told reporters.
Spain has to date contributed some 300 million Euros in military aid to Ukraine.
El pueblo ucraniano sabe que puede contar con España.
No os dejaremos solos. pic.twitter.com/oCYd7eGRQm
— Pedro Sánchez (@sanchezcastejon) February 23, 2023
Zelenskyy thanked Spain for the military aid, saying that tanks will help to protect Ukrainian cities and the collaboration will help to “liberate our homeland as soon as possible.”
The ministry did not provide information on the timing of delivery, citing “operational reasons.”
Kyiv has specifically asked allies for Leopard 2 tanks on several occasions, saying they are “very much needed.”
The visit comes shortly after US President Joe Biden made a surprise trip to Kyiv before his visit to Poland where he made a keynote speech supporting Ukraine and promising to “defend every inch of NATO territory.”
In addition Spain has taken an estimated 165,000 Ukrainian refugees since the war began.