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Ukraine's Zelensky lands in Spain to sign weapons deal

On Monday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky made his way to Madrid. During his visit, he will meet with Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez and finalize a security agreement. According to the deal, Spain will provide Kyiv with weapons worth 1.13 billion euros ($1.23 billion).

Reuters WORLD
Published May 27,2024

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky arrived in Madrid on Monday where he is set to meet Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez and sign a security deal through which Spain will supply Kyiv with 1.13 billion euros ($1.23 billion) worth of weapons.

King Felipe welcomed Zelensky on the tarmac at Barajas airport, a gesture underlining the importance of the visit for Madrid. Zelenskiy later met Sanchez ahead of a joint press conference scheduled for later in the afternoon.

Spain will commit to send Ukraine a dozen Patriot anti-aircraft missiles and 19 second-hand German-made Leopard 2A4 tanks, as well as other Spanish-made weapons such as anti-drone gear and ammunition, El Pais newspaper reported on Monday.

The tanks, which were mothballed for many years, will need a thorough refurbishing, the newspaper added, citing unnamed sources close to the deal.

The 19 tanks come on top of 10 similar tanks already approved by Spain. The 12 missiles to be handed over to Ukraine do not include full missile defence systems, El Pais said.

Spanish Defence Minister Margarita Robles said last month Spain would send Patriot missiles to Ukraine, though she did not specify how many.

The other weapons will be manufactured by Spanish companies, including Indra, El Pais said.

The government approved the expenditure for the deal last month, though it did not specify which weapons were included.

Spokespersons for the prime minister's office and the Defence Ministry declined to comment on the El Pais report.

Zelensky told Reuters this month Western allies were taking too long to make key decisions on military support for Ukraine.

He said he was pushing partners to get more directly involved in the war by helping to intercept Russian missiles over Ukraine and allowing Kyiv to use Western weapons against enemy military equipment amassing near the border.