Launch of negotiations on Ukraine's accession to the EU could become a historic achievement of Spain's Presidency of the Council of the European Union
Volodymyr Zelenskyy following his meeting with Pedro Sánchez in Kyiv
President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy met with Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Spain Pedro Sánchez, who arrived in our country on a visit.
Welcoming the Prime Minister of Spain to Kyiv, the Head of State noted that it was the second visit of Pedro Sánchez to Ukraine during the full-scale war - the first one took place last April.
"Your visit to Kyiv right now, on the eve of February 24, on the eve of the anniversary of our invincibility, shows that Ukraine and Spain will continue to stand up together for our common values, for the freedom of Ukraine, for the freedom of the whole of Europe and every nation that values life, democracy and international law and order based on fair rules," the President said during the communication with media representatives in Kyiv following the negotiations with Pedro Sánchez.
Volodymyr Zelenskyy emphasized that since the first days of the full-scale Russian war, our country has constantly felt the solidarity of Spain, and this year the support from this country has only grown.
"Defense, political, energy, humanitarian. There are so many of our internally displaced persons - about 200 thousand... Thank you for the warm attitude towards our people. I am grateful to the whole of Spain for that," the Head of State emphasized.
During the negotiations, the leaders of Ukraine and Spain discussed all the key issues on the agenda of the two countries.
Volodymyr Zelenskyy expressed gratitude to Spain for its substantial defense support, in particular for strengthening the ability to protect Ukrainian skies from Russian missile terror through the provision of air defense systems.
"I want Spain to know that you are really helping to save the lives of Ukrainians, to protect our cities, towns, villages, and homes from Russian terror. And I believe that we will continue this cooperation to protect people with Spain's effective accession to the tank coalition. Modern armored vehicles, first of all tanks, will allow us to more effectively defend Ukrainian cities from Russian assaults and return freedom to our entire land, to the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine," the President emphasized.
The Head of State said that Spain would provide Ukraine with Leopard tanks.
"The Ukrainian warriors are already learning how to operate these tanks in Spain. We expect that this start of Ukrainian-Spanish cooperation will be followed by other decisions that will allow us to liberate our homeland as soon as possible," he said.
In addition, according to the Head of State, Spain will assist in the treatment and rehabilitation of wounded Ukrainian soldiers.
"We are talking about new programs with the Ministry of Health, with the First Ladies of Spain and Ukraine. I think we will work in this direction. I am thankful for these proposals from Spain," Volodymyr Zelenskyy said.
The parties also focused on cooperation at the level of European structures, particularly in the context of Spain's upcoming Presidency of the Council of the European Union in the second half of this year.
"We have agreed that the start of negotiations on Ukraine's accession to the European Union can be a historic achievement of the Spanish Presidency. We also count on the support of another strategic goal, namely, the completion of the formation of a reliable security space of a free Europe, which can only take place when Ukraine's Euro-Atlantic integration is successful," the President emphasized.
The Head of State also informed Pedro Sánchez on the progress in engaging partners in the implementation of the Ukrainian Peace Formula. The parties exchanged views on possible cooperation and participation of Spain in the implementation of the mentioned formula in order to restore global security, justice, protect international law and return real respect for the UN Charter.
"I am also confident that Spain will join global efforts to bring the aggressor state to justice," Volodymyr Zelenskyy said and added that a special tribunal and a compensation mechanism are in the focus of the parties' attention.
The President said that Pedro Sánchez visited Bucha and Irpin in the Kyiv region and had an opportunity to see with his own eyes what the war and Russian occupation left behind. Therefore, the fundamental task for both Ukraine and the entire free world is to find a mechanism to hold accountable those responsible for this bloody injustice," the Head of State noted.
"And it is imperative to restore social space for people and the necessary infrastructure: housing, educational and cultural facilities, jobs - everything that is very important for normal life. Russia has destroyed all this, but we will restore it all together with the whole world," Volodymyr Zelenskyy emphasized.
He added that the Fast Recovery Plan envisages priority steps to renovate our country.
For his part, the Spanish Prime Minister said that his visit was a demonstration of full support for Ukraine in its fight against Russian aggression. According to him, Spain calls on Russia to immediately withdraw its troops from Ukrainian territory.
Pedro Sánchez also assured that Spain would continue to provide Ukraine with the necessary support.
"We have already sent various types of ammunition, military equipment and weapons. But we realize that more is needed to deter Russia and to regain control over the occupied territories. That is why Spain will continue to provide assistance and develop the capabilities of the Ukrainian Armed Forces," he said.
The Prime Minister reminded that Spain is already training Ukrainian servicemen to use Leopard tanks.
"We are planning to synchronize the delivery of Leopards with the completion of training activities of Ukrainian servicemen," the Spanish Prime Minister emphasized.
Also, according to him, Spain is maximally promoting the idea of joint purchases of ammunition for Ukraine at the EU level.
In addition, Pedro Sánchez assured that his country would support Ukraine's movement towards EU membership, in particular during its Presidency of the Council of the European Union in the second half of 2023.
Spain also supports the adoption of the 10th package of EU sanctions against Russia and the UN resolution taking into account the provisions of the Ukrainian Peace Formula.
"I assured President Zelenskyy that my country will provide financial and economic assistance to rebuild Ukraine at both the national and international levels," Pedro Sánchez said.