Spain pledges €1bn in military aid to Kyiv

Sanchez said the security agreement would cover a range of a different issues…reports Asian Lite News

Spain on Monday pledged one billion euros in military aid to Ukraine as Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez and Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky signed a security deal in Madrid.

The deal “includes a commitment for one billion euros in military aid for 2024,” Sanchez told a joint news conference

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

Zelensky’s visit comes as Ukraine has been battling a Russian ground offensive in the Kharkiv region which began on May 10 in Moscow’s biggest territorial advance in 18 months.

With the Russian assault now in its third year, Ukraine has been pleading for more weapons for its outgunned and outnumbered troops, notably seeking help to address its lack of air defense systems.

According to El Pais newspaper, the deal would include new Patriot missiles and Leopard tanks. Zelensky has already signed bilateral security agreements with several countries including France, Germany and the UK.

Sanchez said the security agreement would cover a range of a different issues.

“The agreement is based on a comprehensive overview of security and covers various areas such as military, humanitarian and financial support, as well as collaboration between Spanish and Ukrainian defense industries, as well as help with reconstruction and de-mining among other things,” he said.

Zelensky appeals to Biden and Xi

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has appealed to his US counterpart Joe Biden and China’s Xi Jinping to participate in a planned peace summit in Switzerland in June.

“We do not want the UN Charter to be burnt down just like these books, and I hope you don’t want to either,” said Zelensky against the backdrop of a printing plant destroyed by a Russian missile attack in the northeastern city of Kharkiv.

“The efforts of the global majority are the best guarantee that all commitments will be fulfilled. Please, support the peace summit with your personal leadership and participation,” Zelensky added, addressing Biden and Xi directly in English in a video posted on the social media platform Telegram.

Switzerland has invited around 160 countries to a peace summit on June 15-16 to discuss possible ways to achieve lasting peace in Ukraine. Russia, which invaded Ukraine more than two years ago, has not received an invitation.

According to Zelensky, Moscow is currently preparing another attack in northern Ukraine after a recent offensive near the northeastern city of Kharkiv.

Military experts say another Russian offensive in the northern Sumy region is possible. Russia’s aim could be to exploit its manpower and material superiority, overstretch the Ukrainian defence lines and thus achieve the collapse of the Ukrainian front line.

Kharkiv, which lies only 30 kilometres from the Russian border, has been one of the worst-hit cities in Moscow’s bombing campaign since its invasion of Ukraine in February, 2022.

ALSO READ-Zelensky Appeals to Biden and Xi for Peace Summit Participation

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