Felipe VI assures Zelenskiy that Spain will work to ensure Russia is held accountable ‘for all the crimes committed’

The monarch endorsed the peace plan put forward by the Ukrainian president and called for the ‘complete, immediate, and unconditional withdrawal of all Russian forces from the territory of Ukraine’

El rey Felipe VI, conversando con el presidente de Ucrania, Volodímir Zelenski
King Felipe VI, talking with the president of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, at the Royal Palace in Madrid.Ballesteros
Miguel González

Following a meeting with Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez at La Moncloa, the seat of government, and without changing his now instantly recognizable attire of olive green short-sleeved shirt and military trousers, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy attended a lunch hosted for him at the Royal Palace by the king and queen of Spain. Earlier on Monday morning, Felipe VI had personally met Zelenskiy at the capital’s Barajas airport, an unusual gesture of deference that the Spanish monarch last made for U.S. President Joe Biden when he attended the NATO summit in Madrid in 2022.

During his meeting with Sánchez, according to sources familiar with the operation, an arms package worth almost €1.3 billion ($1.41 billion) was presented to Zelenskiy, an unprecedented figure in Spanish military aid to Ukraine or to any other country. Zelenskiy and Sánchez were expected to sign a bilateral security agreement that includes supplies of a wide range of military equipment, including Patriot missile systems and Leopard tanks. Unlike past military aid to Kyiv, most of the material will not come from the arsenals of the Spanish Armed Forces but will be manufactured specifically by Spanish industry.

The security agreement between Spain and Ukraine will be similar to those that Kyiv has already signed with the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, Denmark, and Canada, which aim to guarantee long-term sustained military support and serve as a bridge until Ukraine becomes a full member of NATO and the EU.

During his speech at the Royal Palace later in the day, Felipe VI said that “Ukraine knows that it can continue to count on Spain and, we trust, on the rest of the allies for as long as necessary.” Endorsing the peace plan put forward by the Ukrainian president, to be discussed at a conference in Switzerland in June, the king added that “the complete, immediate, and unconditional withdrawal of all Russian forces from the territory of Ukraine within its international borders is essential.” Those borders include Crimea, which was illegally annexed by Moscow in 2014.

The Spanish monarch also stated that “Spain will work, together with Ukraine and its international partners, to hold Russia accountable for all the crimes committed.” In his response, Zelenskiy revealed that he had traveled to Madrid “with a very distinguished mission.” The Ukrainian leader posthumously awarded the Golden Heart decoration to Spanish aid worker Emma Igual, who was killed in a Russian strike last September.

Zelenskiy concluded the program of his visit to Madrid by attending the Congress of Deputies to meet with the various political spokespersons. On Tuesday he will travel to Portugal, thus continuing the tour he was forced to postpone 10 days ago due to the renewed Russian offensive in the Kharkiv region.

Sign up for our weekly newsletter to get more English-language news coverage from EL PAÍS USA Edition

Tu suscripción se está usando en otro dispositivo

¿Quieres añadir otro usuario a tu suscripción?

Si continúas leyendo en este dispositivo, no se podrá leer en el otro.

¿Por qué estás viendo esto?


Tu suscripción se está usando en otro dispositivo y solo puedes acceder a EL PAÍS desde un dispositivo a la vez.

Si quieres compartir tu cuenta, cambia tu suscripción a la modalidad Premium, así podrás añadir otro usuario. Cada uno accederá con su propia cuenta de email, lo que os permitirá personalizar vuestra experiencia en EL PAÍS.

En el caso de no saber quién está usando tu cuenta, te recomendamos cambiar tu contraseña aquí.

Si decides continuar compartiendo tu cuenta, este mensaje se mostrará en tu dispositivo y en el de la otra persona que está usando tu cuenta de forma indefinida, afectando a tu experiencia de lectura. Puedes consultar aquí los términos y condiciones de la suscripción digital.

More information

Archived In

Recomendaciones EL PAÍS
Recomendaciones EL PAÍS