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Ukraine updates: Spain pledges €1.1 billion in defense aid

Published May 27, 2024last updated May 27, 2024

Ukrainian President Zelenskyy met with Spain's PM Sanchez and King Felipe VI on his first official visit to the country as fierce fighting in eastern Ukraine continues amid Russia's continued offensive. DW has more.

Volodymyr Zelenskyy with Pedro Sanchez
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy made his first official visit to SpainImage: Paul White/AP Photo/picture alliance
Skip next section What you need to know

What you need to know

Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has made his first official visit to Spain for talks with Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez.

The two leaders signed a bilateral cooperation agreement. Zelenskyy had been scheduled to travel to Spain earlier in May, but had to postpone with reports that it was due to Russia's offensive in eastern Ukraine.

Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin is on a visit to Uzbekistan where he is looking to broaden cooperation on gas supplies, according to news agencies citing Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov. It is Putin's third trip since his reelection in March.

Here's a look at the latest developments from Russia's war in Ukraine on Monday, May 27.

Skip next section Ukraine and Spain sign €1.1 billion defense pact
May 27, 2024

Ukraine and Spain sign €1.1 billion defense pact

Spain has pledged to provide Ukraine with €1.1 billion ($1.2 billion) worth of defense aid including. anti-aircraft missiles, Leopard tanks and ammunition.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy signed the agreement with Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez during a visit to Madrid on Monday.

"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," Sanchez said.

Zelenskyy hailed the deal as "life-saving aid in these difficult times."

Skip next section Germany to earmark €60 million more for Ukraine humanitarian aid
May 27, 2024

Germany to earmark €60 million more for Ukraine humanitarian aid

Germany will provide €60 million ($65 million) more in humanitarian aid to Ukraine on top of the more than €3 billion already given, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said on Monday. 

Speaking before a meeting with her EU counterparts in Brussels, Baerbock said full support of Ukraine was made even more necessary by Russia's recent deadly attacks.

She said people in eastern Ukraine in particular were "lacking everything."

"People have been suffering under Russia's occupation of terror for more than two and a half years," she said.

Baerbock said the German government would work with international partners to try and get the humanitarian aid to the region.

Skip next section Russia says seizes two more eastern Ukrainian villages
May 27, 2024

Russia says seizes two more eastern Ukrainian villages

Russia's Defense Ministry says that Moscow's invading forces have "liberated" two more villages in the eastern Ukrainian regions of Donetsk and Kharkiv.

If confirmed, the seizure of the villages of Netailove in Donetsk and Ivanivka in Kharkiv would mark the latest in a series of Russian territorial gains.

The capture of the village in Kharkiv occurred in a region further east than where Russia launched a major new ground assault two weeks ago.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has warned that the new Kharkiv offensive could be the first wave of a probable summer offensive by Moscow.

Skip next section Zelenskyy arrives in Spain to sign bilateral deal
May 27, 2024

Zelenskyy arrives in Spain to sign bilateral deal

Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has arrived in Spain, where he is due to sign a deal with Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez that increases Madrid's military aid to Kyiv. 

According to the Spanish daily El Pais, Monday's deal will include €1.1 billion worth of military aid and include new Patriot missiles and Leopard tanks. 

So far, Madrid has provided relatively little military aid to Kyiv on a European level, with figures from the Kiel Institute showing that it has committed just €330 million ($358 million). In comparison, Germany has given €18.61 billion in military aid to Kyiv.

During his visit, Zelenskyy is also to hold talks with King Felipe and attend a "lunch in his honor" hosted by the king and his wife, Queen Letizia, a palace statement said.

Skip next section Putin in Uzbekistan on third trip since inauguration
May 27, 2024

Putin in Uzbekistan on third trip since inauguration

Russian President Vladimir Putin is visiting Uzbekistan where he is to hold talks with President Shavkat Mirziyoyev.

After his arrival, Putin laid a wreath at a monument to Uzbekistan's independence in Tashkent and held informal talks with Mirziyoyev.

Formal discussions are set to take place on Monday and news agencies have reported that Russia is open to broader cooperation on gas supplies with Uzbekistan.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov was quoted as saying that "the possibilities here are very extensive."

Putin has already made visits to China and Belarus since re-election in March, but trips abroad have been infrequent.

The International Criminal Court has issued a warrant for his arrest on suspicion of illegally deporting children from Ukraine, allegations the Kremlin denies.

Skip next section Zelenskyy making first official visit to Spain
May 27, 2024

Zelenskyy making first official visit to Spain

Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy will be in Spain on Monday where he will meet Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez for talks.

Sanchez "will receive the president of Ukraine" at noon (1000 GMT), after which they will hold a press conference, the Spanish prime minister's office said in a statement.

Spain's royal family said that Zelenskyy would be received by King Felipe VI at the palace. "Afterwards, King Felipe and Queen Letizia will host a lunch in his honour," it added.

The trip is Zelenskyy's first official visit to Spain and comes amid heavy fighting in eastern Ukraine, as Russian forces continue attacking along the frontline.

Zelenskyy had been due to visit Spain in the middle of May but postponed with reports that it was due to the Russian offensive.

Sanchez said last week that he was preparing to sign a bilateral cooperation agreement with Zelesnkyy.

"We have made decisive progress in our bilateral relations with the Ukrainian government," the Socialist leader said.

"So much so that I can announce to you today that, as soon as the situation on the front allows, we will sign an agreement with Ukraine that will increase economic, social and institutional cooperation between our countries," he added.

Like other European Union member states, Spain has committed to supporting Ukraine with financial and military aid since the Russian invasion in February 2022.

In March, Spain said it would transfer 19 German-made Leopard tanks to Ukraine, the first ten of which are expected by the end of June, reported El Pais.

In May, Madrid provided Kyiv with long-range interceptor missiles for its Patriot air defense systems.

kb/sri (AFP, Reuters, AP)