Sánchez announces the sending of more weapons to Ukraine with the ship "Ysabel"

The Spanish president announces "the largest military aid" to Ukraine to date during his meeting with Zelenski in Kiev

PHOTO/MONCLOA/BORJA PUIG DE LA BELLACASA  -   Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez, Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Olha Stefanishyna and Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen visit Borodyanka in the Kiev region of Ukraine on 21 April 2022

The Spanish Prime Minister, Pedro Sánchez, announced today in Kiev the sending of more military equipment to Ukraine with the Spanish Navy ship "Ysabel", which is on its way to Poland, and which will carry 200 tonnes of material.

Sánchez, who made this announcement after meeting in the Ukrainian capital with the country's president, Volodimir Zelenski, said that the new military aid will be "the largest ever" provided by Spain, as it doubles what has been received by Kiev until now.

The new contingent also includes 30 trucks and 10 smaller vehicles, explained the Spanish President, who also promised to increase humanitarian aid, especially for minors", part of which will be managed by UNICEF.

"We must also fight against impunity, especially after visiting Borodianka. Responding to the request for support from the ICC (International Criminal Court) to investigate and try those responsible for having committed war crimes", he added at another part of the press conference he gave in Kiev.

Spain will also provide Ukraine with multidisciplinary crime experts from eight Interior Ministry agencies, including 39 forensic experts, he said.

AFP PHOTO / BORJA PUIG DE LA BELLACASA / LA MONCLOA - Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez (C) walks during a visit to the town of Borodyanka, ahead of talks with Ukrainian President

The Spanish leader was asked about his impressions after visiting Borodianka, a town near Kiev, where the Russians have allegedly committed war crimes, and whether he would classify these actions as genocide.

"We are not only talking about war crimes, but it will have to be the ICC that certifies whether there has been a case of genocide here (...) but I have opened the door to it", he explained.

He also referred to the possible integration of Ukraine into the European Union, a process that Kiev has requested after suffering Russia's invasion, which began on 24 February.

"Spain is not a founder of the old economic European Union (EU). We joined the EU in the 1980s (...) so for a country like Spain we are always optimistic that other states will join the EU project. This is our philosophy", he said.

"Accession to the EU is a process of adaptation and transformation. Spain will always support Ukraine on this path (...) The EU is with you, the world is with you, you are not alone", he explained.

Sánchez, who recalled that this is the first time a Spanish prime minister has visited Ukraine, also said he wants Russian President Vladimir Putin to be held accountable for his crimes. 

In this sense, he defended 'the unity' that the European Union has shown by imposing strong sanctions on Russia and said 'these sanctions and the strength of unity are an important message against Putin'.