Spain is preparing to send anti-aircraft missiles and battle tanks to kyiv, El Pais reported, citing government sources
Spain is preparing to deliver its first batch of heavy weapons to Ukraine, which could include surface-to-air missiles and battle tanks, El Pais reported on Sunday, citing government sources.
According to the outlet, the Ministry of Defense is currently finalizing the shipment of a battery of Aspide anti-aircraft missiles, which have been withdrawn from service with the Spanish Armed Forces and replaced with a more advanced system, the newspaper notes.
Madrid is also said to be willing to supply kyiv with German-made Leopard A4 battle tanks. Just as with the missiles, the equipment has not been used for active duty for some time, El Pais explained. Donated to Spain by Germany in 1995, the tanks have been gathering dust in a Spanish army logistics base for 10 years.
Defense sources quoted in the article said up to 40 tanks could end up being delivered to Ukraine once they are refurbished and returned to combat condition.
The newspaper also reported that the Spanish government has offered to train Ukrainian personnel in the use of tanks. According to the article, this would initially take place in Latvia, where 500 Spanish troops and Leopard 2E tanks are deployed as part of NATO forces. Later, however, the training would take place on Spanish soil, unnamed officials told El Pais.
The newspaper pointed out that so far Spain has only supplied Ukraine with light weapons and ammunition.
The turning point was, according to the report, on April 21, when Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez visited kyiv and met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
Ukraine’s ambassador to Madrid, Sergei Pohoreltsev, said last Friday that the small arms supplied by Spain so far were insufficient. “We are grateful but we cannot say that we are satisfied.”
Pohoreltsev called for the delivery of anti-ship and anti-aircraft missiles, 155mm howitzers and 120mm mortars. At the top of his wish list were the Leopard tanks. He went so far as to say that kyiv would like to get them even before its troops receive the necessary training.
The Ambassador insisted that Ukraine is not asking “everything that Spain cannot provide.”
Since the start of the Russian offensive in Ukraine at the end of February, many European countries, as well as the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia, have supplied Ukraine with weapons and ammunition.
During the first month of the conflict, the shipments consisted mainly of small arms and man-portable anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles. However, the United States and several other countries eventually accepted kyiv’s requests for heavy weapons, with howitzers and multiple rocket launcher systems now being delivered.
Russia has repeatedly condemned the expeditions, insisting they only serve to prolong the conflict.
You can share this story on social media: