President of Ukraine

President of Ukraine holds meeting in Kyiv with President of the Government of Spain of Spain, which takes over Presidency of the Council of the EU

1 July 2023 - 17:37

President of Ukraine holds meeting in Kyiv with President of the Government of Spain of Spain, which takes over Presidency of the Council of the EU

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy held a meeting with President of the Government of Spain Pedro Sánchez, who is visiting our country.

The Head of State said that the visit of the head of the Spanish government to Ukraine is symbolic because it is taking place on the first day of Spain's Presidency of the Council of the European Union.

"This speaks very clearly about the actual situation in Europe, when our common European home cannot be imagined without us, without Ukraine, and about Spain's priorities in protecting freedom, equality, and justice for the whole of Europe. I am grateful for this visit and the support," Zelenskyy said, speaking with media representatives following the negotiations with Sánchez in Kyiv.

At the meeting, the leaders discussed several issues, primarily those related to protection against Russian aggression.

"I am grateful to Spain and to you, Mr. Sánchez, Mr. President of the Government, for the assistance provided to Ukraine, in particular, security assistance to protect the lives of Ukrainians from Russian terror. Grateful for providing refuge in Spain for about 180,000 Ukrainians immediately after the start of the full-scale invasion of Russia. We highly appreciate it and will never forget it," the President said.

He also expressed gratitude for the support of joint European decisions on sanctions and other fair pressure on Russia, which helps to limit the powerful terrorist potential.

The Head of State said that Sánchez fundamentally and very promptly condemned blowing up the Kakhovka HPP facilities by Russia, which led to the destruction of one of the largest water reservoirs in Europe and the largest ecocide on the continent in decades.

"Unfortunately, there is an even more terrible threat – it is the preparation of a potential radiation disaster scenario by Russian terrorists at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, the largest in Europe, which Russia has occupied and fully controls for over one year. The attention of the world – of every country, every leader – and particular, tangible pressure on Russia – all this is a set of very necessary things to prevent radiation incidents at the Zaporizhzhia NPP," the President of Ukraine said.

According to him, it is necessary to immediately start work on the 12th package of sanctions of the European Union against the Russian Federation.

"Pedro and I started talking about these sanctions. Ukraine does not understand why sanctions against Rosatom, whose representatives continue to occupy the Zaporizhzhia NPP and put our general security at risk, have not yet been introduced," Zelenskyy said.

He also thanked Spain for the decision to refuse visas to Russian and Belarusian athletes for the European Wrestling Championship, which is taking place in the country.

In addition, the President expressed gratitude for Ukraine's support on the way to joining the European Union.

"We discussed the approaching start of negotiations on Ukraine's membership in the European Union. Ukraine is grateful for the interim oral update on our progress and waiting for the European Commission's report in October this year, and by the end of the year, in December, for the European Council's decision to start negotiations. All this is very important for us. Ukraine's approach to joining the European Union is extremely motivating for our defenders because it convinces them that Europe sees at what cost our people protect exactly the same values already protected for every country in the European Union," Zelenskyy said.

He also noted Spain's support for Ukraine's Euro-Atlantic movement.

"This is now the obvious fact: the wider NATO is in Europe, the wider the space of peace and defense in Europe. Our joint statement with Mr. President of the Government in support of Ukraine's European and Euro-Atlantic aspirations clearly states that security for Europe is our joint priority," the Head of State said, adding that this is already the 21st such document with the members of the Alliance, i.e. with the majority.

Zelenskyy said he is counting on Spain's support for Ukraine at the Alliance summit in Vilnius.

"We are convinced that today there are all the grounds for extending an invitation to NATO membership for Ukraine. This will be a signal that peace and security in Europe have no and will never have alternatives. Security guarantees for Ukraine, which are required for the time before joining the Alliance, were also discussed. We invite Spain to join the discussion on providing such guarantees," the President said.

Separately, the Head of State emphasized the joint work with Spain to attract world support to achieve peace and thanked for supporting the Ukrainian Peace Formula, the points of which can protect against aggression and its consequences.

"The Peace Formula is based on the principles of the UN Charter and supported by the UN General Assembly resolutions. We are preparing to hold the Global Peace Summit and count on Spain's effective participation in it. Holding such a summit as soon as possible will unite the efforts of the countries of Europe and the Global South to bring peace to Ukraine, which means to Europe and the whole world," Zelenskyy said.

He expressed his belief that together, we will be able to overcome Russia's aggression and ensure a peaceful and just future for Ukraine and every country in Europe.

"But for this, our cooperation and our alliances should only become stronger," the President said.

For his part, Sánchez expressed his belief that during Spain's Presidency of the Council of the EU, progress will be made on issues important for the future of the European Union, and, of course, Ukraine will be at the focus of all debates.

He said that today, Ukrainians defend the most important international principles: sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity.

According to Sánchez, Spain continues active cooperation with Ukraine in the defense sector and will soon transfer new heavy equipment, including Leopard tanks and armored personnel carriers. The Spanish side will also hand over a field hospital with surgical equipment to strengthen Ukraine's ability to assist wounded soldiers and civilians near the front line. Sánchez announced that Spain would provide another EUR 55 million for Ukraine's reconstruction.

The President of the Government of Spain said that coordination of efforts to respond to Ukraine's defense needs continues at the EU level, in particular, essential ammunition and weapons are provided through the European Peace Facility.

In the context of our country's European integration, Sánchez said that the European Commission's interim update on Ukraine's EU candidate status is positive and indicates substantial progress.

"I would like to congratulate Ukraine on this and encourage it to continue the path of reforms. We will wait for the written report of the European Commission in the autumn. It will become the basis for further steps and decisions," he said.

According to the President of the Government of Spain, a lot of work is being done in creating mechanisms to prosecute those guilty of war crimes committed in Ukraine. In addition, the search for ways to resolve the issue of frozen Russian assets in Europe continues, which requires certain legal solutions.

The President of the Government of Spain wished Ukraine success in its counteroffensive operations and expressed hope that this would make it possible to ensure a just and lasting peace.

"Europe and Spain remain on your side," Sánchez said.


Meeting of the President of Ukraine and the President of the Government of the Kingdom of Spain in Kyiv

1 July 2023 - 16:26