President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy held a meeting with Minister of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation of Spain José Manuel Albares, who arrived on a visit to our country.
The head of state thanked the Spanish government for its extensive support to Ukraine in the face of Russia's ongoing armed aggression.
Zelenskyy highly appreciated the humanitarian support from Spain, in particular the delivery of 30 modern ambulance vehicles today. He also expressed gratitude for the warm welcome and assistance to Ukrainian citizens who were forced to seek refuge in Spain because of the war.
Separately, the President thanked Spain for its decision to hand over air defense systems to Ukraine.
"For us today, that's really the number one issue – to ensure strong air defense, to create an air shield to protect our critical and civilian infrastructure," he said.
The parties discussed topical issues of European and Euro-Atlantic integration of Ukraine. The head of state said that our country is counting on concrete steps on the way to the EU during Spain's Presidency of the Council of the European Union in the second half of 2023.
Particular attention was paid to the issue of restoring Ukraine's energy infrastructure after the latest wave of missile attacks by Russia. Zelenskyy thanked for the generators provided by Spain and noted the need for additional help from partners to resume uninterrupted power supply. He also expressed hope that Spain will actively participate in the reconstruction of Ukraine.
Zelenskyy drew the attention of the head of the Spanish Foreign Ministry to our country's international initiatives to hold the Russian Federation accountable for crimes committed in Ukraine. He expressed hope that Spain would support the creation of a compensation mechanism for damages caused by Russia's invasion, as well as a special international tribunal for the crime of Russian aggression.
The parties exchanged views on the consequences of Russian aggression for food security. The importance of continuing the grain initiative, which is a key element of global food security, was noted.
The head of state said that this year Ukraine will commemorate the 90th anniversary of the Holodomor of 1932-1933. He expressed hope that Spain will join the countries that recognized the Holodomor as an act of genocide of the Ukrainian people.