One Year On: Spain PM in Kyiv on eve of war's one-year anniversary

AFP , Thursday 23 Feb 2023

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez arrived in Kyiv early on Thursday in a show of support ahead of the one-year anniversary of Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Pedro Sanchez
Spain s Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez talks with a resident during a visit to the small Ukrainian town of Borodianka, Kyiv region, in April 2022. AFP


"Returning to Kyiv today, one year since the start of the war," Sanchez tweeted with a video of him stepping off the train in the Ukrainian capital.

"We will stand with Ukraine and its people until peace returns to Europe," he wrote in Spanish and Ukrainian.

Sanchez will meet with Ukraine's leader Volodymyr Zelensky later in the day on what is his second visit to Kyiv since the war began on February 24, 2022, his office said.

The visit comes shortly after US President Joe Biden made a surprise trip to Kyiv, his first since the invasion began, and a day later, Italy's Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni also arrived.

On Wednesday, Defence Minister Margarita Robles had confirmed Spain would send six of its German-made Leopard tanks to bolster Ukraine's fight against Russia.

On February 24, 2022, Russian tanks rolled into Ukraine as part of a so-called "special military operation" for what they thought would be a rapid victory.

But Ukraine has fought back doggedly with the war dragging on into a stalemate that has caused an estimated 150,000 casualties on both sides, according to various Western sources.

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