Ukraine seeks pressure on Russia to end war as Spain pledges $1B aid

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has called on Ukraine's allies to pressure Russia into peace by using "all means", during a visit to Madrid.

Zelenskyy spoke as Moscow claimed to have captured two villages in eastern Ukraine and after a weekend Russian strike on the northeastern city of Kharkiv killed more than a dozen people.

"In these weeks, our soldiers are defending themselves against the Russian offensive," Zelenskyy said on Monday.

"We need to intensify our joint work with our partners to achieve more. Security and tangible coercion of Russia to peace by all means," he added.

Zelenskyy is due to visit Portugal on Tuesday, Prime Minister Luis Montenegro's office said without giving details.

Zelenskyy said Ukraine's allies should permit his forces to "defend ourselves," after some Western officials called for a review of restrictions on Ukraine using the weapons they supply to strike Russia.

"We need to work together and put pressure not only on Russia, but also on our partners to give us the opportunity to defend ourselves against Russia," Zelenskyy said.

"Even those partners who are afraid to give this or that advice should understand that air defence is defence, not attack."

Spain military aid

Meanwhile, Spain has pledged $1.08 billion in military aid to Ukraine as Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez and Zelenskyy signed a security deal in Madrid.

The deal "includes a commitment for one billion euros in military aid for 2024," Sanchez told a joint news conference

"It will allow Ukraine to boost its capabilities including its essential air defence systems to protect its civilians, cities and infrastructure which are still suffering indiscriminate attacks as seen this weekend in Kharkiv," he said, referring to a Russian strike on the northeastern city that killed at least 16 people.

With the Russian assault now in its third year, Ukraine has been pleading for more weapons for its outgunned and outnumbered troops, notably seeking help to address its lack of air defence systems.

According to El Pais newspaper, the deal would include new Patriot missiles and Leopard tanks.

Zelenskyy has already signed bilateral security agreements with several countries including France, Germany and the UK.


Source: TRT