19th May 2024
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Ukrainian President Zelensky cancels trip to Spain and Portugal

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has cancelled trips to Spain and Portugal, which were scheduled to take place at the end of this week. He was reportedly to meet with Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez at Moncloa and King Felipe VI at the Royal Palace in Madrid on Friday 17 May.

Although the Spanish government had never officially confirmed when or if the visit by Zelensky would be taking place ‘for security reasons’, Spanish media had reported that the Ukrainian president would be guest of honour at a lunch at the Royal Palace following a meeting with Sánchez. The Zarzuela royal palace has since changed the schedule of Felipe VI for Friday.

Spanish and Portuguese media state that the main reason for postponing his trip is the difficult situation on several fronts of the war in Ukraine. In particular, the advance of Russian troops in Kharkiv, a strategic region for Ukrainian interests, led Zelensky to reconsider his trip abroad and remain in Ukraine to coordinate the response to Russian aggression and manage the on-going humanitarian crisis.

President Zelensky was reportedly due to sign a new bilateral security agreement with Spain during his visit to the country.

The Ukrainian leader was last in Spain in October 2023 for the European Political Community meeting held in Granada.

Madrid announced in April it would send long-range Patriot anti-aircraft interceptor missiles to Ukraine to help the country resist Russian attacks.

Volodymyr Zelensky with Pedro Sánchez during a visit to Granada for a European Summit in October 2023.

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