Zelensky's first visit to Spain
The III summit of the European Political Community takes place in Granada with the Kings as hosts. Before the gala dinner, Felipe VI had a meeting with the president of Ukraine, Volodímir Zelensky.
The attendance of the Ukrainian president was confirmed this Thursday and his stay is marked by strong security measures.
Zelensky asks at the Granada summit to “safeguard European unity” in the face of Russian aggression
The acting President of the Government Pedro Sánchez talks with the President of Ukraine, Volodímir Zelensky, during a bilateral meeting on the occasion of the Third Summit of the European Political Community, which is being held this Thursday in Granada
Avoid fissures on the European continent in the face of Russian aggression against Ukraine. The Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelensky, called this Thursday at the Granada summit to “safeguard European unity.” The Ukrainian leader has arrived in the Andalusian city to participate in the summit of the European Political Community, in which leaders from more than 40 countries on the continent meet. And he does so at a delicate moment for Ukraine—and also for Europe—which sees support from the United States faltering, which has eliminated economic aid for Ukraine from its temporary budget law.
Zelensky, who will meet with the Spanish president, Pedro Sánchez, host of this crucial meeting for the Spanish presidency of the Council of the EU, is trying to strengthen his alliance with the countries of Europe and guarantee their support, given the fear that the support of Washington ends up disappearing. The EU also fears being left alone.
Aware of this context, Zelensky warned upon his arrival at the summit: “The main objective for all of us is to safeguard the unity of Europe, and I am talking not only about the EU, but about all of Europe, because Russia is going to attack with disinformation and fake news to try to undermine it.”
The big absentees from the summit are the president of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and that of Azerbaijan, Ilham Alyiev, two of the leaders closest to the Kremlin, along with the Hungarian Viktor Orbán. The Azerbaijani president thus avoids sitting at the table with the Prime Minister of Armenia, Nikol Pashinián, to discuss the conflict in Nagorno Karabakh.
The president of Ukraine, who has resisted Russian aggression for 19 months, has assured that he feels supported by the US president, Joe Biden, but recognizes that Washington faces a «difficult» electoral period with «multiple voices.» “In Ukraine we stopped being afraid on the first day of the full-scale war. It is too late to be afraid, we have to work,” Zelensky said. The president has asked for more military support in the form of anti-aircraft batteries to resist a winter that is predicted to be difficult, with Russia increasing attacks against civil and energy infrastructure to try to undermine the unity and morale of citizens.
The one in Granada constitutes Zelensky's first visit to Spain since Russia launched the full-scale war and also happens before the leaders of the EU member states debate the upcoming enlargement to the east to receive Ukraine… The Twenty-Seven will try to set a temporary goal at the Granada summit so that the EU has completed its own reforms necessary to absorb the new countries, as EL PAÍS has advanced. At this Friday's meeting, the EU will urge the acceleration of work and discussions on how to enlarge, when and with which countries.
Spain is one of the strongest supporters of enlargement, Pedro Sánchez has highlighted. “Zelensky knows well that he has the support of Spain and the willingness to continue taking steps to open talks for Ukraine's entry into the EU,” the acting President of the Government remarked. “Spain has always supported enlargements, not only with progressive governments, but also before,” Sánchez added. The Spanish president will have several bilateral meetings in Granada and this Friday, after the meeting of the European Political Community, he will host the heads of state of the Twenty-seven at an EU summit in which they will discuss enlargement, immigration and strategic security
The EU is trying to guarantee support for Ukraine. The large-scale invasion launched by Russian President Vladimir Putin on February 24, 2022, has shaken the European security architecture and helping Ukraine (and now also the enlargement to the east) is also an element for its own security geostrategic. Brussels and the Twenty-seven have already allocated more than 85 billion for Ukraine, although this figure also includes the money promised and not just that delivered. However, it is costing much more to carry out the latest support packages, such as the 500 million euros for the European Peace Fund that Hungary has blocked since spring.
Now the goal is to standardize that support in the form of security commitments. “Ukraine needs medium-term predictability in the continuity of support from different countries,” stressed the president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, upon her arrival at the Granada summit. The head of the community Executive, one of the closest to Washington and within Brussels, has expressed confidence that Washington will “maintain” its support for Ukraine.
Pedro Sánchez receives more than 40 leaders of European countries in a meeting in which the debate on enlargement will take center stage