El País: Spain is ready to supply Ukraine with Leopard tanks and Shorad Aspide air defense systems Madrid will transfer 40 Leopard A4 tanks to Kyiv after repairs, sources told the newspaper. According to The Objective, this will take one to three months. In Kyiv, they said earlier that there was not enough help from Spain, it would be enough “for two hours of fighting”
Leopard A4 tanks
The Spanish authorities are preparing to supply heavy weapons to Ukraine, the military aid package will include Leopard A4 tanks and a battery of short-range anti-aircraft missile systems Shorad Aspide, writes El País citing sources in the Spanish government.
We are talking about tanks that are stored at a military base in Zaragoza in the north-east of the country. Madrid received 108 used tanks from Germany in 1995 as part of a contract for the production of Leopard in Spain, the newspaper writes. Initially, the Spanish authorities intended to restore the received cars, but later, due to lack of funding, it was decided to leave them in storage. According to El País sources, Madrid intends to restore and transfer 40 Leopard A4 tanks to Kyiv.
Spain will also train the Ukrainian military to operate these tanks, the first stage of the training is planned to be held in Latvia, where a contingent of 500 Spanish military personnel with six Leopard 2E tanks is stationed. The second stage of preparation involves training in Spain, sources told the publication.
El País indicates that Madrid previously supplied Kyiv with ammunition, personal protective equipment and light weapons, such as machine guns and S-90 grenade launchers.
Ukraine has previously reported low levels of military support from Madrid compared to other states. Ukrainian Ambassador to Spain Sergei Pogoreltsev said in early June that Kyiv was dissatisfied with the actions of Madrid, and the Spanish authorities could make more efforts, The Objective reported. According to the ambassador, the amount of weapons transferred by Madrid is 0.03% of the total amount of the Spanish arsenal.
The diplomat pointed out that Ukraine received 200 tons of military assistance from Spain, but this is not enough, they are only enough for “two hours of fighting”, Telemadrid reported. Pogoreltsev called for the urgent dispatch of 53 Leopard tanks from the Zaragoza base, 155mm howitzers, 120mm mortars, multiple launch rocket systems, anti-aircraft missile systems and Harpoon anti-ship missiles. Sources of The Objective also reported that a base in Latvia is being considered as a platform for training the Ukrainian military. The interlocutors of the portal added that the Spanish defense contractor Santa Bárbara Sistemas guaranteed the preparation of tanks for shipment within 1–3 months.
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In recent weeks, the Spanish Ministry of Defense has declared the uselessness of these machines and the “inexpediency” their use on the battlefield, points out The Objective. Leopard tanks will become “completely useless” for an army that does not know how to handle them, said the head of the defense headquarters, Admiral Teodoro López Calderon.
The Objective cites data from the European Commission, according to which the total amount of military support sent by Madrid to Kyiv is €4 million. €1.34 billion, and neutral Sweden— €127 million
The Spanish authorities announced the supply of light weapons to Ukraine in early March, the aid package provided for the shipment of 1,370 grenade launchers and 700,000 rifle and machine gun cartridges, along with light machine guns. The head of the Spanish government, Pedro Sanchez, noted that Madrid's deliveries include offensive weapons. In the left-wing opposition coalition, “United We Can” At the same time, they criticized the decision of the Prime Minister, calling it erroneous. According to the members of the coalition, this threatens to escalate the conflict, which should be resolved through diplomacy.
The supply of weapons by Western countries to Ukraine is also criticized by the Russian authorities. President Vladimir Putin claims Russian forces are “clicking” American weapons are like nuts, dozens of sets have been destroyed. His press secretary, Dmitry Peskov, has repeatedly said that the goals of the special operation will be achieved, despite the supply of weapons by Western countries. He believes that Western weapons will bring “more suffering” to the country.
“If NATO, in fact, goes to war with Russia through a proxy and arms this proxy, then in war as in war,” — Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov warned at the end of April.