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Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez arrived in Kyiv early on July 1 to meet President Volodymyr Zelensky on the first day of Madrid's presidency at the EU Council.
"I wanted the first act of the Spanish Presidency of the EU Council to be in Ukraine together with Zelensky," Sánchez said in a Twitter post upon arrival.
The Spanish prime minister's third visit to Kyiv during Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine comes more than a year after Kyiv applied for EU membership in late February and was granted candidate status in June 2022.
"For the first time, the beginning of a country's presidency will be emphasized by a visit to Ukraine. And this actually says a lot about how important the next six months will be for our Europe," Zelensky commented on the upcoming visit on June 30.
"This is a historic time to start negotiations on Ukraine's membership in the EU. A Europe of values, a free and strong Europe, a Europe of peace is unthinkable without Ukraine."
Spain, a NATO and EU member, has continuously supported Ukraine in its fight against Russian aggression, providing training and military equipment, including Leopard 2 tanks.