Spain, Belgium promise multibillion-dollar military aid for Ukraine

MILAN — Ukraine has received a number of fresh military aid commitments from its European allies, covering air defense, tanks and combat aircraft.

The Spanish government announced on Monday that it would provide military assistance to Ukraine worth €1 billion ($1.1 billion) this year as well as an additional €5 billion ($5.4 billion) for the period of 2024-2027.

Details were not made public, but Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez told reporters the equipment would alleviate “Ukraine’s key capacity needs.”

According to a report published by Spain’s national newspaper El Pais, Madrid’s pledge includes roughly a dozen Patriot anti-aircraft missiles, 19 Leopard 2A4 tanks, ammunition and counter-drone equipment.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said the two countries are discussing possible Spanish contributions to strengthen Kyiv’s air defenses, as Russian forces continue to attack infrastructure and population centers.

In Brussels on Tuesday, Zelensky signed a ten-year bilateral security agreement with Belgium, worth approximately $1 billion,, that will include the delivery of 30 F-16 fighter jets.

The first aircraft are expected to arrive later this year, while the rest will be transferred by 2028.

“The agreement guarantees Belgium’s timely security assistance, modern armored vehicles, equipment to meet our air force and air defense needs, naval security, mine clearance, participation in the artillery ammunition coalition and military training,” the Ukrainian leader said in a statement published on X, formerly known as Twitter.

The deal with Belgium will also cover intelligence and cybersecurity matters as well as further cooperation between the two countries’ defense industries.