The Minister for Defence takes part in a new meeting of the Ukraine Defence Contact Group

News - 2024.1.23

23/01/2024. The Minister for Defence takes part in a new meeting of the Ukraine Defence Contact Group. The Minister for Defence, Margarita R... The Minister for Defence, Margarita Robles, takes part in a new meeting of the Ukraine Defence Contact Group

The Minister for Defence, Margarita Robles, has today taken part by videoconference in this year's first meeting at ministerial level of the Defence Contact Group for Ukraine.

Following the usual order of these meetings, it was opened by US Secretary of State Lloyd Austin, who was followed by Ukrainian Defence Minister Rustem Umerov. The participants were then briefed on the situation on the battlefield, and the short-term needs of the Ukrainian armed forces and the situation of the defence industry.

During the participating ministers' speeches, Minister Robles, who was accompanied by the Secretary General for Defence Policy, Admiral Juan Francisco Martínez Núñez, talked about the difficulty of the current situation, which is close to the second anniversary of the Russian invasion, adding that "it is precisely now when unity and support for Ukraine becomes even more crucial".

The minister praised the figures of the specialised multinational coalitions as a good method for coordinating support for Ukraine in the long term. Spain plans to contribute to the Coalitions for Maritime Security, Field Artillery, Land-based Air Defence, Information Technology and Demining.

With regard to training, Margarita Robles confirmed that Spain will continue to be very active in this field, as demonstrated by the more than 3,500 Ukrainian soldiers who have already received training there. New training modules specialising in Patriot, NASAMS, Hawk anti-aircraft systems and underwater demining have been announced.

Last, and as part of Spain's humanitarian support for Ukraine, the minister confirmed that the programme to accommodate 400 relatives of Ukrainian soldiers who have fallen in combat in military residences has been successfully launched, giving them the chance to be able to enjoy a few days' rest away from the horrors of war.

To sum up, Robles reiterated to the nations and organisations taking part in the Contact Group Spain's firm commitment to support Ukraine for as long as necessary.

Non official translation