MADRID (Sputnik) – The Spanish government will deliver two additional HAWK missile defense systems to Kiev, Spanish Defense Minister Maria Margarita Robles Fernandez said on Thursday.
“Two more missile launchers will be sent because NATO asked us to do so,” the El Financiero newspaper quoted the minister as saying.
Madrid has already delivered four HAWK missile defense systems and an Aspide system to Ukraine. This military package has been an addition to the artillery, air defense systems, and armored vehicles that NATO members have delivered to Kiev.
The Spanish Defense Ministry also announced on Thursday that 64 Ukrainian soldiers will begin training in the disposal of explosives, demining, and precision shooting in the city of Toledo starting next week. At the moment, 21 Ukrainian soldiers are undergoing training in handling 150/14 howitzers in the city of Almeria, the autonomous community of Andalusia.
In October, 19 Ukrainian soldiers have finished their training on how to operate launchers of Aspide short-range anti-aircraft missiles at a military base in the Spanish city of Zaragoza.
Media reported earlier that the Spanish government was ready to train 400 Ukrainian soldiers as a part of the European Union’s training program for the Ukrainian army. According to the El Pais newspaper, the 106.7 million euros ($108.9 million) initiative stipulates the training of 15,000 Ukrainian soldiers.
Madrid has already contributed over 200 million euros to the European Peace Facility to support Ukraine, the defense ministry said.
Since Russia launched its military operation in Ukraine on February 24, Western countries have been providing Kiev with humanitarian, military, and financial aid. Moscow has denounced the flow of weapons to Ukraine from its Western allies, saying it adds fuel to the fire and warning that any arms shipments on Ukrainian territory would be “legitimate targets” for the Russian forces.
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