Spain and Ukraine

Bilateral relations between Ukraine and Spain

1. Recognition of Ukraine’s independence: December 31, 1991.

2. Establishment of diplomatic relations: January 30, 1992.

3. Diplomatic missions: Embassy of Ukraine in Spain, Embassy of Spain in Ukraine

4. Political relations

Relations between Ukraine and the Kingdom of Spain are characterized by diversity and multifacetedness.

In June 2022, Spain supported the decision of the Council of the EU to grant EU candidate status to Ukraine.

Since Russia’s full-scale military aggression against Ukraine began in February 2022, an active bilateral political dialogue has been ongoing. In particular, the President of the Government of Spain P.Sánchez visited Ukraine twice – on April 21, 2022 and February 23, 2023.

In addition, in 2023 the following events took place:

• phone conversation between the President of Ukraine V. Zelenskyy and the President of the Government of Spain P. Sánchez (January 5, 2023);

• meetings of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, D. Kuleba and J.M. Albares Bueno, of Spain, on the sidelines of the GA and UN Security Council events in New York (February 23, 2023) and on the sidelines of the NATO Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Brussels (April 4, 2023);

• visit of the Minister of Defense of Ukraine O. Reznikov to Spain (April 13, 2023);

• meeting of the Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine R. Stefanchuk with the President of the Congress of Deputies of Spain M. Batet Lamaña on the sidelines of the Conference of Speakers of the EU Parliaments in Prague (April 24, 2023);

• meeting of the Deputy Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration of Ukraine, O. Stefanishyna, with the Minister of Foreign Affairs, EU and Cooperation of Spain, J.M. Albares Bueno, on the sidelines of the EU-related events in Sweden (26.05.2023);

• the meeting of the President of Ukraine V. Zelenskyy with the President of the Government of Spain P. Sánchez on the sidelines of the summit of the European Political Community in Moldova (June 1, 2023).

Approximately 30 bilateral contacts of various levels took place during 2022.

Madrid made a significant contribution to strengthening defense capabilities of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Today, Spain is the 4th contributor to the European Peace Fund, which has allocated €3.6 billion for the defense purposes of Ukraine (of which €315 million is Spain’s contribution).

5. Interparliamentary cooperation

On February 18, 2021, a parliamentary group on interparliamentary relations with Spain was formed in the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine. The list of its members can be found at:

Since the beginning of the Russian Federation’s full-scale military aggression against Ukraine in February 2022, an active dialogue has been ongoing both at the level of the leadership of two parliaments and parliament’s committees, in particular on foreign affairs, EU and health care issues.

On April 24, 2023, during the meeting of the Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine R. Stefanchuk with the President of the Congress of Deputies of Spain M. Batet Lamaña on the sidelines of the Conference of Speakers of the EU Parliaments in Prague, a Memorandum on Cooperation between the Secretariat of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine and the Secretariat of the Congress of Deputies of Spain was signed.

Since the beginning of Russia’s full-scale invasion, the Spanish Congress of Deputies has adopted a number of non-legislative documents in support of Ukraine.

6. Trade and economic cooperation

Spain is a key importer of Ukrainian wheat and one of Ukraine’s leading trade partners, particularly in terms of the volume of positive bilateral trade balance for our country.

At the beginning of 2022, trade and economic cooperation with Spain underwent a significant reduction in comparison with the previous periods. At the same time, after the first quarter of 2022, the volume of mutual trade gradually has started growing.

According to the Spanish statistics, in 2022 the volume of bilateral trade in goods amounted to $2,897.4 mln ($1,670.7 mln in 2021, +73.4%). Exports – $2,408 mln ($1,678 mln in 2021, +43.5%), imports – $489.2 mln ($975.8 mln in 2021, -50%). Positive balance for Ukraine – $1,918.8 mln.

The main groups of Ukrainian export goods are: grains ($1.178 bln); fats and oils of animal or vegetable origin ($343.3 mln); ferrous metals ($78.2 mln); electrical machines and mechanisms ($44.9 mln); salts and minerals ($37.3 mln); wood and wood products ($36.9 mln); ores ($17.6 mln).

The main groups of goods imported from Spain to Ukraine: means of land transport except railway ($43.2 mln); chemical products ($24.7 mln); plastics and products made from them ($20.2 mln); weapons and ammunition ($16.9 mln); reactors, nuclear boilers, machines ($16.7 mln); mineral fuel ($15.2 mln); electrical machines and mechanisms ($14.0 mln); meat and meat products ($12.5 mln); fish and crustaceans ($10.8 mln).

In accordance with the Agreement on Economic and Industrial Cooperation between Ukraine and Spain dated on October 7, 1996 (entered into force on April 12, 2000), the parties established the Ukrainian-Spanish Mixed Intergovernmental Commission on Economic and Industrial Cooperation. Three meetings of the Commission were held: in July 2008 in Madrid, in April 2011 in Kyiv and in December 2018 in Madrid.

7. Cooperation in the field of culture

Bilateral cooperation between Ukraine and Spain in the cultural and humanitarian sphere is based on the Agreement between the Government of Ukraine and the Government of the Kingdom of Spain on Cooperation in Education, Science and Culture of 07.10.1996.

Ukraine and Spain successfully cooperate in the sphere of culture. Tours of Ukrainian music and theatre groups, as well as Ukrainian community’ centers performances, contribute to the development of cultural and humanitarian contacts, and to a deeper understanding of Ukrainian culture, art and history in Spain.

Numerous exhibitions dedicated to Ukrainian art have attracted the attention of the Spanish public, including recent exhibitions of works by Nana Artamonova and Tetiana Kornienko.

Workshops in Ukrainian crafts traditionally attract a large audience in Madrid and other regions of Spain.

Ukrainian movies such as Zaza Buadze’s “Mother of Apostles” and the animated film “Mavka, the Forest Song” were a great success in Spain.

In Madrid and Barcelona, the Spanish literary community welcomed the presentation of the novel “Lexicon of Intimate Cities” by contemporary Ukrainian novelist, poet and translator Yuriy Andrukhovych, who had a tour of Spain. The publication of Hryhoriy Skovoroda’s collected works on the 300th Anniversary of his birth and the Ukrainian poet collection “Un Puñado de la Tierra” translated into Spanish became notable events in the literary life of Spain.

A significant event in Madrid was the presentation of the exhibition of Ukrainian art “In the center of the storm. Modernism in Ukraine 1900-1930s” at the world-famous Thyssen-Bornemisza National Museum.

As a sign of solidarity with Ukraine, a flagpole over 8 meters high with the Ukrainian flag was erected on the Lesya Ukrainka Square in Madrid.

On March 19, 2023, the first Ukrainian-language radio station in Spain, Ucrania FM, was launched in Alicante with the aim to provide information support to the Ukrainian-speaking community and promote cooperation between Ukraine and Spain in the cultural and humanitarian spheres. The station’s programming consists mainly of modern Ukrainian-language music, cultural, social and entertainment programs.

Numerous photo exhibitions were held in many cities of Spain to draw the attention of the Spanish society to Russia’s full-scale aggression in Ukraine.

8. The Ukrainian community in Spain

According to the latest data published by the National Statistics Institute of Spain, 133,046 citizens of Ukraine live in Spain.

Since the beginning of Russia’s full-scale invasion, more than 167 000 Ukrainians have arrived in Spain.

  • 20 tons[clarification needed] of humanitarian aid worth more than €150,000 on 27 February 2022.[280][281][282]
  • 54 pallets (83 cubic metres) of medicines and medical supplies[283]
  • Two ambulances and 5 tons of medical supplies dispatched by the Spanish Army for Ukraine on 7 October 2022.[284]
  • As of 25 October 2022, humanitarian assistance amounts to €92 million of goods and €200 of financial donations.[285]
  • 30 more ambulances and multiple generators for medical facilities in Ukraine (November 2022).[286]
  • 10 Leopard 2 tanks [delivered from April 2023 onwards].[415]
Armored personal carriers
  • ~55 M113 armored personal carriers [Before December 2022 and February and April 2023].[133]
  • 20 URO VAMTAC armoured vehicles [April 2022][416][417]
  • RG-31 Nyala mine-resistant vehicle configured as an ambulance [April 2022][418]
  • Eight light military vehicles dispatched from the Spanish army to Ukraine on 7 October 2022. 12 more vehicles also pledged.[419]
  • 40 trucks and off-road vehicles [April or May 2022].[420]
  • 9 heavy transport trucks [late 2022].[420]
  • 11 vehicles [late 2022].[420]
  • 2 Land Rover 4×4 SUVs [late 2022].[420]
Self-propelled artillery
  • ~5 81mm/120mm M113 Mortar Variants [February 2023].[133]
  • 6 120mm Alakran mortar on Toyota Land Cruisers [To be delivered].[421]
Towed artillery
  • 6 105mm OTO Melara Mod 56 [January 2023].[133]
Surface-to-air missile (SAM) systems Radars[420]
  • AN/MPQ-61 (for Hawk SAM battery) [December 2022].
  • AN/MPQ-62 (for Hawk SAM battery) [December 2022].
  • 1 Thomson-CSF RAC 3D (for Aspide 2000 battery) [November 2022].
Anti-ship missiles Anti-tank weapons Small arms
  • M2 heavy machine guns (for M113 APCs) [2022 and 2023].[420]
  • Light machine guns [March 2022].[422]
  • 1,370 anti-tank grenade launchers [March 2022].[422]
  • 155mm M107 artillery rounds for towed artillery and SPGs [before September 2022].[420]
  • 155m extended range artillery rounds for towed artillery and SPGs [To be delivered].[420]
  • 12.7mm rounds for M2 heavy machine guns [Spring 2022].[420]
  • 700,000 rounds for rifle and machine guns [March 2022].[422]
  • Training of 639 Ukrainian soldiers by March 2023, with up to 2,000 to be trained in total by the end of 2023.[423]