Ukrainian, Spanish leaders sign security deal; Putin visits Uzbekistan

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy made an official visit to Spain on Monday and signed a bilateral security deal with his Spanish counterpart, Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez.

Under the agreement, Spain will provide 1 billion euros, or about 1.1 billion dollars, of military aid to Ukraine this year.

Sanchez said Spain will send Patriot missiles, another batch of Leopard 2 tanks and ammunition to Ukraine.

Speaking at a news conference, Zelenskyy noted that Russia uses over 3,000 guided aerial bombs against people per month.

He said Ukraine is asking the world to help by supplying it with at least additional seven Patriot air defense systems.

A Russian attack using guided bombs hit a busy commercial facility in the eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv on Saturday. The regional governor said 18 people were killed and five others are listed as missing.

Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin made a state visit to Uzbekistan and met President Shavkat Mirziyoyev on Monday.

Putin noted in a news conference after their meeting that Russia began supplying gas to Uzbekistan last October. He expressed his intention to boost bilateral energy cooperation, referring to an ongoing project to increase the capacity of a trans-border pipeline.

Observers say Putin is apparently highlighting Russia's friendly ties with the former Soviet republic at a time when other former republics such as Moldova and Armenia are increasingly distancing themselves from Moscow.