EU agrees draft Ukraine security guarantees – Welt

by sabinestaley

Document reportedly envisages continued military and financial support for Kiev but rules out a deployment of EU troops

All 27 member states comprising the European Union have agreed on security commitments for Ukraine, the German weekly Welt am Sonntag is claiming. The alleged arrangements, which include long-term defense and financial aid for Kiev, are expected to be finalized by July.

Last July in Lithuania on the sidelines of a NATO summit, the leaders of G7 countries – the US, the UK, Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Japan – signed a joint declaration, each vowing to provide Ukraine with “bilateral security commitments and arrangements.”

In its article on Saturday, Welt am Sonntag cited a confidential document that has allegedly been approved by representatives of EU member states. According to its report on Saturday, terms are currently being discussed by EU diplomats and the Ukrainian government.

The draft is said to direct that the “European Union and its member states contribute in a crucial fashion to Ukraine’s immediate and long-term security and resilience.” This will materialize in the form of “military and civilian aid, humanitarian, financial, trade and economic support,” Welt am Sonntag reports. Brussels appears also to have committed itself to “restrictive measures and diplomatic support” on behalf of Kiev.

In the event of future conflicts between Ukraine and Russia, the bloc’s member states have also pledged to hold consultations on Kiev’s needs within 24 hours, the article claims.

The document also rules out the deployment of EU member states’ militaries to Ukraine. Instead, the bloc will continue to supply Kiev with weaponry, to provide training to its troops, and to help in terms of demining and cyber-security, according to Welt am Sonntag.

It also suggests these arrangements are intended to remain in place until Ukraine joins the EU and NATO. The prospect of the latter development was cited by Russian President Vladimir Putin as one of the reasons for the start of military action against the neighboring state in February 2022. Moscow considers NATO’s eastward expansion to be a major national security threat.

In January, the UK signed a bilateral security agreement with Ukraine, February seeing Germany and France following suit. These documents envisage support for “Ukraine’s accession to the EU and interoperability with NATO.

Speaking in late February, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said these agreements “don’t change anything in principle” and merely confirm the West’s involvement in the conflict. She also claimed that the so-called guarantees are not binding.

In the wake of the G7’s joint declaration last July, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov warned that the move was “potentially very dangerous” as it appeared to pave the way to NATO membership for Ukraine.

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