On the sidelines of a NATO summit in Vilnius — which has so far proved disappointing for Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy — Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the U.K. and the U.S. on Wednesday presented a plan to organize bilateral, long-term security commitments to help Ukraine fend off Russia’s aggression.
“Today we are launching negotiations with Ukraine to formalize … our enduring support to Ukraine as it defends its sovereignty and territorial integrity, rebuilds its economy, protects its citizens, and pursues integration into the Euro-Atlantic community,” a G7 statement reads.
“While we are on our way to NATO membership, Ukraine needs effective security guarantees on the way to the Alliance. We now have an appropriate package of guarantees, and I ask you to support and join it,” Zelenskyy tweeted.
For the past few weeks, the U.S., the U.K., France and Germany have been discussing with Ukraine how to create a common framework for all countries willing to provide Kyiv with ongoing military and financial aid. The goal, U.K. Defense Secretary Ben Wallace told reporters Wednesday, is to “make it so expensive for Russia to do this again, it’s not worth it.”
To do so, G7 countries pledge to continue sending military land, air and sea equipment, help foster Ukraine’s defense industrial base, train their forces, share intelligence and provide cyber defense support. In terms of weaponry, “air defense, artillery and long-range fires, armored vehicles, and other key capabilities, such as combat air” would be prioritized. Bilateral agreements would also include reconstruction and recovery efforts.
G7 countries — and whoever else wants to join — are now expected to “immediately” start discussing with Kyiv to define the gist of those long-term security commitments, the aim of which is to “ensure a sustainable force capable of defending Ukraine now and deterring Russian aggression in the future.”
On Tuesday, France and Germany announced new arms deliveries for Ukraine, pledging to send long-range missiles, as well as armored vehicles and ammunition.
“We recognize the need for the establishment of an international mechanism for reparation of damages, loss or injury caused by Russian aggression and express our readiness to explore options for the development of appropriate mechanisms,” the G7 also wrote.
In exchange, Ukraine commits to continue reforming the country including when it comes to corruption, corporate governance, law enforcement and the judiciary, but also the defense and military sectors and institutions.