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Biden and Zelensky sign security pact

The treaty brings bilateral ties “to the level of a true alliance,” the Ukrainian leader said

Ukrainian leader and President shake hands after signing a bilateral security agreement during a press conference in Savelletri, Italy on June 13, 2024. ©  Filippo Monteforte / AFP

US President Joe Biden and Ukrainian leader Vladimir Zelensky have signed a 10-year security agreement, under which Washington pledged to continue backing Kiev in its conflict with Moscw. 

The deal was signed on the sidelines of the G7 meeting in the southern Italy on Thursday. According to the agreement, the US promised to “help deter and confront any future aggression against the territorial integrity” of and to “support Ukraine’s efforts to win today’s war and deter future Russian military aggression.” 

“It is the policy of the United States to assist Ukraine in maintaining a credible defense and deterrence capability,” the pact said. Washington pledged to support Kiev in numerous ways, including military aid, intelligence sharing, and economic assistance

“A lasting peace for Ukraine must be underwritten by Ukraine’s own ability to defend itself now and to deter future aggression,” Biden told reporters after the signing ceremony.

In a video address released on early Friday morning, Zelensky said that the treaty elevates the relations between the US and Ukraine “to the level of a true alliance.” He described the security deal as “the strongest agreement with America in all 33 years of our independence.”

Read more West ‘losing trust’ in Ukrainian government – FT

Since 2023, Ukraine has made similar pacts with individual NATO countries, including the UK, France and Germany. According to Zelensky, Kiev now has 17 security agreements with foreign backers, “with ten more in preparation.” 

The treaties are intended to serve as long-term commitments without granting Ukraine the status of a NATO member. The documents already signed not have the power of Article 5 of the NATO Charter, however, which stipulates that an attack against one member must be treated by the rest as an attack of the alliance as a whole.

Kiev formally applied to join the NATO in September 2022. Washington has made it clear, however, that Ukraine cannot become a member until its armed conflict with Russia is resolved. Russia, for its part, has repeatedly warned that no amount of Western aid would deter its military operation in Ukraine.

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