EU and Ukraine to Sign Security Agreement

The European Union has pledged long-term support for Ukraine in its ongoing conflict with Russia.

Brussels is set to sign a defense pact with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Thursday, according to Reuters, which obtained a leaked draft document. The agreement aims to demonstrate the EU’s enduring commitment to Ukraine as the conflict with Russia shows no signs of abating. Despite this support, Ukraine has “no immediate prospect” of joining either the EU or NATO, Reuters reported.

“Today, Ambassador Igor Zhovkva and I wrapped up discussions on the joint security commitments between the EU and Ukraine,” Charles Fries, the French diplomat serving as deputy secretary-general for ‘Peace, Security and Defense’ at the EU External Action Service, posted on Twitter Wednesday. “The EU is fully united and resolved to support Ukraine, whatever it takes.”

The draft agreement outlines the EU’s obligation to assist Ukraine in nine areas of security and defense policy, ranging from weapons deliveries and Ukrainian military training to demining and “defense industry cooperation.”

Zelensky is scheduled to sign the agreement in Brussels on Thursday during an unannounced visit to the summit of EU member state leaders.

While not a mutual defense pact, the security agreement represents a pledge from the EU to provide Ukraine with weapons and other aid in the event of “future invasion,” according to anonymous officials who spoke with Reuters. In the case of “future aggression,” the deal mandates the EU and Ukraine to consult within 24 hours and “swiftly determine” their subsequent actions.

The agreement does not specify the value or quantity of future military aid but acknowledges the EU’s commitment to funding the Ukrainian military with €5 billion this year, with “further comparable annual increases could be envisaged until 2027.”

Similar security treaties with Ukraine have already been established by the United States, United Kingdom, France, and Germany. Western powers have sought to formalize ad-hoc funding to Ukraine in anticipation of potential election upsets later this year.

The EU agreement’s commitments will remain in effect “as Ukraine pursues its European path” and will be reviewed within ten years, Reuters noted. The EU formally initiated negotiations for Ukraine’s eventual membership on Tuesday, with the EU ambassador in Kyiv speculating that the process could be completed by 2030.