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14/06/24 | 2:24 am

US, Ukraine ink 10-year defense agreement billed as NATO precursor

U.S. President Joe Biden and Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy signed a 10-year bilateral security agreement on Thursday (June 13) aimed at bolstering Ukraine’s defense against Russian invaders and getting Ukraine closer to NATO membership.

The deal, signed on the sidelines of the G7 summit in Italy, aims to commit future U.S. administrations to support Ukraine, even if former President Donald Trump wins November’s election, officials said.

The Ukraine president called the agreement “historic”, saying it is a bridge toward his country’s eventual NATO membership.

Zelenskiy has long sought NATO membership but the allies have stopped short of taking that step. The Western alliance regards any attack launched on one of its 32 members as an attack on all under its Article Five clause.

In the event of an armed attack or threat of such against Ukraine, top U.S. and Ukrainian officials will meet within 24 hours to consult on a response and determine what additional defense needs are required for Ukraine, the agreement says.

Under the agreement, the United States restates its support for Ukraine’s defense of its sovereignty and territorial integrity, amid a renewed push by Russia on Ukraine’s eastern front.

Speaking at a joint news conference with Biden after signing the agreement, Zelenskiy said Chinese President Xi Jinping told him during a phone conversation that China would not sell weapons to Russia.

He did not specify when the conversation with Xi took place.



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Last Updated: 13th Jul 2024