G7 members are expected to ratify a long-term security arrangement with Ukraine at the NATO summit on Wednesday. The agreement will include defense equipment, training, and intelligence sharing.
G7 member and British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said the agreement would send a “strong signal” to Russian President Vladimir Putin. The announcement comes after Ukraine’s President Zelensky criticized NATO’s reluctance to offer Kyiv a timeframe for joining the alliance.
Mr. Sunak said Kyiv’s allies were ramping up their “formal arrangements to protect Ukraine for the long term.” “We can never see a repeat of what has happened in Ukraine, and this declaration reaffirms our commitment to ensure it is never left vulnerable to the kind of brutality Russia has inflicted on it again,” he said.
He added that supporting Kyiv’s “pathway to Nato membership” as well as “formal, multilateral, and bilateral arrangements” by Nato members would send a clear message to the Russian president and “return peace to Europe.”
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No. 10 said the UK had played a leading role in the agreement involving G7 partners Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the US. More details are expected on Wednesday.
US President Joe Biden and G7 members earlier suggested a model for Ukraine similar to his country’s agreement with Israel. Under that deal, Washington has committed to providing $3.8 billion in military aid per year over a decade.
The G7 announcement comes after Nato said Ukraine could join the military alliance “when allies agree and conditions are met—a delay Mr. Zelensky has called “absurd.” Kyiv accepts it cannot join NATO while it is at war with Russia but wants to join as soon as possible after the fighting ends.
Addressing crowds in the Lithuanian capital on Tuesday, Mr. Zelensky said: “Nato will give Ukraine security; Ukraine will make the alliance stronger.” He also presented a battle flag from the destroyed city of Bakhmut, the site of the longest and possibly bloodiest battle in Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Mr. Zelensky had earlier tweeted that “uncertainty is weakness” and said the lack of an agreed timeframe meant his country’s eventual membership could become a bargaining chip.
Nato might not have said when and how Ukraine might join the alliance, but diplomats emphasized that they had set out a clear path to membership, with the onerous application process significantly shortened. They said they had recognized that Ukraine’s army was increasingly “interoperable” and more “politically integrated” with Nato forces and promised to continue supporting reforms to Ukraine’s democracy and security sector.