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Tags: ukraine | volodymyr zelenskyy | donald trump | russia | war | joe biden | security

Biden, Zelenskyy Ink 10-year Defense Agreement Billed as NATO Precursor

Joe Biden and Volodymyr Zelenskyy walking
U.S. President Joe Biden and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy arrive to give a press conference at the Masseria San Domenico on the sidelines of the G7 Summit hosted by Italy in Apulia region, on June 13, in Savelletri. (Mandel Ngan/Getty Images)

Thursday, 13 June 2024 03:48 PM EDT

U.S. President Joe Biden and Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy signed a 10-year bilateral security agreement on Thursday aimed at bolstering Ukraine's defense against Russian invaders.

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.

It will be a framework for a long-term effort by the United States to help develop Ukraine's outdated armed forces and serve as a step towards Ukraine's eventual NATO membership, according to the text of the deal.

"Our goal is to strengthen Ukraine's credible defense and deterrence capabilities for the long term," Biden said.

Zelenskyy 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.

"The parties recognize this agreement as supporting a bridge to Ukraine's eventual membership in the NATO alliance," the text says.

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.

"To ensure Ukraine's security, both sides recognize Ukraine needs a significant military force, robust capabilities, and sustained investments in its defense industrial base that are consistent with North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) standards," the text says.

With Trump leading Biden in many election polls, the future of the agreement remains unclear.

Trump has expressed skepticism of Ukraine's continued fight, saying at one point that he would end the conflict in his first day in office. Trump has also pushed for Europe to take on more of the burden of supporting Kyiv.

© 2024 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.


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U.S. President Joe Biden and Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy signed a 10-year bilateral security agreement on Thursday aimed at bolstering Ukraine's defense against Russian invaders.
ukraine, volodymyr zelenskyy, donald trump, russia, war, joe biden, security, agreement
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2024-48-13
Thursday, 13 June 2024 03:48 PM
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