Ukraine’s Zelenskyy to sign security agreements with Germany and France as Kyiv shores up support

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is expected to sign bilateral security agreements with Germany and France on Friday as Kyiv works to shore up Western support nearly two years after Russia launched its full-scale war.

The Ukrainian leader will meet German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in Berlin before travelling to Paris to meet French President Emmanuel Macron.

“This agreement follows the commitments made in the G7 format on the sidelines of the NATO summit in July 2023,” Macron’s office said on Thursday.

The bilateral security and long-term support agreements follow a security deal between Ukraine and the UK signed when British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak visited Kyiv last month. This agreement covers the next 10 years.

Zelenskyy will on Saturday attend the Munich Security Conference, an annual gathering of senior security and foreign policy officials, where he will meet with US Vice President Kamala Harris, among others.

Ukraine has been put on the defensive in the war, hampered by low ammunition supplies and a shortage of manpower, although it has maintained attacks behind the largely static 1,500-kilometre front line.

Kyiv’s troops face an increasingly difficult situation on the eastern front lines because of ammunition shortages and Russian attacks.

Ukraine’s Third Assault Brigade, considered one of the country’s largest and best-equipped brigades, confirmed that it had been “urgently” redeployed to the eastern town of Avdiivka in Donetsk Oblast, adding that the situation in the area was “hellish” and “extremely critical”.

Release of US funds
European allies have appealed to the US Congress in recent days to approve a package of aid for Ukraine, a $60 billion allocation that would largely go to US defence companies to produce missiles, ammunition and other military hardware to be sent to the battlefields in Ukraine.

Scholz travelled to Washington a week ago to stress the urgency of releasing the US funds. After meeting with President Joe Biden, he said: “Let’s not beat around the bush: support from the United States is indispensable to the question of whether Ukraine will be able to defend itself.”

Germany is now the second largest supplier of military aid to Ukraine after the US, and Scholz has recently called on other European countries to step up with more arms supplies.

Zelenskyy has visited Berlin once before, in May last year, since the Russian invasion in February 2022. Friday’s trip will be his third to Paris since the invasion, following visits in February and May 2023.

(Source: Euronews)