Biden and Zelensky Seal 10-Year Bilateral Security Pact

U.S. President Joe Biden and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky signed a 10-year bilateral security agreement on Thursday, marking a significant step in the U.S.-Ukraine alliance. The agreement, celebrated by Kyiv as “historic,” envisions extensive U.S. military and training aid to Ukraine but stops short of obligating the U.S. to deploy troops in combat alongside Ukrainian forces.

According to the White House, the pact will enhance Ukraine’s defense and deterrence capabilities, bolster its defense industrial base, and support its economic recovery and energy security. In the event of a future Russian armed attack, the deal mandates high-level consultations to determine necessary measures to support Ukraine and impose costs on Russia.

The G7, alongside the European Union, has frozen approximately $325 billion worth of Russian assets since the 2022 invasion. These assets generate about $3 billion annually in interest, which will be used to pay off the interest on a $50 billion loan for Ukraine. This funding, expected to arrive by the end of the year, aims to support Ukraine’s war effort and economic stability.

Speaking at a joint press conference in Puglia, southern Italy, Biden emphasized the unwavering U.S. commitment to Ukraine, stating, “Putin cannot wait us out, he cannot divide us, and we’ll be with Ukraine until they prevail in this war.”

President Zelensky expressed gratitude for the continued support from the U.S. and European allies. He highlighted the significance of the new security agreement, calling it “the strongest agreement within Ukraine and the U.S. since our independence [in 1991].”

The security pact underscores the enduring partnership between the U.S. and Ukraine, aiming to fortify Ukraine’s defense infrastructure and ensure sustained support in the face of ongoing Russian aggression.

Photo credit: Gage Skidmore via Flickr