US, Ukraine sign 'historic' 10-year security agreement

Deal signed on sidelines of G7 conference will serve as a step towards Ukraine's eventual NATO membership

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US President Joe Biden and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky walk on the day of signing a new security agreement between the United States and Ukraine, in Fasano, Italy, on June 13, 2024. — Reuters/File
  • Deal aims to bind future US govts to support Ukraine.
  • G7 countries agree to give $50 billion loan to Ukraine.
  • US to help Ukraine expand military, defence industry. 

In an effort to strengthen Ukraine's defence against Russian invasion and move the country closer to NATO membership, United States President Joe Biden and Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy signed a “historic” 10-year bilateral security agreement on Thursday.

According to the sources, the agreement was made on the sidelines of the G7 conference in Italy and intends to bind future American governments to supporting Ukraine, even if Republican candidate Donald Trump wins the November’s election, Reuters reported.

During a joint press conference with Zelenskiy, Biden stated: "Our goal is to strengthen Ukraine's credible defence and deterrence capabilities for the long term."

He said the G7's message to Russian President Vladimir Putin is "You cannot wait us out. You cannot divide us."

In addition, the G7 countries also agreed to a $50 billion loan for Ukraine backed by profits from frozen Russian assets.

The US-Ukraine security agreement has been hailed historic by Zelensky who said that the deal is a framework for a long-term effort to help develop Ukraine’s outdated armed forces and serve as a step towards Ukraine's eventual NATO membership.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 US and Ukrainian officials will meet within 24 hours to consult on a response and determine what additional defence needs are required for Ukraine, the agreement says.

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

It also outlines plans to develop Ukraine's own defence industry and expand its military.