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France, Germany and Poland promise Ukraine long-term support


France, Germany and Poland have pledged to support Ukraine militarily against the Russian invasion for as long as necessary, while they and other Western powers work on the issue of “security guarantees” aimed at strengthening Ukraine’s defenses and securing its sovereign future. set.

France’s President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Polish President Andrzej Duda met Monday night at the Élysée Palace in Paris and sought to radiate unity in support of Ukraine as it embarks on its long-awaited counter-offensive against Russian forces.

But they gave few details about the intense negotiations currently underway between Ukraine’s Western financiers about what kind of security guarantees they would provide once the war is over, nor whether Ukraine would be given a firm timetable for joining NATO.

“Our support will last as long as it takes,” Macron said. “We must ensure that Russia not only does not win this unfortunate campaign, but never repeats it again.”

Talks on security guarantees, both bilaterally with Ukraine and between Western powers, reflect an agreement that Kyiv cannot be offered NATO membership while the war rages. But divisions remain over what should be offered instead, the timing and what would be enough to ensure that Russia does not threaten Ukraine again.

While Western officials admit that NATO’s Article 5 mutual defense pledge is the only real “guarantee of security,” Ukraine’s supporters are trying to provide what they call “long-term guarantees,” which are expected to include annual deliveries of advanced weapons, NATO standard training and intelligence sharing, similar to the kind of military support the US provides to Israel.

Israel and the US have no formal defense treaty, but an agreement for significant military aid that is renewed every 10 years.

Such support packages would aim to deter future Russian aggression by strengthening Ukraine’s defenses while upgrading its military to NATO standards so that it is ready to join the alliance if and when political consensus is for membership.

Some countries, including the US and Germany, are currently even resisting giving Ukraine a timetable to join, citing fears that it could imply Article 5 pledges and widen the war.

Macron, on the other hand, has said he supports a “path” to membership, while Duda went further on Monday, saying Ukraine needed “real perspective to join NATO in the future”.

“The question is between guarantees and insurance,” said a European diplomat involved in the talks. “We can’t promise them we’ll go to war for them, but we can make long-term commitments to keep them safe in other ways.”

Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelenskyy has called on NATO countries to provide binding security guarantees and a clear path for Kiev to become an alliance member at a NATO leadership summit in Vilnius next month, threatening not to accept an invitation if there was none .

Discussions about security guarantees have focused primarily on commitments from the US, UK, France and Germany – four of NATO’s top five military powers – said people aware of the talks, who declined to be identified due to the sensitivity of the matter.

“What is crucial in the security guarantee (discussion) is that they should be provided by countries that can essentially support them,” said one of the people.

The talks are wide-ranging and without clarity on the final outcomes, people stressed, adding that it was still unclear what legal or political obligations would bind the capitals to fulfill them.

“It is important to bear in mind that these are not real guarantees of security, the willingness of countries to defend each other,” said a second European diplomat. “But these are more guarantees that aid with weapons, equipment and ammunition will continue.”

“These temporary arrangements are of course justified, at least as long as the war continues, but cannot be sold as a substitute for full membership,” the diplomat added.

NATO officials have stressed that bilateral security guarantees are not a matter of collective alliance and are separate from the debate over Ukraine’s application for NATO membership.

But potential offers from NATO members to Kiev are expected to be outlined as part of talks between the alliance’s defense ministers at a meeting in Brussels on Thursday ahead of next month’s meeting in Vilnius.

“I think what you can expect at the NATO summit is a robust package of both political and practical support for Ukraine going forward,” US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Monday after a meeting with his Italian counterpart Antonio Tajani.

A French official said it was difficult to predict the outcome of the talks. “It will be a matter of all allies willing and able to commit to the security of Ukraine in the long term,” the official said. “Safety guarantees must be as strong as possible. . . and have both a direct effect and a deterrent effect on Russia.”

Additional reporting by Sarah White in Paris

Merry C. Vega is a highly respected and accomplished news author. She began her career as a journalist, covering local news for a small-town newspaper. She quickly gained a reputation for her thorough reporting and ability to uncover the truth.

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