EU draws up long-term security commitments to Ukraine

By Andrew Gray

BRUSSELS (Reuters) -The European Union has drawn up pledges of long-term security support for Ukraine, assuring Kyiv of more weapons, military training and other aid for years to come, according to a draft document.

The draft, first reported by Germany’s Welt am Sonntag newspaper over the weekend, sets out EU security commitments to Ukraine, which officials hope to conclude in June or July.

In the event of "future aggression", the document says the EU and Ukraine intend to consult within 24 hours on Kyiv’s needs and "swiftly determine" next steps in line with the commitments.

The document is part of a broader effort by Ukraine’s partners to provide assurances that they will stand by Kyiv for the long haul, with no end in sight to the war against Russia’s invasion and no immediate prospect of EU or NATO membership.

EU foreign affairs spokesperson Peter Stano said the commitments would "help Ukraine defend itself in the long term, deter acts of aggression and resist destabilisation efforts".

The EU's plan is intended both to reassure Ukraine and "give a strong signal to Russia that we will continue to support (Ukraine) - with whatever it takes," Stano said.

The 10-page draft - dated April 12 and seen by Reuters - lists nine forms of security and defence aid that the EU would continue to provide, including arms deliveries, training soldiers, defence industry cooperation and help with demining.

Ambassadors from the EU’s 27 member countries discussed the text in Brussels last month and it is now the basis of discussions with Ukraine, according to diplomats.

Eight of Kyiv’s allies, including Britain and EU members such as Germany and France, have signed their own security assurances with Ukraine in recent months.


Officials stress such agreements are not the same as the mutual defence pact between NATO nations. Rather, they are pledges to provide Ukraine with weapons and other aid to bolster its own security and deter any future invasion.

The draft EU document says its commitments will remain in effect "as Ukraine pursues its European path" and will be reviewed in 10 years at the latest.

It does not specify the value or quantity of future assistance. Details of proposed measures will have to be agreed separately among the EU's 27 member states, which also provide their own bilateral aid to Ukraine.

The document notes the EU agreed to give 5 billion euros ($5.40 billion) to a fund for Ukraine military aid this year. But it stops short of pledging the same for the coming years.

"Further comparable annual increases could be envisaged until 2027," the document says.

($1 = 0.9259 euros)

(Reporting by Andrew GrayEditing by Bernadette Baum and Gareth Jones)