Advertisement

Explainer-What are the security deals Ukraine is signing with allies?

Ukraine's President Zelenskiy and Finnish President Stubb attend a joint press conference in Kyiv

By Tom Balmforth and Yuliia Dysa

KYIV (Reuters) - Finland on Wednesday became the eighth NATO member to sign a 10-year agreement on security cooperation with Ukraine, pledging to keep up its long-term support as the 25-month full-scale war with Russia drags on with no end in sight.

WHAT ARE THESE SECURITY ARRANGEMENTS?

The Group of Seven wealthy nations signed a joint declaration at the NATO summit in Vilnius in July last year committing to establish "long-term security commitments and arrangements" with Ukraine that would be negotiated bilaterally.

The deals would promise continued provision of military and security aid, support to develop Ukraine's defence industrial base, training Ukrainian soldiers, intelligence-sharing and cooperation, and support for cyber defence.

The sides would also immediately hold consultations withKyiv to determine "appropriate next steps" in the event of a"future Russian armed attack".

More than 30 countries have since signed the declaration.

WOULD THIS BE A SUBSTITUTE FOR NATO MEMBERSHIP?

Kyiv says the arrangements should contain important andconcrete security commitments, but that the agreements would inno way to replace its strategic goal of joining NATO. The Western alliance regards any attack launched on one of its 32 members as an attack on all under its Article Five clause.

"There has been speculation that by concluding enough ofthese agreements, we do not need membership. False. We need NATOmembership," said Ihor Zhovkva, the Ukrainian president'sforeign affairs adviser.

WHO HAS SIGNED DEALS SO FAR?

Britain in January became the first country to sign one of the security agreements with Ukraine for a term of 10 years, bywhich time Kyiv hopes to be inside NATO.

London said the deal formalised a range of support that it "has been and will continue to provide for Ukraine's security, including intelligence-sharing, cyber security, medical and military training, and defence industrial cooperation".

Germany and France were next to sign the documents, with Denmark, Canada, Italy, Netherlands joining later.

WHAT DOES UKRAINE WANT FROM THE DEALS?

Ukraine's Zhovkva singled out as "very important" theprovision in the British deal under which consultations could beheld within 24 hours to provide swift and sustained aid.

This, he said, went beyond the "infamous" 1994 BudapestMemorandum under which Ukraine was provided with security"assurances" by Britain, Russia and the United States in returnfor relinquishing nuclear weapons from its territory.

"We do not want to repeat the infamous experience of theBudapest declaration, which remained just a declaration," hesaid.

Zhovkva said there was no need for Ukraine to rush to agreedeals. "I don't need 10 or 15 agreements concluded within oneweek. Rather, I would have this same 10 or 15 agreements deeplythought over, well-negotiated and with concrete signs oflong-term and varied support for Ukraine."

(Editing by Sharon Singleton)