Ukraine has initiated discussions with the EU on collective security guarantees, following up on the Group of Seven’s declaration of support for Ukraine, which was signed on the sidelines of the NATO summit in Vilnius, Ukraine’s Presidential Office announced on 4 December.
The Ukrainian Presidential Office reports that, following the directives of the President of Ukraine and the Head of the Presidential Office, Deputy Head Ihor Zhovkva commenced the first round of consultations with Charles Fries, the Deputy Secretary General for Peace, Security and Defence of the European External Action Service. This move aligns with the G7 Joint Declaration of Support for Ukraine, dated 12 July 2023, and emphasizes Ukraine’s integration into the European Union as a pivotal step toward ensuring national and European security.
“Ukraine’s future membership in the EU serves as a robust assurance of security for our nation and the European community as a whole. We greatly appreciate that at this stage we are already discussing concrete steps to enhance our collective security and strengthen Ukraine’s resilience.” Ihor Zhovkva remarked
The consultations revolved around strategies for future security commitments from the EU, with a particular emphasis on the security and defense sector. Zhovkva acknowledged the significant role of the European Union in bolstering Ukraine’s defense capabilities, specifically highlighting the support rendered to the Armed Forces of Ukraine through the European Peace Facility and the activities of the EU Military Assistance Mission in support of Ukraine.
In a symbolic gesture of gratitude and recognition, on behalf of the Ukrainian President, Ihor Zhovkva presented Charles Fries with the Order of Merit, III class, honoring his substantial efforts in strengthening and supporting Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.
During the NATO summit in Vilnius in July, the Group of Seven nations agreed to offer Ukraine long-term security commitments and arrangements. The declaration affirms support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and condemns Russia’s invasion. It states the strongest guarantee is helping Ukraine defend itself under Article 51 of the UN Charter.
It outlines bilateral security cooperation on:
- Equipping Ukraine’s military with necessary equipment, including air defense, artillery, armored vehicles, and combat aircraft. Also covers training, intelligence sharing, and developing Ukraine’s defense industry.
- Reconstructing Ukraine’s economy and energy infrastructure.
- Providing financial and technical assistance to meet urgent wartime needs.
The countries pledged to hold Russia accountable for war crimes and keep its assets frozen for reparations. In return, Ukraine commits to reforms upholding democracy, human rights, and media freedom. Ukraine also pledges to implement defense reforms and modernization, including strengthening democratic control of the armed forces and increasing efficiency and transparency in defense institutions and industry.
On 17 November, Ukraine launched bilateral security negotiations with Germany, becoming the sixth country to hold such talks. Germany joins five other G7 countries- the US, UK, Canada, Japan, and France – with whom Ukraine has already begun respective bilateral negotiations.
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