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Ukraine and Belgium ink bilateral security and long-term support agreement

Belgium and Ukraine’s 10-year security agreement includes €977 million in 2023 aid, 30 F-16 jets, and ongoing support for Ukraine’s military and economic sectors.
zelenskyy tours melsbroek base meets ukrainian f-16 pilot trainees president volodymyr (l) belgian prime minister alexander de croo (r) press conference after signing security agreement brussels 28 may 2024
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy (L) and Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo (R) at a press conference after signing a security agreement. Brussels, 28 May 2024. Screenshot: Youtube/Office of the President of Ukraine
Ukraine and Belgium ink bilateral security and long-term support agreement

On 28 May, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo signed a bilateral security and long-term support agreement between Ukraine and Belgium, Zelenskyy’s X/Twitter account reported. The 10-year agreement with Belgium provides Ukraine with 977 million euros in 2023, 30 F-16 fighters by 2028, modern defense equipment, military training, and supports Ukraine’s “peace formula” along with enhanced sanctions against Russia.

The agreement

The document includes at least €977 million in Belgian military aid to Ukraine this year, as well as Belgium’s commitment to providing our country with support over the course of the agreement’s ten-year term,” Zelenskyy wrote.

After several similar pacts, signed earlier with other countries, the Ukrainian President noted that the agreement with Belgium for the first time “specifies the exact number of F-16 fighter jets – 30 – that will be delivered to Ukraine until 2028, with the first arriving already this year.”

However, De Croo later noted that Ukraine can use these aircraft only on its territory, meaning the Ukrainian Air Force cannot target military facilities within Russia, using the Belgian F-16s.

According to Zelenskyy, the agreement “guarantees Belgium’s timely security assistance, modern armoured vehicles, equipment to meet Ukraine’s air force and air defense needs, naval security, mine clearance, participation in the artillery ammunition coalition, and military training.”

Additionally, the Ukrainian President says that the deal envisages:

  • defense industrial cooperation,
  • the support for Ukraine’s Peace Formula,
  • strengthening of sanctions against Russia,
  • compensating damages,
  • justice for the aggressor,
  • the use of frozen Russian assets,
  • Ukraine’s economic recovery,
  • deepening intelligence and cybersecurity cooperation,
  • countering Russian disinformation,
  • Belgium’s support for Ukraine’s EU and NATO membership.

“New page” in Ukrainian-Belgian relations

During a joint press conference with Belgian Prime Minister De Kroo, Zelenskyy said that Ukraine and Belgium have started a “new page” in their relations:

Russia is trying to bring ruins to Ukraine. It is difficult for Kharkiv and the whole region is under attack. Putin has one tool of influence – the destruction of life. Ukraine can get 1.7 billion euros from Russia’s frozen assets. Belgium will allocate funds for the restoration of our Chernihiv Oblast. We are working to open the Office of the Belgian Development Agency in Ukraine,” the President said.

Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo, commenting on the security agreement, noted that the document makes it possible to provide Ukraine with “necessary and modern equipment.”

“We have signed a bilateral security agreement, which confirms Belgian support. We are focusing on your needs, air defense, artillery, F-16 fighters, which will arrive as soon as possible. Our goal is to deliver the first aircraft by the end of this year. We also continue to support the Ukrainian Armed Forces through maritime training and demining. This will take place in the second part of the year,” he said.

Ukraine’s security agreements

In March 2023, Zelenskyy said that if Ukraine could not become a NATO member during the ongoing Russo-Ukrainian war, it would like to receive strategic security guarantees. Later in Vilnius, leaders from the G7, along with the presidents of the European Council and the European Commission, endorsed a “Joint Declaration on Support for Ukraine” at the G7 summit, committing to specific long-term security collaborations with Ukraine. 

This year, Kyiv focused on signing bilateral security pacts with its allies.

On 12 January 2024, Ukraine signed its first security pact with the United Kingdom. Subsequently, President Zelenskyy signed two more security guarantees with Germany and France on 16 February. On 23 February, Ukraine and Denmark agreed on a security cooperation and long-term support pact between the nations. The following day, Ukraine entered into bilateral security agreements with Italy and Canada. A security agreement with Finland was signed on 3 April, and a similar pact with Spain was signed on 27 May.

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