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Germany and France Sign Military Assistance Agreements with Ukraine

Following Germany, which did so on Feb. 16, France has also concluded a security agreement with Ukraine. This is intended to support the country’s defensive struggle against Russia. “France will support Ukraine in the long term,” said President Emmanuel Macron yesterday after signing the agreement with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy at the Élysée Palace in Paris.

“France is helping us a lot today,” said Zelenskyy about the agreement and highlighted the delivery of missiles, guns and air defense technology. The security pact is “ambitious and concrete.”

France intends to provide Ukraine with military aid, worth as much as €3 billion this year, following €1.7 billion in 2022, and €2.1 billion in 2023. Macron thus quantified the value of France’s military support for the first time.

The security agreements are based on a decision taken by NATO heads of state and government at their July 11-12, 2023 summit in Vilnius, Lithuania. There they agreed that the individual member states would conclude bilateral agreements in order to guarantee Ukraine’s security in the long term. Great Britain made the start in January. The other NATO states are now gradually following suit with their commitments.

The United Kingdom described the agreement as a “historic step,” a characterization also used by German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on signing the agreement, saying they are components of a new “security architecture” in Europe. The document contains long-term bilateral security commitments and reaffirms that Germany will continue to support Ukraine “for as long as this is necessary,” said Scholz. The Chancellor added that Germany would also support Ukraine in building up “modern defensive armed forces to deter any future attack.”