Macron, Zelensky to sign bilateral security pact on Friday


PARIS (Reuters) – France and Ukraine will sign a bilateral agreement on security commitments this Friday, the French president said on Thursday.

President Emmanuel Macron had hoped to finalize a security deal in Ukraine this month, but he postponed the visit due to security concerns.

“As Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine will soon enter its third year, this visit is an opportunity to reaffirm France’s determination to provide long-term and, together with all its partners, unwavering support to the President of the Republic. There will be opportunities for Ukraine and the Ukrainian people,” the French president said.

The Ukrainian President also confirmed Zelensky’s visit to France and Germany.

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Bakhmut region, Ukraine – 3 November: Ukrainian military special forces unit fires RPGs at enemy positions "Kurt & Co Group" Capture the first line of the front line of the Russian-Ukrainian war in the Bakhmut district of Ukraine on November 3, 2023.  Ukrainian forces are struggling to retake Bakhmut, which was captured by Russian forces in May after a year-long war.  In the summer, Ukraine recovered the area north and south of Bakhmut, but Russia occupied the city itself.  (Photo by Kostya Liberov/Libcos/Getty Images)

As Kiev seeks NATO membership and fights a two-year-old Russian invasion, diplomats had said Zelensky would complete bilateral security assurances with France and Germany this week after starting talks in July.

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A member of the National Ballet of Ukraine looks at her phone while preparing for a performance "nadia ukraine" (Hope for Ukraine) Opening night in Vancouver on Monday, February 5, 2024.  Twenty-three dancers are on a Canadian tour highlighting Ukrainian culture through traditional dance, while also supporting the war effort by collecting donations from audiences for Ukraine First.  Lady Olena Zelenska Foundation and Humanite.  (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press via AP)

Macron’s office said details of the agreement would be revealed during a press conference.

The agreement will outline a framework for long-term humanitarian and financial assistance, support for reconstruction, and military assistance. France will announce a 200 million euro fund for civil projects to be carried out by French companies, according to two diplomats familiar with the talks.

However, it would fall short of providing specific financial commitments on arms deliveries as Paris would need to return to parliament for approval, diplomats said.

Macron is likely to make public announcements instead. He has already said that Paris will send a regular supply of air-to-surface missiles and 40 additional long-range cruise missiles.

(Reporting by Michelle Rose, Writing by John Irish, Editing by Ingrid Melander)

Copyright 2024 Thomson Reuters,


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