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EU set to propose security commitments to Ukraine - Financial Times

EU set to propose security commitments to Ukraine - Financial Times The EU prepares to offer Ukraine security commitments (GettyImages)

European Union prepares to offer Ukraine "security commitments in the future." The member states seek to agree on long-term commitments for Kyiv against the backdrop of growing instability in Russia, as Financial Times reports.

According to the media, discussions on the guarantees - included in the draft conclusions of the EU leaders' summit on Thursday - are taking place against the backdrop of slow progress in Ukraine's counteroffensive and the consequences of the failed Wagner coup in Russia, which prompt EU to reconsider the level of support Kyiv needs.

EU members France and Germany, along with the United Kingdom and the United States, are leading efforts to coordinate bilateral security agreements to provide Ukraine with long-term funding, military supplies, training, and intelligence data to help it counter Russia's full-scale invasion and protect it from future aggression.

Although these commitments fall short of the mutual defense NATO membership would bring, they are intended to provide some temporary measures to reassure Kyiv and instill confidence in its ongoing Western support.

The proposed France-developed EU declaration aims to send a "very clear political signal" to Ukraine and Russia, according to one anonymous diplomat who participated in the discussions.

According to another anonymous official, it is also seen as a guarantee that the bloc is interested in a broader security system to protect Ukraine, not being sidelined by the US-led NATO. However, according to officials familiar with the discussions, this has faced resistance from Ireland, Malta, and Austria - neutral states in the bloc - that want clarity on what these commitments will entail.

Draft statement

The draft statement by EU leaders, seen by the Financial Times, says that the EU and its member states are "ready to contribute together with partners to future security commitments towards Ukraine, which will help Ukraine defend itself in the long term, deter acts of aggression, and resist destabilizing efforts."

It adds that the work will involve "promptly examining the terms of such a contribution," taking into account "the security and defense policy of certain member states," with neutral countries in mind. The text may face changes before adoption.

Some member states have argued that the idea of "commitments" is defined too vaguely and have requested a more formal framework from the EU's foreign policy department. "We are already doing quite a lot to fulfill security commitments," said an anonymous EU diplomat, referring to the bloc's financial support to Kyiv and its initiatives in the search, production, and supply of ammunition.

Responding to questions about security commitments, Kaja Kallas, Prime Minister of Estonia, said that "each ally separately" should decide what it can do. "But what's important is that we say that this is a generally accepted path," Kallas said. "We are working (on the formulation). We don't want empty words."

EU Summit

The two-day summit of European Union leaders is taking place on June 29-30. The leaders discuss the consequences of the thwarted coup in Russia. During the summit in Brussels, they will also hold talks with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and discuss the role the EU can play in Western commitments to strengthen Ukraine's security.

NATO countries are divided over what to offer Kyiv at the Vilnius meeting on July 11-12. While Kyiv and its closest allies in Eastern Europe call for concrete steps to bring Ukraine closer to membership, countries such as the US and Germany are wary of any moves that could escalate the Alliance into a war with Russia.

According to the Head of the Office of the President of Ukraine Andriy Yermak, Ukraine expects an invitation to NATO "with an open date".