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Zelenskyy and Biden prepare to sign security agreement - FT

Zelenskyy and Biden prepare to sign security agreement - FT Photo: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and US President Joe Biden (Getty Images)
Author: Daryna Vialko

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy and American leader Joe Biden may sign a bilateral security guarantee agreement at the G7 summit, which will take place on June 13-15 in Italy, according to Financial Times.

As the agency reports, citing unnamed US officials, a few days before the peace summit in Switzerland, Zelenskyy and Biden are expected to sign a bilateral security agreement on the sidelines of the G7 meeting in Italy next month.

The Financial Times notes that this agreement will be the "most significant" in a series of agreements Ukraine has concluded with NATO countries: the documents include commitments to early support, including military, intelligence data exchange, and economic assistance.

The agency also emphasizes that the agreement was concluded during "weeks of increasingly strained relations between Kyiv and Washington".

One of the high-ranking government officials appointed by Zelenskyy, who spoke to the Financial Times about relations between the United States and Ukraine, said: "We are farther apart than ever since the war started. It is very, very tense."

Zelenskyy expressed disappointment with Biden in a recent statement when he criticized an American colleague for intending to participate in fundraising by the Democratic Party in California rather than attending the peace summit in Switzerland. He said it was “not a strong decision”.

Additionally, several Ukrainian officials stated that Kyiv's disappointment with the lack of US support at the highest level for the peace summit initiative is just one of many friction points with Washington and other Western partners.

Furthermore, more than a dozen current and former Ukrainian officials and diplomats from G7 countries in Kyiv, who spoke to the agency, pointed out a range of contentious issues.

These include a six-month delay by Congress in approving American military aid, the expected lack of significant progress on Ukraine's path to NATO membership at the Alliance summit in Washington in July, the Biden administration's ban on the use of US weapons by the Armed Forces of Ukraine for strikes on Russian territory, as well as strikes by Ukrainian drones on Russian oil refineries.

Among other tense moments are the dismissal of Commander-in-Chief Valerii Zaluzhnyi and Infrastructure Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov.

Additionally, as the Financial Times notes, there are discrepancies between Ukraine and the United States on achieving victory and what can be considered victory or the end of the war.

Security guarantees

Last year at the NATO summit in Vilnius, G7 countries signed a joint declaration on security guarantees for Ukraine.

Britain, Canada, Germany, France, Denmark, Italy, Finland, the Netherlands, Latvia, Spain, Belgium, and Portugal have already signed relevant agreements with Ukraine.

Furthermore, Ukraine is working with the United States on concluding a security guarantees agreement for 10 years. It was reported that the parties aim to finalize the agreement as early as this month.