A Ukrainian official said Sunday that Kyiv will begin consultations with Washington this week on the US providing Ukraine with security guarantees.
“We are starting talks with the United States (this) week,” Andriy Yermak, chief of staff for President Volodymyr Zelensky, wrote on Telegram. “Security guarantees for Ukraine will be concrete, long-term obligations ensuring Ukraine’s capacity to defeat and restrain Russian aggression in the future. These will be clearly drafted formats and mechanisms of support.”
The State Department confirmed on Monday that the talks would begin this week. At the recent NATO summit in Vilnius, the US and other G7 nations vowed that they would each begin negotiations on bilateral security deals with Ukraine. Yermak said the idea is for the guarantees to be in effect until “Ukraine secures NATO membership.”
President Biden has publicly floated the idea of an Israel model for Ukraine, which would involve multi-year commitments to provide billions in military aid each year but would not include NATO Article 5-style mutual defense guarantees. Israel receives $3.8 billion in military aid annually under a 10-year memorandum of understanding.
The G7 commitment to Ukraine fell far short of what Zelensky was hoping to get out of the NATO summit. The communique issued by NATO at the summit offered no invitation for Ukraine to join the alliance or a clear timeline on when Kyiv’s membership could happen, which Zelensky called “absurd.” But the US and its allies have made clear they want to support the proxy war against Russia for the long-term, although it’s not clear if the policy is sustainable as NATO is draining its ammunition stockpiles.