A Ukrainian official said Thursday that the US and Ukraine have started talks on security guarantees for Ukraine, part of a plan for Washington to provide long-term military support for Kyiv.
The US and other G7 nations vowed at the recent NATO summit in Vilnius to negotiate their own bilateral security deals with Ukraine. “It is symbolic that the United States — our biggest strategic partner — became the first country with which Ukraine has started this process,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s chief of staff, Andriy Yermak, wrote on Telegram.
“Through this process we will create a successful model for other partners,” he said. Yermak added that the security guarantees “will strengthen Ukraine along the path to future membership of the Euro-Atlantic community, including NATO and the European Union.”
Yermak did not say where the talks are taking place or who is involved. According to Reuters, a photo accompanying his Telegram post showed him sitting at a table that appeared to be in the Ukrainian presidential office in Kyiv.
While Ukraine walked away from the Vilnius summit without a clear roadmap on when it will join NATO, the US and its allies still made clear that they want to keep funding the proxy war against Russia. Long-term commitments from Western countries will prolong the conflict as one of Russia’s main motives for invading was Ukraine’s alignment with NATO.
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 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.