Portada » France and Germany guarantee the defense of Ukraine as a prelude to its future membership in NATO | International

France and Germany guarantee the defense of Ukraine as a prelude to its future membership in NATO | International

by Isabella Walker
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Volodymyr Zelenskyj and Emmanuel Macron, this Friday in Paris.THIBAULT CAMUS / POOL (EFE)

The European powers are trying to take action in the face of Ukraine’s difficulties on the front and the specter of a US withdrawal that will leave them alone against Russia. This Friday, Paris and Berlin signed security agreements with the Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelensky, to guarantee their commitment to their defense for 10 years. London signed a similar agreement in early January.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz wrote this on the social network. In an afternoon press conference in Paris, together with his Ukrainian counterpart in Paris, French President Macron declared: “France will continue to support Ukraine in the long term.” He specified that, in any case, the agreement will remain in force until Ukraine joins NATO.

France, under the agreement, will provide up to 3 billion euros more in additional military aid in 2024. Germany, 7,100. United Kingdom, 2,900. Zelensky in Paris expressed hope that these agreements will convince US lawmakers to release funds for Ukraine in Congress.

With these agreements, Europe indicates that it will not abandon Ukraine, despite the current uncertainties and the possible return of Donald Trump to power after the US elections in November. It is a question of extending current aid beyond the possible end of the war. To ensure that all this ends on the best terms for Kiev and that, once it is over, Vladimir Putin’s Russia does not attack again in the future.

The security arrangements can be understood as a provisional alliance awaiting NATO membership. They reflect the commitment made by the G7 in July to strengthen Ukraine’s military and economic capabilities in the face of possible future aggression. On the Ukrainian side, it is a question of strengthening its military capabilities to deter Russia in the face of new aggression and continuing with reforms to join the EU.

The development of the conflict in Ukraine is one of the central focuses of the Munich Security Conference, a forum that for 60 years has brought together political leaders, military leaders, secret services and international relations experts in the Bavarian capital. Among them this year will be President Zelensky, who will speak and meet with US Vice President Kamala Harris here on Saturday.

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With new US aid still blocked in Congress and with limited arms and ammunition production capabilities in Europe, the urgent and central issue under discussion in Munich is to ensure that the supply of military aid to Kiev does not suffer from a deficit that would allow Russia to make significant profits. progress in the field. It will undoubtedly be one of the topics on the table of the meeting of G7 foreign ministers, scheduled for Saturday on the sidelines of the conference.

“We all agree that we need to produce more and help Ukraine more. Production capacity is increasing, but these are processes that take time,” said the representative of EU High Security, Josep Borrell, in Munich, referring to the political will of the Twenty-Seven.

Production capacity

Industry Commissioner Thierry Breton recently estimated that the EU will reach a production capacity of between 1.3 and 1.4 million bales per year by the end of 2024. The Union has pledged to donate one million of bales to Ukraine in the year ending in March, but it is not yet possible to estimate that it will only be able to deliver half a million. European sources specify, however, that this figure does not include sales, which increase the total amount. Even so, the shortage is evident and Ukraine is having trouble keeping up with Russian forces at the front.

The problem is that in the meantime Russia has reached, according to some estimates, a production of four million bales per year. Furthermore, it has the active support of North Korea, which supplies it with ammunition from its arsenals. Experts from the International Institute for Strategic Studies point out that Moscow, which has transformed Russia into a war economy, manages to compensate for the enormous material losses suffered, albeit with poor-quality weapons and at the price of investing a third of the budget state in that effort.

This is the immediate challenge. The medium-term calculation runs in parallel, which includes the security commitments offered today by Germany and France, the 50 billion multi-year financing framework recently approved by the EU.

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