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France and Germany shield their support for Ukraine in the face of US doubts

ParisThe two main European powers, France and Germany, have fulfilled the promise they made to the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, at the summit held by NATO in the summer of last year: to guarantee the security of country in the long run. A few days before the two-year anniversary of the start of Russia’s invasion, Zelenski traveled this Friday first to Berlin and then to Paris to sign bilateral security agreements with the two countries. France and Germany pledge to defend and assist Ukraine militarily if the country is attacked again in the future.

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It is not as strong a commitment as the members of the Atlantic Alliance have with each other, but the bilateral agreements represent an unequivocal message of support for Ukraine. “Our commitment to Ukraine will not weaken”, summed up the President of the Republic, Emmanuel Macron, who has announced that he will travel to the country at war before the middle of March.

“What we see is that Russia is not ready for a lasting peace. That is why we are sending a very clear message to the Russian president today: we will not relax our support for Ukraine when the war ends,” the German Chancellor emphasized in a similar tone , Olaf Scholz, who described the agreement with Zelenski as “historic”. Bilateral deals with Germany and France include more military funding for this year: Paris has pledged €3 billion in additional aid – almost double what it committed to Ukraine last year – and Berlin has announced another €1.13 billion, which will be used to send tanks and ammunition.

US support

The gesture from Paris and Berlin is particularly significant at a time of great uncertainty about US support for Ukraine. Not only because of a hypothetical return to the White House of Donald Trump – who a few days ago hinted that he might not protect allies if they were attacked by Russia – but because it is increasingly difficult for the Biden Administration to get the support of the Republicans to approve any economic or military aid to Ukraine. Republicans are increasingly divided over US foreign policy and its role in NATO.

Paris and Berlin are the first countries in the European Union to step forward to ensure Ukraine’s long-term security. The first to push for a similar initiative was the United Kingdom, which signed the security agreement in January, six months after the NATO summit. In July, the allies did not close the door on a future entry into the Alliance of Ukraine, but declined to set a date. Then the G7 countries pledged to offer Ukraine guarantees of their support. Kyiv has already assumed that as long as the war lasts, NATO’s door will be closed, but it is seeking a commitment from allies to guarantee its security once the conflict with Russia ends. Bilateral agreements, which other European countries are also studying, are their guarantee. “What is important is for Russia to know that Ukraine is not alone, but has the support of powerful economies,” Zelensky said in Paris.

Europe is also worried about the possible withdrawal of US support for Ukraine and a possible return of Trump to power. European countries have been working for some time to have more military autonomy and not depend so much on the US, but for Kyiv, American aid remains key to stopping Russia’s advance. Sources from the Elysee emphasize that the bilateral agreements that European countries are signing with Zelenski should serve as an example for Washington. “Europe is showing the way to the United States to follow the same path,” the sources maintain.

Regal a Putin

At the 60th Munich Security Conference, which opened this Friday, US Vice President Kamala Harris sent a message of support to Ukraine and warned Republicans of the danger of not approving the new draft in Congress economic aid for the country at war. “We are working hard to get the weapons and essential resources that Ukraine needs, and let me be clear, if we don’t, we will be giving Vladimir Putin a gift,” Harris said shortly after the announcement. death in prison of Russian opposition leader Aleksei Navalny. “In these turbulent times, it is clear that America cannot back down,” he insisted.

The Munich conference, also known as the “Davos” of Defense, is being held at a time of growing geopolitical tensions, especially over the conflict between Israel and Palestine, but also over the war in Ukraine, where Russian troops are advancing in east of the country and are besieging the city of Avdiivka, in the Donetsk region.

2024-02-16 21:17:15
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