Germany agrees security deal with Ukraine and reveals further £950m aid package

16 February 2024, 14:34

Zelensky and Scholz shake hands
Germany and Ukraine agree deal. Picture: PA

German chancellor Olaf Scholz met with Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelensky in Berlin to sign the bilateral pact.

Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky signed a bilateral security agreement with Germany and planned to sign another with France on Friday, securing a strong signal of long-term backing as Kyiv works to shore up Western support nearly two years after Russia launched its full-scale war.

Mr Zelensky met in Berlin with German chancellor Olaf Scholz, who said Berlin was providing another 1.1 billion-euro (£950 million) package of military aid, including 36 howitzers, 120,000 rounds of artillery ammunition and two more air-defence systems.

Mr Scholz described the long-term security accord as a “historic step”. It is Ukraine’s second such bilateral agreement after one signed last month with the U.K.

Mr Zelensky plans to sign another one with President Emmanuel Macron in France later on Friday.

Germany Ukraine
Chancellor Olaf Scholz, right, and President Volodymyr Zelensky display the signed treaties (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)

He said more were in the works with other countries.

“Ukraine has never yet had more valuable and stronger documents,” the president said.

The security agreements appear aimed primarily at sending a message of long-term solidarity as Ukraine has gone back on the defensive in the war, hindered by low ammunition supplies and a shortage of personnel.

“Two years after the beginning of this terrible war, we are sending a crystal-clear message today to the Russian president: we will not ease off in our support for Ukraine,” Mr Scholz said.

Germany Ukraine
German, Ukrainian and European flags wave in front of the Reichstag building in Berlin (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)

He put his country’s deliveries and pledges of military aid so far at a total 28 billion euros (£24 billion).

The German agreement, which is valid for 10 years, underscores Germany’s “intention to provide long-term military support to the Ukrainian security and defence forces.”

It says Germany and Ukraine “will work together on ensuring a sustainable force capable of defending Ukraine now and deterring future aggression in the future”.

In case of future Russian aggression, Germany “would provide Ukraine as appropriate, with swift and sustained security assistance” and modern military equipment as needed, as well as seeking agreement on imposing “economic and other costs on Russia,” the accord states.

It goes on to state that Ukraine “will continue to implement an ambitious reform programme,” which is essential to its ambitions to join the European Union and Nato.

The agreement follow commitments by the G7 (Group of Seven) most advanced economies, which include Germany, France and the UK, at a Nato summit in Vilnius, Lithuania, in July.

The G7 vowed at the time to provide weapons and military equipment, including combat air power, as well as more military training for Ukraine’s beleaguered army.

On Saturday, Zelensky is set to attend the Munich security conference, an annual gathering of high-ranking security and foreign policy officials, where he plans meetings with US vice president Kamala Harris, among others.

European allies are appealing to the US Congress in recent days to approve a package that includes aid for Ukraine, a 60 billion US dollars (£48 billion) allotment that would go largely to US defence companies to manufacture missiles, munitions and other military hardware that are being sent to the battlefields in Ukraine. The package faces resistance from House Republicans.

By Press Association

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