Ukraine Starts Consultations with EU on Security Guarantees
Ukraine has begun consultations with the European Union on collective security guarantees as a follow-up to the Group of Seven declaration of support for Ukraine signed at the NATO summit in Vilnius, the Presidential Office of Ukraine reported.
Deputy Head of the Presidential Office Ihor Zhovkva started the first round of consultations with Charles Fries, Deputy Secretary General for Peace, Security and Defence of the European External Action Service.
During the consultations, the parties exchanged views on approaches to future EU security guarantees, with a focus on the security and defence segment.
Zhovkva noted that Ukraine's future membership in the EU would be a powerful security guarantee for Ukraine and the European community.
"Ukraine's future membership in the EU is in itself a powerful guarantee of security for our country and the European community as a whole. We greatly appreciate that we are already discussing concrete steps to strengthen our common security and enhance Ukraine's resilience at this stage," he said.
The Deputy Head of the Office noted the EU's significant contribution to strengthening Ukraine's security and defence capabilities, in particular through support through the European Peace Fund and the EU training mission.
The Office also reported that Zhovkva, on behalf of the President of Ukraine, presented Charles Frieze with the Order of Merit, III class, for his significant contribution to strengthening and supporting Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity.
As a reminder, such consultations began in November with Germany and Italy, and before that - with the Netherlands and France.
As you know, at the NATO Summit in Vilnius, the Group of Seven countries agreed on a framework document on security guarantees for Ukraine. The leaders agreed on a framework rather than specific parameters of such guarantees, and specific bilateral agreements will be signed later.
In total, 30 countries have already joined the declaration.
As The Gaze previously reported, the media learned what long-term security guarantees the EU is ready to provide to Ukraine - the European Commission has already presented a draft decision to member states.
At the NATO summit in Vilnius, the G7 countries agreed to hold talks with Ukraine on bilateral security commitments aimed at deterring future Russian aggression.
For its part, Ukraine pledged to continue a number of reforms, including in the law enforcement, judicial, security and defence sectors. Some of Kyiv's key allies are seeking to conclude bilateral agreements this year.