France ready to extend security guarantees to Ukraine

23 May, 10:51 PM
The flag of France (Photo:jackmac34 / pixabay)

The flag of France (Photo:jackmac34 / pixabay)

France is ready to sign a treaty with Ukraine on providing security guarantees that would help the latter protect itself in the long run, French Foreign Ministry said in a message on its website on May 23.

Before deciding on Ukraine’s NATO membership, Western nations are discussing security guarantees for Kyiv, according to The Wall Street Journal. The United States, together with France, Germany, and the United Kingdom, are seen as key potential guarantors of Ukraine’s security.

The French Foreign Ministry was asked whether there is such a guarantee plan for Ukraine, what kind of the guarantees are in question and whether such a plan is foreseen before the end of the war in Ukraine.

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“France, together with its partners, continues to consider on how best to support Ukraine in the long term and in all spheres,” the response says.

The French diplomats added that France is ready to negotiate with Ukraine on agreements aimed at providing it with security guarantees that will help it protect itself in the long term and prevent possible aggressions in the future, as stated in the declaration of the 36th Franco-British summit.

Security guarantees for Ukraine: What is known

The idea of security guarantees for Ukraine was first voiced during the Russian-Ukrainian negotiations in Istanbul, Turkey, in late March 2022. At that time, the Ukrainian side offered an option under which Ukraine would receive security guarantees in exchange for refusing to join NATO. Moscow frequently cited a perceived threat of NATO expansion as the pretext for invading Ukraine in the first place.

Ukraine’s proposal provided for immediate military assistance from the UN Security Council’s member states in case of aggression, in particular by establishing a no-fly zone over the country.

However, Russia rejected the proposal and continued its attempts to occupy Ukraine, while the allies, although they abandoned the idea of making bilateral commitments to Ukraine outside NATO, have increased military support for Kyiv and began to discuss security guarantees for Ukraine.

In turn, Kyiv switched from security guarantees as an alternative to NATO to security guarantees as part of a broader process of joining the alliance.

On Sept. 13, 2022, the President’s Office presented the Kyiv Security Treaty – the first draft of recommendations on security guarantees for Ukraine, which were developed by an expert group led by the head of the President’s Office, Andriy Yermak, and former NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen.

In particular, the recommendations provide for Ukraine’s resources to maintain a powerful army, investment in Ukraine’s defense industry, supply of weapons and intelligence assistance from allies. They also include joint exercises and intensive training missions under the auspices of the European Union and NATO, as well as measures to prevent new aggression.

According to the document, the main group of allies and guarantors of Ukraine may include the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Poland, Italy, Germany, France, Australia, Turkey, the countries of Northern Europe, the Baltic and Central and Eastern Europe.

At the same time, Yermak emphasized that the agreement on security guarantees would not replace joining NATO and should ensure Ukraine’s security until it becomes a full member of the alliance.

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