Zelensky Says He’s Working on a 10-Year Military Aid Deal With the US

By Dave DeCamp – Antiwar.com

On Sunday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said that the US and Ukraine are working on a 10-year bilateral security deal that would include long-term commitments for US military aid.

The US and other NATO countries agreed to negotiate bilateral deals with Ukraine at the alliance’s summit in Vilnius last year. Ukraine has already signed agreements with several NATO nations, and Zelensky said he was hoping to make the deal with the US the “strongest of all,” as the US is by far Ukraine’s biggest backer.

“Our teams, Ukraine and the United States, are currently working on a bilateral security agreement, and we are already working on a specific text,” Zelensky said in his nightly address. “We are discussing the specific foundations of our security and cooperation. We are also working on fixing specific levels of support for this year and for the next ten years, including armed support, financial, political, and joint arms production.”

Last year, The Wall Street Journal reported that the purpose of the bilateral security deals was to lock in long-term support for Ukraine to ensure it would be difficult for a future president to exit.

Last week, President Biden signed a bill into law authorizing another $61 billion in spending on the proxy war, and the US announced new weapons packages totaling $7 billion. Despite the new aid, Zelensky still pleaded for more weapons and faster deliveries in his nightly address, which he delivered after speaking with Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), the top Democrat in the House.

“We are still waiting for the supplies promised to Ukraine – we expect exactly the volume and content of supplies that can change the situation on the battlefield in the interests of Ukraine,” Zelensky said. “And it is important that every agreement we have reached is implemented – everything that will yield practical results on the battlefield and boost the morale of everyone on the frontline. In a conversation with Mr. Jeffries, I emphasized the need for Patriot systems, they are needed as soon as possible.”

Zelensky also called for Ukraine to be accepted into the EU and for an invitation to join NATO. “We are also preparing for the NATO Summit to be held this summer. A strong political signal is needed – the Alliance should not be afraid of its own strength or shy away from its own foundations – every country that shares common values and is willing to actually defend them deserves an invitation to join the Alliance,” he said.

The new US aid for Ukraine is not expected to help Ukraine achieve victory but is guaranteed to prolong the war, a bleak reality that was acknowledged by Ukrainians on the frontlines, who said they wanted negotiations and an end to the fighting in comments to The Daily Beast.

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