NewsBiden and Zelensky to ink security pact amid rising tensions

Biden and Zelensky to ink security pact amid rising tensions

Reports on Biden and Zelensky. An agreement on the table
Reports on Biden and Zelensky. An agreement on the table
Images source: © East News | MANDEL NGAN

1:16 PM EDT, May 30, 2024

The Financial Times reports that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and U.S. President Joe Biden will sign a bilateral security agreement in Italy. This is expected to happen on the eve of the Peace Summit, which will be held on June 15-16 in Switzerland.

The Financial Times cites sources familiar with the matter.

"According to U.S. officials, a few days before the peace summit, Zelensky and Biden will sign a bilateral security agreement on the sidelines of the G7 leaders' meeting in Italy next month," it read.

Tension between Washington and Kyiv

The G7 summit of state leaders is scheduled for June 13-15 in Italy. The publication's sources do not specify the exact day the agreement will be signed.

The FT notes that the agreement was reached in recent weeks, which "have been marked by "very tense" relations between Kyiv and Washington.

One of the top members of Zelensky's government, who spoke to the newspaper about U.S.-Ukraine relations, said, "We are farther apart than ever since the war started. It is very, very tense."

Volodymyr Zelensky's frustration with Joe Biden stems from the fact that the U.S. President may not attend the peace summit in Switzerland because, as Biden announced, he will have obligations related to the ongoing election campaign across the ocean.

Officials point out that Kyiv is increasingly embittered by the U.S.'s lack of support for the peace summit initiative.

A series of controversies: delay, lack of progress

Several current and former Ukrainian officials and diplomats from G7 countries who spoke to the Financial Times point to a number of controversial issues.

These include a six-month delay in Congress approving U.S. military aid, the expected lack of significant progress towards Ukraine's NATO membership at the July Alliance summit in Washington, the Biden administration's ban on the use of American weapons by Kyiv on Russian territory, and Ukrainian drone attacks on Russian oil refineries.

Other tense moments include the dismissal of Chief Commander Valeriy Zaluzhnyi in February and Infrastructure Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov, as well as differences in the strategy regarding how Ukraine can achieve victory and what that victory might look like.

Several members of Zelensky's government expressed their concern about the methods used by the Ukrainian president in communicating with the United States. One of them said that Zelensky is "very irritated" with Biden, adding that they are worried about an "open provocation" from the White House. "Don't bite the hand that feeds you," said an official from Zelensky's entourage.

Let's recall that former U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said that the future bilateral security agreement with Ukraine would provide military aid to "help Ukraine build its long-term force, efforts that would bring Kyiv closer to NATO."

At the beginning of May, President Zelensky said that Ukraine is preparing seven new bilateral security agreements, including one with the United States.

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