Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky signed a security deal with Germany on Friday, Feb. 16, in Berlin, which Chancellor Olaf Scholz hailed as a “historic step” in anchoring sustained support for Kyiv in its raging battle against Russian aggression.

Zelensky will also seal a similar deal with France later on Friday as he seeks to line up continuing help for his forces, who are continue to struggle to hold off Russian attacks on the frontline city of Avdiivka.

With the Ukraine war about to enter a third year, the president was set to make a new plea for sustained help with financing and armaments at the Munich Security Conference, where leaders like US Vice President Kamala Harris are to gather.

Here are the key points of the document:

  • Germany will provide financial means for military assistance worth a total value of 7.1 billion euro in 2024;
  • Germany will support Ukraine's reform efforts to secure its free and democratic future, including its European and NATO aspirations;
  • Germany will provide long-term military support: Kyiv and Berlin “will work together on ensuring a sustainable force capable of defending Ukraine now and deterring future aggression, through the continued provision of security assistance and modern military equipment, across the land, air, sea, and cyber domains”;
  • Non-military cooperation will include: economic, financial and technical assistance, energy resilience and other critical infrastructure, as well as strengthening cooperation in the areas of information security, combating serious and organised crime; support for modernisation of Ukraine's defense sector;
  • The establishment of a 24-hour emergency response mechanism in case of future Russian attack on Ukraine;
  • Assistance in securing сompensation for losses, injuries and damages caused by Russian aggression: “Ukraine and Germany, working with its partners in the European Union and within the G7 aims to continue to pursue all lawful routes through which revenues from Russian assets can be used to support Ukraine, in accordance with European and international law”.

Ihor Zhovkva, a member of Zelensky's team who is responsible for international and diplomatic relationships, said the agreement in no way hinders Ukraine's aspirations to future membership of NATO.

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“Germany, as a member of the EU, NATO and G7, affirmed its leadership role and further strengthened our long-term strategic partnership... The conclusion of the agreement was preceded by four rounds of intensive negotiations, including in Berlin,” he said.

Zelensky's European tour comes at a critical time as Ukraine faces mounting pressure on the eastern frontline because of ammunition shortages and fresh Russian attacks.

Fierce fighting rages around the beleaguered city of Avdiivka, on the eastern frontline, which has become a main Russian target ahead of the second anniversary of the Feb. 24 invasion anniversary. 

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The long-term future of billions of dollars of Western aid is meanwhile in doubt, with the biggest contributor, the United States, in the throes of an election year.

A possible $60-billion package of military aid has been held up in Washington since last year because of Congressional wrangling.

The EU has also admitted that it will only be able to make good on half of the one million artillery shells it promised to send by March.

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But Scholz underlined that the security pact inked on Friday illustrates that Germany will “not let up” in its support of Ukraine, and he also announced a new package of immediate military support worth € 1.1 billion ($1.2 billion). 

“This document can hardly be underestimated. It shows that Germany will continue to help Ukraine with its defence against Russia's attacks. I have often said: for as long as it takes,” said Scholz, who also called the signing of the deal “a historic step.”

The French president confirmed that a security agreement would be signed on Friday evening, without providing any specific information as to its content.

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