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Macron, Zelensky to sign security deal in Paris Friday

Paris, France | February 15, 2024, Thursday @ 19:09 in World » GENERAL | By: AFP | Views: 2606
Macron, Zelensky to sign security deal in Paris Friday

(FILES) Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky (L) is welcomed by France's President Emmanuel Macron (c) upon his arrival at the Elysee presidential palace in Paris on May 14, 2023. French President Emmanuel Macron and Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelensky plan to sign a bilateral security agreement at the Elysee Palace on February 16, 2024, the French presidency said. (Photo by Ludovic MARIN / AFP)

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(AFP) - Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky travels to Berlin and Paris on Friday for talks with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and to sign a security agreement with Emmanuel Macron, Kyiv said.

Zelensky is travelling to Germany and France as Moscow's invasion of Ukraine enters a third year. Kyiv's troops face an increasingly difficult situation on the eastern frontlines because of ammunition shortages and fresh Russian attacks.

The French presidency said Macron and Zelensky planned to sign a security agreement at the Elysee Palace on Friday, but did not provide any details.

"This agreement follows commitments made within the G7 format on the sidelines of the NATO summit in Vilnius in July 2023," Macron's office said on Thursday.

At the time, NATO leaders did not set a timetable for Ukraine to join the bloc, but the G7 countries pledged to provide Ukraine with long-term security support.

Berlin did not release any details, but Germany is also negotiating a security agreement with Kyiv.

The United Kingdom and Ukraine signed a bilateral security agreement in January, and Kyiv is in talks with other countries.

Such security deals may include the provision of modern military equipment and the training of Ukrainian soldiers.

Zelensky's office also said the Ukrainian leader would address the Munich Security Conference on Saturday, where he will also hold talks with US Vice President Kamala Harris.

Zelensky was also set to hold meetings with the leaders of the Czech Republic, Denmark, and the Netherlands.

Since Russia's invasion of Ukraine in 2022, France has been one of Kyiv's top supporters.

Macron said in January that he planned to visit Ukraine in February, but his team did not provide further details.

Macron has pushed France's defence industry to switch to "war economy" mode and ramp up production.

In January, the French president called on European countries to prepare to back Ukraine in case Washington decided to pull the plug on aid.

© Agence France-Presse

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Tags: France, Ukraine, Zelensky, Macron, Macron

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