President Joe Biden and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy today signed a 10-year bilateral security pact aimed at strengthening Ukraine’s ability to defend itself in the present while also deterring aggression in the future.

“Our goal is to strengthen Ukraine’s credible defense and deterrence capability for the long term,” Biden said during remarks shortly after the signing. 

“A lasting peace for Ukraine must be underwritten by Ukraine’s own ability to defend itself now, and to deter future aggression anytime in the future,” the president continued, adding that the U.S. is going to help ensure Ukraine can do both.  

Per the agreement, the U.S. and Ukraine will spend the next 10 years building and maintaining Ukraine’s credible defense and deterrence capability; strengthening Ukraine’s capacity to sustain its fight over the long term; accelerating Ukraine’s Euro-Atlantic integration; and consulting in the event of a future Russian armed attack against Ukraine.  

Biden said that the agreement also lays out the two countries’ shared vision for achieving a “just peace.”

“[It’s] a peace rooted in the U.N. charter, and the principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity,” Biden said. “[It’s] a peace with a broad basis for it around the world that holds Russia accountable for the damage it has done in this war.”

During his remarks, Biden also said that the G7 recently achieved a “significant outcome” by freeing up some of the $280 billion in Russian assets that members of the G7 and European Union worked to freeze following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in early 2022. 

“I’m very pleased to share that, this week, the G7 signed a plan to finalize and unlock $50 billion in the proceeds of those frozen assets, to put that money to work for Ukraine [as] a reminder to [Russian President Vladimir] Putin we’re not backing down,” Biden said. 

“[The unlocking of the proceeds] has been something that the United States has put a lot of energy and effort into, because we see the proceeds from these assets as being a valuable source of resources for Ukraine at a moment when Russia continues to brutalize the country — not just through military action on the front, but through the attempted destruction of its energy grid and its economic vitality,” National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan told reporters today.

In addition to the signing of the bilateral security agreement and the distribution of proceeds from unlocked Russian assets to Ukraine, Biden also said that the G7 has taken a third “major step” in support of Ukraine by coming to an agreement on sanctioning countries that are contributing to Russia’s war efforts. 

“Collectively, this is a powerful set of actions;” Biden said, “and it will create a stronger foundation for Ukraine’s success.”

The G7 summit takes place in Italy’s Puglia region and runs through this Saturday.

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