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Biden signs 10-year defense pact with Ukraine, greasing its path to NATO membership
Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images

Biden signs 10-year defense pact with Ukraine, greasing its path to NATO membership

The agreement says Ukraine is on its way to joining NATO, which would upgrade America's proxy war into a direct confrontation with Russia per Article 5.

President Joe Biden and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy struck a deal Thursday in Italy on the sidelines of the G7 summit, committing the United States to deepening "security and defense cooperation [with Ukraine] and collaborating closely with Ukraine's broad network of security partners" for the next ten years.

The White House characterized the pact, which further paves the eastern European nation's way toward membership in NATO, as a "powerful signal of our strong support for Ukraine now and into the future."

At a joint press conference with Zelenskyy, Biden said, "Our goal is to strengthen Ukraine's credible defense and deterrence capabilities for the long term."

While Biden stressed it "makes a lot of sense for Ukraine to be able to take out or combat what is going across that border," he did, however, rule out Ukraine expanding its use of American missiles in Russia.

"In terms of long-range weapons ... we have not changed our position on that," said Biden, who reiterated further that American troops would also not be committed to Ukraine's defense.

Although Biden's potential successor has expressed interest in a swift resolution to the Russia-Ukraine war and in European powers shouldering more of the financial burden for their own defense, Zelenskyy expressed confidence that perceived popular support for Ukraine will translate into continued fidelity to the pact.

"If the people are with us, any leader will be with us in this struggle for freedom," said Zelenskyy.

As the pact is only between the Biden and Zelenskyy administrations and will not be ratified by Congress, the next president could tear up the pact upon securing the White House.

The agreement comes just days after the Biden administration lifted a long-standing ban on arming a controversial Ukrainian brigade founded and shaped by neo-Nazis and midway through a year in which Congress appropriated $61 billion for military and economic aide to Ukraine — $14 billion of which was for advanced weapon systems and defense equipment and $13.7 billion of which is so that Kiev can buy American defense systems.

Biden has also committed to help 'develop Ukraine's capabilities to counter Russian and any other propaganda and disinformation.'

The agreement also comes in the wake of the European parliamentary elections, in which several right-leaning parties critical of the EU's approach to the Russian war against Ukraine made significant gains and amid waning interest among eastern European countries such as Slovakia to continue supporting Kiev's defensive campaign.

Although apparently happy to defer much of the cost to the U.S., wealthy powers at the G7 committed to a $50 billion loan to Ukraine backed by confiscated Russian assets.

The pact states in its preamble that "the security of Ukraine is integral to the security of the Euro-Atlantic region," and it is necessary to "preserve and promote Ukraine’s sovereignty, democracy, and capacity to deter and respond to current and future external threats."

In addition to advancing "trade and investment ties," the pact will build on the existing security partnerships facilitated under the Strategic Defense Framework between the Pentagon and Ukraine's defense ministry in 2021.

This means more help with military training; increased industrial cooperation; continued joint planning "to confront threats"; help with the procurement of squadrons of modern fighter aircraft; and material and logistical assistance with the defense of Ukraine's sovereignty and borders.

Biden has also committed to help "develop Ukraine's capabilities to counter Russian and any other propaganda and disinformation." This assistance would ostensibly be extra to what the Biden administration is already shelling out to help Ukrainian outfits target individuals and entities believed to be unsympathetic or antipathetic.

Blaze News recently reported that the Biden State Department is funding a Ukrainian NGO that has compiled a list of American politicians, activists, and media outlets — including Blaze Media — who have allegedly shared "Russian disinformation" or made "anti-Ukrainian statements."

The pact links a "just end to the war" to Ukraine's maintenance of its internationally recognized borders and territorial waters; reaffirms "Ukraine's future is in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)"; and emphasizes the importance of using sanctions and export controls against Russia, which some critics say have pushed the Slavic nation further into the arms of communist China and have proven costly for Europe.

'NATO expansion has not improved American security.'

To execute this pact, the White House indicated the Biden administration will look to Congress to continue funding Ukraine "over the long term."

There are apparently 15 other countries with similar security pacts with Ukraine, including Germany, Britain, and France.

The response to the agreement has so far been mixed.

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) suggested on X that Biden was "risking another US forever war."

"By supporting Ukraine's NATO membership, he commits future US servicemembers to Ukraine's conflicts," continued Paul. "It's time to put America 1st, seek diplomatic solutions, and protect our people and economy."

Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) noted that "NATO expansion has not improved American security."

Others emphasized the importance of helping Ukraine see its way through to victory.

Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin stated Thursday, "The outcome of Ukraine’s fight will set the trajectory for global security for decades. We must continue to stand up to Putin's aggression and atrocities. Let me be clear: Ukraine matters to the United States and to the entire world."

The State Department said the pact was "a historic show of support for Ukraine’s long-term security that furthers commitments made under the G7 Joint Declaration of Support to Ukraine in July 2023 and the President’s approval of the Ukraine Supplemental Appropriations Act this spring."

Zelenskyy suggested earlier this year that 31,000 Ukrainian soldiers had been killed since the outset of the invasion, although the BBC indicated U.S. intelligence suggests the number is far higher. As of April, the BBC's Russian unit indicated over 50,000 Russian soldiers had been slain. Between the two countries, there have been hundreds of thousands more combatants injured in the fighting.

For two points of contrast: Pentagon data indicates that between Oct. 7, 2011, and Dec. 31, 2014, 2,354 American service members died during Operation Enduring Freedom, and 20,149 were wounded in action. Between March 2003 and August 2010, 4,431 American service members died in Operation Iraqi Freedom, and 31,994 were injured.

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Joseph MacKinnon

Joseph MacKinnon

Joseph MacKinnon is a staff writer for Blaze News.
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