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Ukraine signs bilateral security agreement with Canada, Italy

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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said on Saturday he had signed a bilateral security agreement with Canada and Italy in Kyiv on the second anniversary of the Russian invasion.

Canada and Italy join Britain, Germany, France and Denmark in concluding a 10-year security deal with Kyiv. The agreements are intended to shore up Ukraine’s security until it can reach its aim of becoming a member of the Western military alliance, NATO.

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In a post on social media, Zelenskyy said the document, signed with Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni in Kyiv, “lays a strong foundation for a long-term security partnership between Ukraine and Italy.”

Canada said it would provide 3.02 billion Canadian dollars ($2.2 billion) in financial and military support for Ukraine this year as the two countries signed a security agreement.

“We will stand with Ukraine with whatever it takes, for as long as it takes,” Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who was visiting Kyiv on the second anniversary of the war, said in a statement announcing the funding.

The 10-year agreement between Ottawa and Kyiv “outlines key, long-term security commitments for Canada to continue supporting Ukraine as it defends its sovereignty and territorial integrity, protects its people, and rebuilds its economy for the future,” Trudeau’s office said.

The document includes funding pledges and enhanced cooperation across political, military, security, economic and humanitarian areas, but is not a defense pact or guarantee of military protection.

Kyiv has cast the deals as an important show of the West’s long-term commitment as its resources are stretched and Russia is making its first gains on the battlefield in almost a year.

Ukraine relies on tens of billions of dollars in military support to provide its army with ammunition, artillery, tanks, rockets and other equipment.

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European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen, also in Kyiv, also said Saturday the first payment under a new 50-billion-euro ($54.2 billion) EU aid program for Ukraine, worth some 4.5 billion euros ($4.9 billion), would be disbursed in March.

But as the war enters its third year, there is still no sign of progress on Ukraine’s most important funding stream -- a $60-billion package of support from the United States.

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