The Newsweek magazine reported on Thursday, that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is pressing the United States to obtain a long-term security deal based on the Israeli model.
According to Newsweek, as Ukraine’s counterattack continues, officials in Washington and Kiev are quietly negotiating, away from the front lines, a formal alliance that could reshape Europe’s security landscape.
Ukraine’s efforts this summer to restore the territories controlled by Russia in southern Ukraine overshadowed the negotiations, but the discussions drew new attention recently, when Zelensky said that he expected Ukraine and the United States to agree to a security agreement similar to the alliance between the United States and Israel.
Newsweek magazine stated that the two sides don’t have a defense treaty, but the United States provides Israel with billions of dollars’ worth of military aid, and has long been its most important ally.
Zelensky said in an interview with Ukrainian media last Sunday, that “it’s likely that we will get exactly this model, (the Israeli model) that includes aid of weapons, technology, training and finances”.
Such an arrangement would provide Ukraine with less security than membership in NATO, which US President Joe Biden said wouldn’t happen before the end of the war.
But it will establish Ukraine, as an important long-term partner for the United States in Eastern Europe, while sending Russia a message that Western support for Kiev won’t be waived.
According to Eric Ciaramella, former director for Ukraine at the US National Security Council and expert at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, “the formal security commitment to Ukraine is a reliable interim arrangement until the issue of NATO membership is clarified”.
Meanwhile, it’s not clear from Zelensky’s comments whether the negotiators are using the case of Israel as a model for Ukraine, or whether this is simply the direction he would like to see the talks take.
Since the beginning of the Russian invasion on February 2022, the United States has provided Ukraine with more than $60 billion in financial aid, which promoted Kiev to be the largest recipient of US aid since World War II.