At the Pentagon, Ukrainian Defense Minister Andriy Taran and U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin signed a framework agreement on the strategic foundations of defense partnership between the two countries.
This was announced on Twitter by President Volodymyr Zelensky, Ukrinform reports.
A new stage in 🇺🇦🇺🇸 defense cooperation. An agreement on the strategic foundations of the defense partnership was signed in @DeptofDefense. For us, 🇺🇸 support for 🇺🇦's territorial integrity, gaining @NATO membership and joint opposition to Russian aggression are very important. pic.twitter.com/SebG2PIQjd— Володимир Зеленський (@ZelenskyyUa) August 31, 2021
"A new stage in UA-US defense cooperation. An agreement on the strategic foundations of the defense partnership was signed in @DeptofDefense. For us, US support for Ukraine’s territorial integrity, gaining @NATO membership and joint opposition to Russian aggression are very important.," Zelensky wrote.
According to the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, the framework deal confirms the key principles and sets ambitious goals for bilateral relations in the field of defense by:
- Outlining ways to advance common bilateral priorities to address current and emerging security challenges;
- Reaffirming commitment to common democratic values, including the rule of law and respect for human rights;
- Confirming the U.S. Department of Defense's unwavering support for Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity, as well as condemning Russia's occupation of Crimea and aggression in eastern Ukraine;
- Identifying further steps in cooperation between the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine and the U.S. Department of Defense to increase Ukraine's military capabilities and readiness to preserve the country's territorial integrity, progress towards interoperability with NATO, and promote regional security; and
- Reaffirming continued support by the U.S. DoD for Ukraine's right to determine its future foreign policy course, independent of external interference, including Ukraine's aspirations to join NATO, as evidenced by the United States and Allies in a Communiqué following the June 2021 NATO Summit.
It also outlines goals for December 2026, on which bilateral defense relations between the two countries will focus. These include pursuing reforms in Ukraine’s defense sector in line with NATO principles and standards, increasing transparency of Ukrainian defense procurement, implementing corporate governance reforms, and building long-term strategic partnerships in research and technology.
In addition, the parties intend to deepen cooperation in the Black Sea region in order to ensure freedom of navigation and effectively counter external threats and challenges in all areas of military activity, strengthen cooperation in cybersecurity, and achieve closer partnership of defense intelligence communities to support military planning and defense operations.
"Bilateral security cooperation, as well as support from the United States, is effectively helping Ukraine counter Russian aggression, including a full program of training and exercises," the statement said.
As Ukrinform reported, President Volodymyr Zelensky met with the U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin at the Pentagon on August 31.