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PARIS: French President Emmanuel Macron and Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelensky plan to sign a bilateral security agreement at the Elysee Palace on Friday, the French presidency said.

“This agreement follows commitments made within the G7 format on the sidelines of the NATO summit in Vilnius in July 2023”, Macron’s office said on Thursday.

At the time, NATO leaders did not set a timetable for Ukraine to join the bloc, but the G7 countries pledged to provide Ukraine with long-term security support.

The United Kingdom and Ukraine signed a bilateral security agreement in January, and Kyiv is in talks with other countries.

Ukraine’s Zelensky to visit Germany, France on Friday

Such security deals may include the provision of modern military equipment and the training of Ukrainian soldiers.

Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in 2022, France has been one of Kyiv’s top supporters. Macron had said in January that he planned to visit Ukraine in February, but his team did not provide further details.

Macron has pushed France’s defence industry to switch to “war economy” mode and ramp up production.

In January, the French president called on European countries to prepare to back Ukraine in case Washington decided to pull the plug on aid.

Separately, Zelensky’s office said that the president would also travel to Germany for a meeting with Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Friday.

Ukraine’s troops are facing an increasingly difficult situation on the eastern frontlines because of ammunition shortages and fresh Russian attacks.

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