France aiming to complete security accord with Ukraine by start of 2024 - foreign ministry

European Political Community Summit in Granada

By John Irish

PARIS (Reuters) - France intends to complete a bilateral security guarantee accord with Ukraine by the start 2024, its foreign ministry spokesperson said on Wednesday.

G7 countries in June unveiled an international framework for the long-term security of Ukraine to boost its finances and defences against Russia with a view to deterring Moscow from future aggression, officials said.

Unable to join NATO while the war with Russia continues - given that NATO's Article 5, stipulating that an attack on one member is an attack on all, could push it into war with Russia - Ukraine has lobbied for long-term security commitments from its main backers.

Countries, including France, have been negotiating bilaterally since June, but there has been scant detail on what countries are willing to do and with the war entering its second year there are question marks about how committed Kyiv's allies may be.

"On the security guarantees and the work we have been doing with our Ukrainians partners ... we are working towards a conclusion of this accord with the Ukrainian authorities by the end of the year, start of next year," Anne-Claire Legendre told reporters at a weekly news briefing.

A diplomatic source said early 2024 was more likely.

The accord would outline the framework for long-term humanitarian aid, support for reconstruction and military assistance, she said.

A second diplomatic source said the accord would not provide detailed financial figures or commitments as such with the French government not wanting to have the text going to parliament for approval.

"I think that the Ukrainians are in a logic where they want to see what the Americans offer them for benchmarking for others," the source said.

"Our proposal to them doesn't contain figures. It's more our objectives. We describe the type of action we are ready to take in terms of military support, economic support, etc."

(Reporting by John Irish; Editing by Alexandra Hudson)