WSJ: France, Germany, UK suggest defense pact with Ukraine

France, Germany, and the U.K. believe that closer links between NATO and Ukraine may serve as a way to encourage Kyiv to begin peace talks with Moscow this year, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing officials from the three countries.

Paris, Berlin, and London reportedly see the provision of advanced military equipment, weapons, and ammunition to Ukraine for it to defend itself after the war ends as a “way to boost Ukrainian confidence” amid potential peace talks with Russia.

However, when and under what conditions possible peace talks begin is Ukraine’s decision, the officials said.

The officials reportedly told the WSJ that the decision to encourage Kyiv to begin peace talks with Moscow hints at “deepening private doubts” among politicians in France, Germany, and the U.K. on the ability of Ukraine to push Russian forces out of Donbas and Crimea.

“We keep repeating that Russia mustn’t win, but what does that mean? If the war goes on for long enough with this intensity, Ukraine’s losses will become unbearable,” a senior French official told WSJ. “And no one believes they will be able to retrieve Crimea.”

While the parameters of the pact are not set in stone, some officials from the three countries said Ukraine would likely obtain access to a “broad array of NATO standard weapon systems and integrate its armed forces more tightly into the Western defense industry supply chain.”

The proposed pact would not include the sending of NATO forces to Ukraine or Article 5 protection, but rather give Ukraine the military means to prevent a future attack by Russia by changing the Kremlin’s calculus.