Ukraine aims to seal security pact with Japan ahead of July NATO summit

Negotiations between Ukraine and Japan are nearing conclusion, marking a pivotal juncture ahead of the upcoming NATO summit.

In a bid to fortify its alliances amidst ongoing tensions with Russia, Ukraine is on the cusp of finalizing a significant security cooperation agreement with Japan, a senior Ukrainian diplomat revealed. First Deputy Foreign Minister Andrii Sybiha disclosed that negotiations between the two nations have reached an advanced stage, with hopes pinned on sealing the pact before the upcoming NATO summit in July.

Sybiha expressed optimism about concluding the negotiations imminently, emphasizing the critical juncture of the impending NATO summit, scheduled to commence in Washington on July 9.

Should the pact materialize, Japan will join a select group of nations, including Britain, Canada, and France, in cementing security commitments with Ukraine. The pact, as envisaged, encompasses multifaceted cooperation, spanning humanitarian aid, energy technology support, cybersecurity reinforcement, and collaborative efforts to combat disinformation campaigns.

Japan’s substantial financial aid to Ukraine, totaling $12.1 billion since the onset of Russia’s full-scale invasion in February 2022 highlights Tokyo’s steadfast commitment to bolstering Ukraine’s resilience in the face of external aggression.

Notably, Japan’s endorsement of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s “Peace Formula” initiative resonates as a beacon of hope, with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida slated to participate in the inaugural “Summit on Peace in Ukraine” in Switzerland on June 15 and 16.

Drawing on Japan’s expertise gleaned from the Fukushima nuclear crisis of 2011, Ukraine seeks Japan’s leadership in discussions pertaining to nuclear safety, particularly concerning the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, which remains under Russian control, posing a global threat.

The impending peace summit assumes paramount importance in Ukraine’s quest for lasting peace, with Sybiha advocating for broad international participation, including emerging and developing nations from the Global South. Notably, China’s potential involvement looms large, with Sybiha highlighting Beijing’s pivotal role in advancing a just and sustainable peace agenda, notwithstanding its close ties with Moscow.

While Russia’s exclusion from the inaugural peace summit remains conspicuous, Sybiha hinted at the prospect of extending an invitation to Moscow for subsequent deliberations.