Zelensky in Berlin, Paris for security pacts

Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky travels Friday to Berlin and Paris where he is due to sign security deals with the two European giants and seek further support for Kiev's battle against Russia.

With the war in Ukraine about to enter its third year, Zelensky will also bring his plea for sustained help on financing and armaments to the Munich Security Conference, where leaders including U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris are due to gather.

Zelensky's European tour comes at a critical time for Ukrainian troops, who are facing an increasingly difficult situation on the eastern frontlines because of ammunition shortages and fresh Russian attacks.

The long-term future of billions of dollars of Western aid is in doubt, with the biggest contributor, the United States, in the throes of an election year.

A possible $60-billion package of military aid has been held up in Washington since last year because of wrangling in Congress.

The EU has also admitted that it will only be able to make good on half of the one million artillery shells it promised to send by March.

During his tour of Europe's heavyweights, Germany and France, Zelensky will seek to lock down security guarantees for his country when the war is over.

The German government said that Chancellor Olaf Scholz would on Friday sign a bilateral security pact that covered Ukraine's "long-term security commitments and support".

The Elysee also confirmed that a security agreement would be signed with Ukraine on Friday, but did not provide any specifics on its content.

 Mideast crisis 

Plans by the G7 nations to provide Ukraine with long-term security support were made on the sidelines of the NATO summit last July, when leaders of...

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