The pacts pave a way for more military and financial aid to Kiev Italy’s Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Ukraine’s President Vladimir Zelensky at a press conference Kiev, Ukraine, February 24, 2024 © Getty Images / Viacheslav Ratynskyi/Anadolu via Getty Images

The leaders of Italy and Canada signed security agreements with Ukraine during their visit to Kiev on Saturday, marking the beginning of the third year of the fighting between Ukraine and Russia.

According to the deal signed by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky, Ottawa will provide $3.02 billion ($2.2 billion USD) “in macroeconomic and military support.”

Canada has provided $1.78 billion in military assistance to Kiev since the start of Russia’s military operation in February 2022, and recently pledged to deliver more than 800 multipurpose drones.

“We will continue to be there with you as long as it takes [and] with everything it takes until Ukraine wins,” Trudeau said during his meeting with Zelensky.

Canada pledges hundreds of drones to Ukraine Canada pledges hundreds of drones to Ukraine

The details of the agreement between Zelensky and Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni have not been made public, although the Ukrainian leader said it will provide a foundation for deeper cooperation. “I thank Italy for its support to Ukraine, in particular the defense capability and reconstruction of our state, and for continuing to provide military aid to Ukraine,” he posted on X (formerly Twitter) on Saturday.

Italy has approved eight packages of military aid worth $722 million since February 2022, according to Germany’s Kiel Institute.

The deals reached in Kiev on Saturday follow similar pacts made with France, Germany and Denmark last week and with the UK last month. They were signed at a crucial moment for Ukraine, whose army regularly complains that they lack enough ammunition to overpower the Russians.

The deliveries of weapons and equipment, as well as financial aid, have been delayed due to the bitter political in-fighting in the EU and the US. Republicans in Congress have so far refused to approve President Joe Biden’s most-recent Ukraine aid bill.

Russia has repeatedly stated that deliveries of armaments to Ukraine do not change the course of the conflict and only increase the risks of further escalation. (RT)