As part of efforts to bolster weapons production within the country to repel Russia’s full-scale invasion, Ukraine has hosted an international defense industry conference.
Speaking at the forum, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, noted, “This is not just about Russia’s aggression.”
He asserted that Ukraine’s primary task is to win war and bring back long-lasting and, most importantly, reliable peace to the people.
“We will accomplish this task. Thanks to our cooperation with you, with the majority of the world,” Zelenskyy added.
“But everything we have learned ourselves, we are ready to teach and share practices with our partners. Everything that serves our defense can serve – and very successfully – the defense of our partners. This is how we are laying the foundation for the arsenal of the free world.”Volodymyr Zelenskyy
Zelenskyy noted that Ukraine is “at a point in the defense marathon where it is absolutely essential to move forward without any retreat,” adding that frontline result is needed every day.
Zelenskyy also disclosed the details of his recent trip to Washington, where he agreed with U.S. President Joe Biden on “the establishment of a new industrial ecosystem that will strengthen both Ukraine and all the partners.”
“This is one of the key outcomes of my negotiations with President Biden in Washington, and a clear signal to the world that Ukrainian strength is not just worthy of trust but that the world’s strongest are ready to combine their potential with our strength – the strength of our state.”Volodymyr Zelenskyy
During the forum, Zelenskyy announced the creation of the Defense Industries Alliance and added that 13 defense companies have already signed the corresponding declaration.
He noted that Ukraine plans to establish a special Defense Fund, which will provide additional resources, including for the development of military production and support of relevant collaborations, for the creation of new military facilities and programs needed to ensure defense and take care of Ukrainian warriors.
“The fund will be replenished through dividends from state-owned defense assets and profits from the sale of confiscated Russian assets,” Zelenskyy added.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, who spoke by video link during the forum, asserted, “Heroism alone cannot intercept missiles. Ukraine needs capabilities, high quality, high quantity, and quickly. There is no defense without industry.”
Stoltenberg acknowledged that many allies have significantly depleted their stocks in order to support Ukraine.
“This was the right thing to do, but now we need to ramp up production, both to meet Ukraine’s needs and to ensure our own deterrence in events,” he said.
Zelenskyy Meets With Representatives Of International Defense Companies
President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyy met with representatives of defense companies from the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Türkiye, Sweden and the Czech Republic.
The prospects for partnership and joint arms production, in particular, taking into account Ukraine’s war experience, were discussed.
“The sky shield and demining are the two biggest priorities for us today,”Zelenskyy stated.
According to the President, this includes both air defense means and the production of systems for warning, surveillance, amongst others.
“We have to do this. This will be useful not only for Ukraine, but also for Europe and our neighbors,” Zelenskyy asserted.
Moreover, Zelenskyy disclosed that Ukraine is also interested in the production of long-range missiles and artillery with new capabilities.
He emphasized that Ukraine is ready to offer special conditions to companies willing to develop defense production together with the country.
“It will be a mutually beneficial partnership. I think this is a good time and place to create a large military hub,” Zelenskyy stated.