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Economy Minister: Ukraine to launch 5 joint ventures with Western arms companies in 2024

by Elsa Court and The Kyiv Independent news desk January 10, 2024 10:07 PM 2 min read
Ukraine's Deputy Prime Minister and Economy Minister Yuliia Svyrydenko at the Ukraine Recovery Conference in London, June 21, 2023. (Photo credit: Hannah McKay - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
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Ukraine plans to launch five joint ventures with Western arms manufacturers this year, Economy Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Yuliia Svyrydenko told the Kyiv Independent on Jan. 10.

Ukrainian Defense Industry, a state-owned enterprise that also operates under the name Ukroboronprom, is a "top priority" for the coming year, Svyrydenko said.

While Svyrydenko did not name the five ventures, President Volodymyr Zelensky announced on Jan. 10 during his visit to Vilnius that Ukraine had "reached a number of significant agreements" that pave the way to joint defense production with Lithuanian companies.

Defense Minister Rustem Umerov also announced on Jan. 5 that Ukraine and Latvia are planning joint projects in drone production. Umerov had said in December that the government aims to localize arms production in Ukraine in 2024.

Armin Papperger, the CEO of German arms manufacturer Rheinmetall, also told a German newspaper in December that the company plans to build the first armored vehicles on-site in Ukraine from the summer of 2024.

Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal announced in October that Rheinmetall will join forces with Ukraine's state-owned defense company Ukroboronprom to repair and maintain Western-produced military vehicles and ultimately produce them domestically in Ukraine.

The joint Rheinmetall-Ukrainian Defense Industry enterprise was registered on Oct. 18, Shmyhal said.

Zelensky: Ukraine needs more modern air defense systems
Ukraine currently lacks the ability to produce its own modern air defense system, something that it desperately needs to protect its citizens from Russian strikes, President Volodymyr Zelensky said at a joint press conference with Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda in Vilnius on Jan. 10.
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