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Kuleba meets with Stoltenberg, discusses Euro-Atlantic defense industry

by Elsa Court and The Kyiv Independent news desk November 29, 2023 9:19 PM 2 min read
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg hold joint press statement during the meeting of NATO Ministers of Foreign Affairs at the NATO Headquarters in Brussels, Belgium on Nov. 29, 2023. (Dursun Aydemir/Anadolu via Getty Images)
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Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg agree that Euro-Atlantic defense industries need to work together as one system to increase arms supplies, Kuleba said on a visit to the NATO Headquarters in Brussels on Nov. 29.

"We both agree that Euro-Atlantic defense industries need to work as one system in order to both ramp up supplies to Ukraine and strengthen NATO allies. This priority resonates well with them," Kuleba said on X, following his meeting with Stoltenberg.

"We discussed specific steps to create such an integrated system," Kuleba said. "NATO has a crucial coordinating role in bringing all allies and defense companies together."

Increasing arms production was a key topic of Kuleba's visit to Brussels, where he attended the NATO-Ukraine Council meeting of NATO foreign ministers.

He also met with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who posted on X that a topic of discussion was "battlefield updates and bilateral efforts aimed to help Ukraine increase production of the military supplies it needs to defend its territory and people."

Speaking to the press with Blinken, Kuleba told reporters that the meeting demonstrated that the "call to step up the production of weapons and ammunition resonates among NATO allies."

The foreign minister said he has "no doubts" that member states will put "political will into real action in the area of defense industries."

Kuleba also met with his French, Canadian, and Norwegian counterparts in Brussels.

Earlier in November, Kuleba met with Armin Papperger, CEO of German arms manufacturer Rheinmetall, in Berlin and discussed ways to strengthen the alliance of German and Ukrainian defense industries.

The meeting came less than two weeks after it was announced Rheinmetall would 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.

Stoltenberg: Ukraine’s ability to implement reforms during war is impressive
″(Ukraine has) made concrete changes, not least in the fight against (corruption),” NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said, adding that these steps help the country “to move closer to NATO membership.”

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