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Strategic Industries Minister Oleksandr Kamyshin at the "Ukraine. Year 2024" panel in Kyiv, Ukraine, on Feb. 25, 2024. (Courtesy: "Ukraine. Year 2024" forum)
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Ukraine's $40 billion defense budget for this year includes $6 billion for arms procurement, Strategic Industries Minister Oleksandr Kamyshin told journalists on April 14, Interfax-Ukraine reported.

Kyiv aims to localize weapons production and intensify its efforts to ramp up domestic manufacture of drones, a critical tool on the battlefield, amid rising uncertainty surrounding military aid from the U.S.

In late December last year, President Volodymyr Zelensky said that Ukraine had tripled its domestic production of equipment and weapons in 2023 compared to the year before.

According to Kamyshin, $30 billion of the total amount has been allocated for payments to the military in 2024. Another part will be spent on fuel and clothes for soldiers.

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"This is the sum ($6 billion) that we have in contracts for our manufacturers, primarily Ukrainian ones, and it is very little, as our production capacity is three times greater," Kamyshin said.

Kyiv is currently negotiating with foreign partners to purchase Ukrainian military items at their expense and then transfer them to the country's armed forces, according to the minister.

Ukraine is ready to cover its needs with its own production in some areas, including armored vehicles, unmanned systems of all types, and artillery systems, added Kamyshin.

Ukraine has agreements on joint defense production with a number of countries, including the U.S.

In December 2023, Kyiv and Washington signed a statement of intent on the co-production of weapons.

The agreement between the two nations will reportedly contribute to the construction of production facilities in Ukraine to supply the military with arms, in particular air defense equipment and ammunition, as well as repair and maintenance services.

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