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Reuters: White House gathers industry leaders to discuss defense tech for Ukraine

by Abbey Fenbert January 9, 2024 4:51 AM 2 min read
National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan at a news briefing at the White House on Dec. 4, 2023. (Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)
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White House officials convened industry representatives from the venture capital, technology, and defense sectors on Jan. 8 to discuss strategies for arming Ukraine with up-to-date weapons systems, Reuters reported.

U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan arranged the meeting, which lasted five hours and included key members of the National Security Council as well as executives from companies such as Fortem Aerospace, Palantir Technologies, and drone producer Skydio.

The meeting aimed to promote "renewed emphasis on helping Ukraine overcome these key technological challenges that they have identified as inhibiting their progress and momentum on the battlefield," senior administration officials told reporters.

Another senior official detailed the specific areas of technological need the leaders discussed.

"The conversation focused on a number of systems, including unmanned aerial systems, how to counter incoming unmanned aerial systems, and then also addressing the demining challenge," the official said.

Sullivan attended parts of the meeting himself, while his deputy Jon Finer led a portion of the event.

Officials said after the meeting that the conversation was a chance to learn about state-of-the-art systems from a cross-section of U.S. industries. The U.S. government hopes it can bring these new capabilities to Ukraine's battlefields.

The officials also pointed out that little progress can be made unless Congress unblocks the billions of dollars in supplemental funding that President Joe Biden has requested for Ukraine. The aid package remains tied up in partisan battles over U.S. border and immigration policy.

The Jan. 8 meeting was not part of the December agreement between the U.S. and Ukraine to increase weapons production, officials said.

Ukraine's Lieutenant General Serhii Naiev warned in November 2023 that the war could expand beyond the country's eastern and southern regions if Russia continued to improve its technology capacities.  

Naiev told ABC News that technological strength outweighs how many munitions each side has.

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