May 25, 2024

Athens News

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Africa asks Ukraine to share weapons and offers territories for their production

The President of Ukraine announced the creation of the Defense Industries Alliance and the establishment of a special Defense Fund. Africa is interested in hosting the production of Ukrainian weapons on its territory.

This was announced by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Dmitry Kuleba, writesInterfax-Ukraine, at a panel discussion at the first Defense Industries Forum:

“Africa was one of the largest markets for Ukrainian military products before the start of a full-scale war. Today, Africa is waiting for Ukrainian companies to return to this market to sell weapons. For now, this option, of course, is closed. In one African country, in communication with the leader of this country, he looked into my eyes so confidentially and said: “They’ve already sent you so many weapons, you definitely don’t need so many. Maybe you can share a little with us?” That is, there is a different perception of our needs.”

The minister notes that the second interest that Africa has acquired is, in fact, the location of the production of Ukrainian weapons and ammunition in Africa. “This is a new trend,” Kuleba noted. He believes that “the demand for the sale and production of Ukrainian weapons will be very high.”

The first International Forum of Defense Industries (DFNC1) in Kyiv brought together 252 companies from more than 30 countries that produce a full range of weapons, military equipment and defense systems. The forum was organized by three departments: the Ministry of Strategic Industries, the Ministry of Defense and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

President of Ukraine Vladimir Zelensky notedthat Ukraine is interested in the production of weapons and equipment on its territory. To this end, Kyiv is ready to offer “special conditions” to companies that decide to work in Ukraine:

“We are creating a modern and powerful arsenal that will leave no chance for any aggressor”.

At the Ministry of Foreign Affairs reported, that at the close of the forum, 38 companies from 19 countries had joined the Defense Industries Alliance. Every manufacturer of weapons and military equipment from around the world can join the Alliance:

“During the forum, Ukrainian companies signed 20 documents with foreign partners. We are talking about agreements and memorandums on the production of drones, repair and production of armored vehicles and ammunition. Among the formats of cooperation are joint production, technology exchange, and supply of components.”

The forum was opened by President Vladimir Zelensky. He announced the creation of the Defense Industries Alliance and the establishment of a special Defense Fund. The guests were addressed by Prime Minister Denis Shmygal, Minister of Defense Rustem Umerov, Minister of Foreign Affairs Dmitry Kuleba, Minister of Strategic Industries Alexander Kamyshin, and head of the OP Andrey Ermak.

The high representative made special video messages EU Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and representatives of partner countries. Eric Schmidt, founder of Schmidt Futures, gave a speech. Honorary speakers of the forum were Slovakian Defense Minister Martin Sklenar and NATO Deputy Secretary General Wendy Gilmore.

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