At the heart of the nation's capital, a crucial meeting took place on December 6, bringing together a high-level Ukrainian delegation and top U.S. security officials. The meeting was a segment of the U.S.-Ukraine Defense Industrial Base Conference, a platform designed to solidify ties between U.S. and Ukrainian defense companies with an aim to ramp up weapons production.
Boosting Ukraine's Defense Power
Ukrainian Presidential Office Head, Andrii Yermak, Defense Minister, Rustem Umerov, and Verkhovna Rada Chair, Ruslan Stefanchuk, were among the attendees. This conference, held on December 5-6, was a sequel to the Defense Industries Forum from September. The primary goal was to discuss and strategize ways to fortify Ukraine's long-term sustainment of key capabilities to counter Russian aggression through the expansion of its domestic industrial base.
U.S.-Ukraine: A Strong Alliance
One of the key conversations during the meeting revolved around the current situation at the front lines, Ukraine's defense requirements, and the weight a Ukrainian victory carries. Yermak expressed his gratitude towards the U.S. for their continued support and for jumpstarting the conference. The Ukrainian delegation also had a bilateral discussion with U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III, who voiced his faith in the combined efforts of allies and partners in backing Ukraine in its ongoing battle for sovereignty.
Strategic Collaboration for Security
Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III highlighted the necessity of boosting Ukraine's ability to deter Russian aggression through the development of its domestic industrial base. Representatives from both the U.S. and Ukrainian government signed an agreement to expedite weapons co-production and data sharing. Furthermore, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy invited all American defense companies to collaborate with Ukraine, emphasizing the significance of their cooperation in launching defense projects crucial for the security of entire Europe.
As the meeting concluded, the U.S. announced a new package of weapons and equipment to support the people of Ukraine in defending their country and their freedom against Russia's aggression. This $175 million package includes guided missiles for the High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS), anti-armor systems, and high-speed anti-radiation missiles.