Ukraine and US to hold military industry conference next month

Kyiv wants to ramp up weapons production amid concerns that supplies from the West might be faltering

Members of Ukraine's military prepare to use an anti-tank grenade launcher in the frontline town of Avdiivka. Reuters
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Ukraine and the US will hold a military industry conference in December, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said on Friday.

Kyiv is ramping up efforts to produce its own weapons amid concerns that supplies from the West might be faltering.

It also hopes joint ventures with international arms producers can help revive its domestic industry.

“In December of this year, a special conference involving Ukrainian and American industries, government officials and other state actors will take place – everyone involved in organising our defence,” Mr Zelenskyy said in an evening address.

He did not say where the conference would take place. Kyiv and Washington were “actively progressing” on the joint arms production issue, the President added.

“During my visit to Washington, President [Joe] Biden and I agreed on specific steps we can take together. This will undoubtedly strengthen both Americans and Ukrainians, as well as our partners,” Mr Zelenskyy added.

In October, Ukraine set up a joint defence venture with German arms manufacturer Rheinmetall AG to service and repair western weapons. In September, it hosted an international defence industry forum with more than 250 western weapons producers.

Mr Zelenskyy said he had also discussed Ukraine's missile programme with the military on Friday.

“Everyone can see that its results are becoming more long-range and favourable for Ukraine each year,” he said.

Updated: November 17, 2023, 9:57 PM