Ukraine is in talks with Western arms companies to build factories in the country, Deputy Minister for Strategic Industries Serhiy Boyev told Reuters at the Paris Air Show.
He specified that he was referring to manufacturers from Germany, Italy, France and Eastern Europe. “We are confident that we will sign contract agreements in the next few months”, Boyev said.
According to him, by attracting foreign arms companies to Ukraine, Kyiv will be able to meet its own needs more effectively, as well as develop its defense industry to target global customers. In addition, it will create jobs for Ukrainians.
“The future deterrence of aggression will require a strong defense industry in Ukraine, a strong armed forces. That’s why we believe that the arrival of international partners, the creation of industries and the inclusion of the country in the security system of the free world is very important”, Boyev stressed.
During the Paris Air Show, the deputy minister also established contacts with drone manufacturers. “We discussed different levels of cooperation. And some companies say that they are ready to come, invest and produce drones”, Boyev said, but refused to specify which companies he was talking about.
At the end of last year, Turkish Baykar said that they still plan to finish construction of the plant in Ukraine in two years. The respective agreement was reached even before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
In May, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said that the country was working with the British defense company BAE Systems to create a Ukrainian base for the production and repair of weapons, from tanks to artillery. However, an agreement has not yet been signed.
Last month, the German company Rheinmetall established a joint venture with the Ukrainian state conglomerate Ukroboronprom to produce and repair tanks in the country.
“Machines get damaged, they need to be repaired, they come under fire. We want to help Ukraine so that they can maintain their tanks and produce spare parts themselves”, Rheinmetall CEO Armin Papperger said.
Afterward, Russian Security Council Deputy Chairman Dmitry Medvedev said that Russia would destroy any plant that a German company set up in Ukraine. “We are looking forward to it. This event will be duly marked with a salute from Calibers and other pyrotechnic devices”, he wrote.