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Ukraine in talks with US defence companies on repairs, maintenance, joint ventures

Ukraine is also in contact with technology companies.

Ukraine in talks with US defence companies on repairs, maintenance, joint ventures
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Ukraine is holding talks with US defence industry and business associations that include defence companies.

Ukraine's Ambassador to the United States Oksana Markarova told that over the past year she has met with all such associations, including the Arizona Defense & Industry Coalition, National Defense Industrial Association, International Stability Operations, Association Society for International Development - United States Chapter, National Association of Corporate Directors, US-Ukraine Business Council and the American Chamber of Commerce.

"We are also constantly working with individual specialised enterprises, starting with those manufacturers whose capabilities we are already receiving: General Dynamics, Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Raytheon, BAE Systems, Northrop Grumman, Bell Helicopter, Global Ordnance, Day and Zimmerman, L3Harris, etc," she added.

In addition, in June, a delegation of member companies of the Arizona Defense Industry Coalition, which was founded with the active support of Senator John McCain, visited Ukraine. This coalition includes about 200 companies.

One of the key topics of negotiations with companies is the maintenance and repair of hardware directly in Ukraine, as it currently has to be taken abroad. "It takes a lot of time and resources. We are pleased that Boeing already has a large R&D centre in Ukraine, which even increased its staff by 100 people during the war and now employs almost 1,200 people. We need to make sure that such companies expand their presence in Ukraine," Markarova said.

The ambassador also noted that it is about creating new joint ventures. "Here, unfortunately, the United States lags behind Germany, for example. You may recall that the German company Rheinmetall signed an agreement with Ukrainian partners to set up production. We are currently working with several American manufacturers whose delegations have already been to Ukraine, as we need them to open their own branches in our country. I think we will soon catch up with and surpass them," the diplomat said.

Work is also underway with technology companies. "We are already negotiating with well-known tech giants: Amazon, Google, Microsoft, HP, SpaceX/Starlink, and we are also actively cooperating with the defence technology companies mentioned earlier and campaigning for them to consider Ukraine as a permanent place of business," Markarova said.

According to her, the United States has been very positive about President Zelenskyy's initiative to hold a defence industry forum.

"Many companies from the US have already started working and are asking us when we will be able to organise the forum and how many companies we are going to bring. This is an important issue, by the way, because even large corporations cannot operate without contractors. Therefore, we need to bring together everyone - large manufacturers, those who provide them with components, the financial sector, and others," she said.

At a recent meeting with Ukrainian ambassadors, Volodymyr Zelenskyy stressed that securing arms supplies is one of the priorities for diplomats from Ukraine. He tasked the diplomats with ensuring the widest representation of foreign companies at this forum and on specific projects.

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