July 22, 2024

A meeting between the French and Ukrainian defence ministers in Kyiv included discussions on potential joint production and defence procurement.

Source: European Pravda; Ministry of Defence of Ukraine.

At the meeting between French Defence Minister Sébastien Lecornu and his Ukrainian counterpart Rustem Umierov, they discussed the current needs of the Ukrainian Defence Forces, bilateral projects on military-technical cooperation, training of Ukrainian military personnel and further implementation of NATO standards by Ukraine.

Sébastien Lecornu said that France will continue to help with the supply of weapons and training for the Ukrainian military, noting that thanks to France, more than 7,000 Ukrainian soldiers have been trained in France or in Poland.

“The third issue is more strategic and concerns our ability to jointly produce something for the needs of Ukraine. We are approaching such an unusual stage in relations between our two countries, where we are looking together at what we can jointly produce or buy,” Sébastien Lecornu is quoted as saying.

During the visit, a memorandum of intent on cooperation was signed between the state-owned enterprise Ukrainian Defence Industry (formerly Ukroboronprom State Concern) and the Direction générale de l’armement (DGA) (France). The document provides for indefinite cooperation and creates a regulatory framework for concluding contracts. It will also contribute to the deepening of military-technical cooperation, including the development of joint high-tech projects to ensure the defence of both countries, the Defence Ministry noted.

As a result of the meeting, “a dozen agreements” were concluded between industrialists concerning artillery, armoured vehicles, drones and mine clearance equipment, Lecornu stated in a message on social media. “Thanks to these agreements, France is mobilising its industrial expertise in support of Ukraine,” the French minister said.

Rustem Umierov, for his part, thanked France for its assistance, recalling that thanks to Paris, Ukraine had received modern SAMP/T and Crotale air defence systems, CAESAR artillery systems, Milan anti-tank systems, AMX wheeled tanks, VAB armoured personnel carriers and much more.

Background:

  • Lecornu arrived in Ukraine on 28 September. Prior to that, it was reported that Grant Shapps, UK Defence Secretary, had also arrived and was probably still in Kyiv.

  • The Kyiv Defence Industries Forum is scheduled to take place in the coming days with the participation of more than 160 representatives of the defence industry from all over the world. The exact dates of the event are not disclosed.

  • It also became known on 28 September that the German Rheinmetall Group obtained permission to establish a joint venture from the Federal Antimonopoly authority of Germany with the state-owned firm Ukrainian Defenсe Industry (formerly Ukroboronprom State Concern).

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