Ukrainian defence company Ukroboronprom is seeking to develop partnerships with Lithuanian companies in a bid to boost industrial capabilities that could offset, in part, the ongoing uncertainty over the US and European countries’ ability to support Kyiv in its war against Russia.
Announcing the signing of Letters of Intent with Lithuania’s NT Service, Brolis Semiconductors, RSI Europe and DMEXS, Ukroboronprom stated in a 10 January release that the companies were engaged in the development of capabilities in a range of areas, including thermal imaging, remote detonation systems, electronic warfare, and communications.
The signings took place during an overseas visit by President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy to Vilnius last week.
Ukraine is struggling for military support and financial assistance from its allies in the US and Europe amid doubts in certain Washington circles that it should continue to aid Kyiv. A key EU support package to Ukraine is also being held up following objections from member state Hungary, which also has close ties to Russia.
In a bid to spin the difficulties, US officials have moved to a different tone in how the US would seek to continue its support of Ukraine, shifting towards building up industrial capabilities within Ukraine rather than rely on the provision of equipment from its own inventory.
Speaking in early January, US State Department spokesperson Matt Miller said that the US would back Kyiv “as long as it takes” but cautioned that support in 2024 would be different to what was provided in 2022 and 2023.
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“That does not mean that we are going to continue to support them at the same level of military funding that we did in 2022 and 2023. We don’t think that should be necessary because the goal is to ultimately transition Ukraine… to stand on its own feet and to help Ukraine build its own industrial base and its own military industrial base so it can both finance and build and acquire munitions on its own,” Miller said.
In November 2023 it was revealed that Ukroboronprom had expanded its production of small drones used by the Ukrainian military for intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance purposes. In June the same year the company announced that it was worked up capabilities to produce Nato-type 155mm ammunition, which had been provided in significant quantities to Ukraine by its Western allies.
According to GlobalData, state-owned Ukroboronprom is primarily engaged in the design and development of armoured military vehicles, radar technologies, aircraft, air defence, artillery rocket systems and ships, and civil vessels.
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