Arms industry companies of the Czech Republic and Ukraine will jointly produce military material
The Ukrainian state concern Ukroboronprom and the AMOS agency, which is part of the Ministry of Defence of the Czech Republic, today signed an agreement on the creation of a joint defence cluster. The creation of the cluster follows an agreement between Prime Minister Petro Fialy and President Volodymyr Zelensky last week, when a joint meeting of the governments of both countries was held in Kiev, also in the presence of Defence Minister Jana Černochová.
In practice, this will involve the establishment of new Czech-Ukrainian Joint Ventures with the aim of increasing the production of military equipment for the needs of the Ukrainian armed forces. Czech-Ukrainian cooperation in the field of defence industry will thus rise to a higher, strategic level.
According to the Minister of Defence, this is an extraordinary opportunity for the defence industries of both countries. The agreement is not only about urgent military assistance in a period when Ukraine is facing aggression from the Russian Federation and is fighting to liberate occupied territories, including Crimea, but also focuses on a more distant time horizon. Czech-Ukrainian joint ventures will one day be able to cooperate, for example, in research and development or supply military material to third countries," Defence Minister Jana Černochová said.
The state-owned Ukroboronprom concern is an association of multi-industry enterprises in various sectors of the defence industry, employing over 100,000 people. AMOS (the Agency for Intergovernmental Defence Cooperation), which will act as a coordinator of cooperation with the domestic defence industry on the Czech side, then at the intergovernmental level represents projects with partner countries so that they are in the security, foreign policy and economic interests of the Czech Republic.
Not only arms production, but also cooperation in the field of high technology
According to AMOS Director Ales Vytečka, the cooperation between the two countries started immediately after the signing of the agreement. In the first phase, companies belonging to the Ukroboronprom concern and companies of the Czech defence industry should establish joint ventures and thus increase the capacities of Czech and Ukrainian companies to produce military equipment that will serve the needs of the Ukrainian armed forces in the first phase. Due to the current situation in Ukraine, part of the production capacities of the Ukrainian defence industry will also be transferred to the Czech Republic.
In addition, cooperation will also focus on the development of service hubs for the maintenance and repair of weapons and military equipment, as well as cooperation in the field of high technology, in particular the establishment of joint research centres.
"As part of the country's future reconstruction, Ukraine will need to create employment opportunities. Long-term mutually beneficial cooperation between the two countries in the defence and security industry, including new technologies, science and research, will have clear economic benefits for both countries. In addition, Ukraine has fresh and rich combat experience that will enrich the cooperation, which will also significantly boost the innovation sector of both our industries," said Vytečka.
The cooperation will also be beneficial in terms of the transition of the Ukrainian army to NATO standards. "We have gone through this transformation and are still partly going through it, and we want to pass on this experience to our Ukrainian partners," he said.
In addition to Czech and Ukrainian arms companies, international financial donors will also be involved in the implementation of the plans. "The Czech Republic will become a reliable industrial backbone for Ukrainian defence and the entire defence-industrial complex," said Tomáš Kopečný, the Czech Deputy Defence Minister.