Kyiv, 30 September 2023 (TDI): On September 29, NATO Secretary General, Jens Stoltenberg during his address at the inaugural meeting of the International Defense Industry paid tribute to the Ukrainian people and armed forces.
He stated that the Ukrainian people and armed forces’ courage and heroism have become a source of inspiration to the world as they have continued to resist the Russian aggression. But courage alone can’t halt drones and heroism alone can’t intercept missiles.
Secretary General Stoltenberg remarked that Ukraine requires urgent capabilities both in high quantity and quality. He emphasized that the defense industry is indispensable and that defense can’t exist without it.
Furthermore, Secretary General Stoltenberg added that in response to Russia’s large-scale invasion in 2022, many allies had substantially reduced their reserves to assist Ukraine. NATO is addressing this by implementing its Defense Production Action Plan to pool demand and enhance interoperability.
Moreover, the NATO Support and Procurement Agency is managing several significant projects, including framework agreements for necessary ammunition totaling €2.4 billion. It includes €1 billion in orders covering items like 155-millimeter artillery, anti-tank guided missiles, and ammunition for main battle tanks.
Secretary General Stoltenberg commended Ukraine’s defense industry for its innovation, noting that they have rapidly shown advancement in various areas, including drones and demining.
He emphasized that Ukraine’s enhanced military capabilities contribute to its strength not only on the battlefield but also in diplomatic negotiations. Fundamentally, providing weapons to Ukraine may seem contradictory, but it serves as a means to achieve peace.
Major defense firms from NATO member states participated in the forum and there were attendees from more than 20 states. The Assistant Secretary General for Defense Investment, Wendy Gilmour represented NATO in the forum.