As part of a working visit to the United States, Ukrainian Minister of Defense Rustem Umerov met with U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, where they discussed Ukraine's strategic goals and operations plan for 2024. This was reported by Interfax-Ukraine.
The meeting was also attended by the Head of the Office of the President of Ukraine Andriy Yermak, Deputy Minister of Defense Lieutenant General Ivan Havryliuk, Deputy Chief of the General Staff of Ukraine Major General Oleksandr Kyrylenko, and Ambassador of Ukraine to the U.S. Oksana Markarova.
Umerov thanked his American counterpart for the new aid package and for leading the organization of the U.S.-Ukraine Defense Industry Development Conference in Washington.
The ministers separately discussed the development of joint defense cooperation and attracting investments in the defense industry. Umerov emphasized the importance of holding the defense industry development conference in Washington, which brought together representatives from more than 350 Ukrainian and American businesses.
"Ukrainian weapons, equipment, and technologies must occupy a niche in the arms market currently held by the russians. To achieve this, we need a powerful Defense Coalition to unite efforts in the fight against russian terror. Increasing the capabilities of arms and equipment production in Ukraine is also a matter of Ukrainian and national interests", - emphasized Umerov.
During the meeting, the parties also discussed the continuation of U.S. support for Ukraine in 2024, with Ukraine hoping for a positive decision on this matter.
They also discussed strengthening air defense. The defense ministers of Ukraine and the U.S. also discussed the activation of the construction of fortifications. Umerov informed Austin about the latest developments in this direction.
Umerov noted that a separate priority for the next year is NATO.
"Our goal and task are to bring the Armed Forces in line with the principles and standards of the Alliance", - said the minister.
As reported, the U.S. State Department will send an advisor to Ukraine to combat corruption and attract investments.