Ukraine, USA together can create 'arsenal of freedom' – Zelenskyy's speech at Ukraine-US Defense Forum
Ukraine is interested in joint production of the full spectrum of weapons with the United States, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy has said in a video address to the Ukrainian-U.S. Defense Forum on Wednesday.
"We are interested in joint production with you of the full spectrum of weapons necessary for modern warfare. Artillery, armored vehicles, drones. Maintenance and service of equipment. Security on land, in the sky, at the sea. Ukraine does not want to depend only on partners. Ukraine aims and really can become a donor of security for all our neighbors once it can guarantee its own safety. We really can do this. It is absolutely realistic," he said.
The head of state invited all U.S. defense companies for cooperation and expressed confidence that together both states can create a new and powerful "arsenal of freedom" which will be a reliable helper for all free nations of the world.
"An arsenal that by the mere fact of its existence will guarantee our children, the children of Europe, the children of America, the children of all the world that no Russian or other evil shell will ever again destroy our peaceful life," he said, adding that during the forum, the Ukrainian team will present the specific prospects and opportunities.
Zelenskyy also said that during his last visit to Washington, he discussed with U.S. President Joseph Biden the launch of joint defense project, particularly the production of air defense systems.
"If our air shield is strong enough, it will protect the entire eastern flank of Europe," he said.
The head of state thanked the United States and other partners who support Ukraine for the fact that Ukraine endured in this war and maintained normal life on most of its territory.
"None of this would be possible without our brave defenders, both men and women, without the weapons and ammunition that help us preserve the freedom and independence of Ukraine, without the cooperation with our partners and the consolidation of the free world which allow us not only to defend our independence but also gradually regain control of our territory occupied by Russia," he said.
The president also said that "since February 24 of last year, we have already liberated half of the territory captured by Russia. We are holding the frontline and it is up to our warriors, to our initiative what the front in Ukraine will be."
As reported, on December 6-7, Washington will host the forum that brings together representatives of Ukrainian and U.S. industries and the governments of both countries. The parties will study possibilities of joint weapons production.