Kyiv announced Thursday that it had signed an agreement with the United States to help move production of arms to Ukraine, as doubts hang over Western support for its conflict with Russia.
Since the beginning of Russia’s invasion, Ukraine has depended on Western weapons and ammunition to hold out against Russian forces.
But after nearly two years of conflict there are signs of growing weariness in Europe and the United States to provide more financial and military aid.
“The memorandum sets localisation of the defence industry in Ukraine as one of the main priorities,” a statement released by the Ukrainian presidency said.
“The document will facilitate the building of production facilities in our country to provide the armed forces with the necessary weapons, in particular in the areas of air defence, production of critical munitions, and repair and sustainment,” it said.
The presidency said the plans were worked out during a defense industry conference for Ukrainian and US manufacturers held in Washington this week.
“The event was attended by about 350 American, Ukrainian and European industrialists and government officials,” the presidency said.
Russian President Vladimir Putin boasted this year that Ukraine would collapse after one week without backing from Europe and the United States.
Germany’s defense minister recently conceded that the EU would miss a one-year target of sending one million shells to Ukraine.
Several major Western weapons manufacturers, including Rheinmetall of Germany and BAE Systems of Britain, have already announced plans to work with Ukrainian companies inside the country.