November 21, 2023
Ukrainian Consul General Dmytro Kushneruk oversees MoU between the Arizona Defense & Industry Coalition (AZDIC) and the Ministry of Internal Affairs to support Ukraine’s defense capabilities
PHOENIX, AZ — Last week, the Ukrainian Consul General, Dmytro Kushneruk, presided over a historic agreement between Ukraine’s Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA) and the Arizona Defense and Industry Coalition (AZDIC). This significant milestone aims to aid Ukraine’s defense capabilities and contribute to joint projects for the protection of critical infrastructure.
The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was formally executed during a reception at Squire Patton Boggs in Phoenix, Arizona with AZDIC President Lynndy Smith endorsing the document. Consul General Dmytro Kushneruk played a pivotal role in overseeing the signing, emphasizing the collaborative nature of the agreement. The MoU will facilitate cooperation between MIA and AZDIC, aimed at initiating and deepening mutual relations to strengthen the defense capability and security of Ukraine. Together, they intend to foster collaboration with U.S. companies specializing in the production of defense products, services, and other related technologies.
“I am deeply honored and grateful for the enduring partnership with Ukraine as we take this pivotal step forward with the Ministry of Internal Affairs,” said Lynndy Smith, President of AZDIC. “I extend my heartfelt appreciation to the Ukrainian community for the gift of a Bulava which was presented to both Senator McCain and President Zelenskyy. This gesture not only reflects the deep bonds we’ve forged but also serves as a poignant reminder of the responsibility entrusted to us in advancing global security. We embark on this journey with gratitude, unity, and a profound sense of purpose.”
Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs of Ukraine Vasyl Teterya, expressing gratitude to AZDIC, stated “I want to sincerely thank AZDIC for their unwavering support during this unjust war of Russia against Ukraine. The dedication and support of AZDIC in discussions related to key defense technologies will not only contribute to our ultimate victory but also significantly enhance our long-term resilience and progress.'”
“An agreement between Ukraine’s Ministry of Internal Affairs and the AZDIC marks a significant stride in fortifying our nation’s defense capabilities,” stated Consul General Dmytro Kushneruk. “This collaboration signifies a commitment to mutual cooperation and the strengthening of economic ties. Together, we aim to harness the expertise of U.S. companies, particularly in Arizona, to bolster Ukraine’s defense capabilities and contribute to joint projects safeguarding our critical infrastructure.”
The event drew notable attendees, including senior staff from the offices of U.S. Senators Kyrsten Sinema and Mark Kelly, leadership and members of the Arizona Ukrainian-American community such as Mike Baraban, and representatives from the international law firm Squire Patton Boggs, Pedro Miranda, Rick Stilgenbauer, and Natalie Kerwin.
“Our shared commitment is clear: to equip Ukraine with the vital resources necessary to strengthen its defense capabilities.” emphasized Rick Stilgenbauer, AZDIC Advisory Board Member and Senior Policy Advisor at Squire Patton Boggs. “This partnership exemplifies the power of international cooperation, emphasizing our collective dedication to ensuring Ukraine’s security and resilience. Together, we are not just forging agreements; we are supplying the means for Ukraine to safeguard its future.”
This important agreement occurred amidst a vital trip to Arizona by Sergii Demydenko, CEO of Rebuild Ukraine Synergy, a critical partner for AZDIC in Ukraine. AZDIC orchestrated a comprehensive tour to showcase the diverse capabilities of Arizona, encompassing innovative defense companies such as MD Helicopters, Serastar Technologies, and Nammo as well as renowned educational institutions like Pima Community College and the University of Arizona. This statewide tour aimed to underscore the wealth of resources available in Arizona’s backyard.
“Exploring Arizona firsthand has been both enlightening and inspiring,” said Sergii Demydenko. “The assets showcased during this visit, from cutting-edge defense companies to state-of-the-art military facilities, highlight the tremendous potential for collaboration. Witnessing the commitment of organizations like AZDIC to strengthening Ukraine reinforces our belief in the transformative impact of international partnerships. This visit expands upon an already solid foundation for future cooperation, and I am confident that leveraging Arizona’s assets will contribute significantly to the security and resilience of Ukraine.”
About Arizona Defense and Industry Coalition (AZDIC)
The Arizona Defense and Industry Coalition (AZDIC), a chapter of the Global Defense & Industry Coalition (GDIC), is a partnership of regional organizations inspired by Senator McCain, comprising the defense and mining industries, military, veterans, and more. Founding members include West Valley Defense Alliance (WVDA), Mesa Industry & Defense Council (MIDC), Southern Arizona Defense Alliance (SADA), and Yuma 50. Together, these groups work closely to foster innovation and advocate for those providing critical resources and services to the U.S. warfighter and our allies abroad. AZDIC’s mission is to unify the Arizona defense industry and its stakeholders to help secure both state and national security through better communication and policy reform. For more information on AZDIC, email Lynndy Smith at LS@defensecoalitions.org.