Agreement formalizes cooperation with Ukrainian leadership to develop strategic industries in partnership with Arizona businesses
WASHINGTON, Sept. 21, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Today, Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy welcomed a historic agreement between Ukraine’s Ministry of Strategic Industries and the Arizona Defense and Industry Coalition (AZDIC), which will help streamline Ukraine’s acquisition of essential resources for its defense, while aiding efforts to rebuild the nation while still in conflict.
The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed today at the Embassy of Ukraine in Washington, D.C., by AZDIC President Lynndy Smith and Ukraine Minister of Strategic Industries (MSI) Oleksandr Kamyshin. President Zelenskyyparticipated in the event, overseeing the signing and congratulating the parties. The MoU will facilitate the development of joint ventures and production opportunities, with AZDIC forging vital connections between Ukraine and defense and mining entities in Arizona and other targeted U.S. states.
“With AZDIC’s unmatched network of over 1,200 defense contractors and non-defense companies in Arizona, we knew we were in a unique position to help find actionable solutions for Ukraine,” said AZDIC President Lynndy Smith. “We appreciate Ukraine’s enduring partnership, and we look forward to supporting their cause through Arizona’s defense connections.”
“I want to express my sincere appreciation to AZDIC for their steadfast commitment to Ukraine during this unjust war,” stated Ukraine Minister of Strategic Industries Oleksandr Kamyshin. “AZDIC’s dedication and role in facilitating conversations with essential defense technologies will not only ensure our success in the war but also contribute significantly to our long-term resilience and progress.”
Following the signing, President Zelenskyy also personally thanked Smith for AZDIC’s support.
The event was also attended by U.S. Senator Mark Kelly of Arizona; senior staff from the office of U.S. Senator Kyrsten Sinema, also of Arizona; and senior leadership from the international law firm Squire Patton Boggs, Rick Stilgenbauer and Everett H. Eissenstat.
“Arizona has already played a critical role in supporting Ukraine’s defense against Russia’s illegal invasion, and this agreement will further strengthen our partnership while bolstering Arizona’s defense community,” said Senator Mark Kelly.
“Arizona Defense and Industry Coalition’s leadership building strong connections between Ukraine and Arizona’sdefense and mining industries will strengthen our national security, fuel strong Arizona careers, and expand economic opportunities for our state,” said Senator Kyrsten Sinema.
The landmark agreement follows a weeklong AZDIC delegation trip to Ukraine in June in partnership with Rebuild Ukraine Synergy, when AZDIC leadership met with high-ranking officials within the Ukraine Ministries of Defense, Strategic Industries, Digital Transformation, and Foreign Affairs, among others—with the goal of identifying Ukraine’s specific needs related to defense, joint production, and reconstruction.
From these conversations, AZDIC and Rebuild Ukraine Synergy produced a 170-page document detailing solutions around munitions development, de-mining, and more.
“We have worked diligently to identify companies and universities in Arizona that want to assist our partners in Ukraine. Clearly we have demonstrated that Arizona strongly supports Ukraine and has a strong desire to begin this work immediately,” said Rick Stilgenbauer, AZDIC Advisory Board Member and Senior Policy Advisor at Squire Patton Boggs. “AZDIC is already working on its second series of proposals for Ukraine.”
AZDIC is currently planning a second delegation to Kyiv this fall, and looks forward to welcoming Ukrainian pilots to train on F-16s at Morris Air National Guard Base in Tucson, Ariz., in October. Meanwhile, AZDIC is committed to establishing similar partnerships between Ukraine and other states across the nation through its umbrella organization, the Global Defense & Industry Coalition (GDIC).
About Arizona Defense and Industry Coalition (AZDIC)
The AZDIC is a partnership of regional organizations inspired by Senator McCain, comprising the defense and mining industries, military, veterans, and more. 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.
SOURCE Arizona Defense and Industry Coalition (AZDIC)