Ukraine and Italy consider joint production of air defense systems
Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said that Ukraine and Italy are considering joint production of air defense systems that will protect infrastructure from Russian drone attacks
He said this during a visit to the defense company Rheinmetall Italia S.p.A. in Italy, the government's press service reports.
"We are expanding the horizons of cooperation between Ukraine and Italy in the defense industry. We are considering the possibility of joint production of components of these systems. We are working to have more such effective air defense systems. They will create a protective shield around Ukrainian strategic infrastructure facilities," Shmyhal said.
It is noted that Rheinmetall specializes in the production of modern air defense systems. Among its developments is the Skynex short-range air defense system, which Ukraine is interested in.
"We need such an effective weapon to defend ourselves against the drones used by Russia to attack Ukraine. This will save dozens of lives and important infrastructure for millions of people," Shmyhal emphasized.
According to him, such batteries are currently on combat duty in Ukraine. The Ukrainian Prime Minister also thanked the Italian partners for their support.
In December, Rheinmetall received an order for two Skynex air defense systems for Ukraine.
On April 26, a bilateral conference on Ukraine's reconstruction was held in Rome, attended by Denys Shmyhal and Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, as well as other members of the governments of both countries and representatives of international financial institutions. President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy addressed the audience.
Italian President Sergio Mattarella spoke in favor of Ukraine's early accession to the European Union during a meeting with Shmyhal.
On Wednesday, Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni said at a meeting with Shmyhal in Rome that Italy would help Ukraine fulfill the criteria necessary for full EU membership as soon as possible and speed up the process of starting accession talks. Kyiv also expects €1 billion from the Italian SACE agency.