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Ukraine reaching out to Western manufacturers to replace Soviet small arms

Armed Forces of Ukraine recruit scans for enemy during trench defence training as part of Operation Kudu in the United Kingdom. Photo: LACW Emma Schwenke

The Ukrainian Ministry of Defence is reaching out to Western weapons manufacturers as the country moves away from Soviet-era small arms.

The Ukrainian Ministry of Defence is reaching out to Western weapons manufacturers as the country moves away from Soviet-era small arms.

Deputy Minister of Defence of Ukraine Dmytro Klimenkov recently met with Alex Payne, Colt Canada Corporation vice-president, according to a statement from the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine published on 22 March.

“We are forming a direct partnership with manufacturers of weapons from Western countries,” said Klimenkov.

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“To effectively address the needs of the Armed Forces, the Ministry of Defence is developing a clear and efficient procurement architecture, with norms that will be understandable to international businesses.

“The ministry retains responsibility for drafting procurement laws, but direct procurement is delegated to procurement agencies, who base their work on international corporate governance best practices.”

Small arms are widely used in all types and branches of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, according to Klimenkov, and the reformation of Armed Forces to meet NATO standards would also require the shift to new types of firearms to replace Soviet ones.

During the meeting between Colt Canada and the Ministry of Defence, both parties reportedly discussed the potential for providing firearms to address the demands of the Ukrainian Armed Forces through commercial agreements between the Lethal Defence Acquisition Agency and Colt Canada Corporation.

“Canada is at the forefront of the major partner states that have provided support to Ukraine since the first days of the full-scale Russian invasion,” said Klimenkov.

“We are familiar with Colt Canada Corporation products and highly appreciate their quality. It is used as the main type of small arms in many armies of the world.”

Colt Canada Corporation, member of Colt CZ Group, is the exclusive supplier of small arms to the Canadian Armed Forces.

Earlier this week, the Lethal Defence Acquisition Agency signed a memorandum of cooperation with the Estonian Centre for Defence Investments.

Under that agreement, both parties agreed to commence active work on implementing the memorandum’s provisions on cooperation and joint development of new ways to provide weaponry to Ukraine. There will also be an exchange of experience in satisfying the needs of the Ukrainian and Estonian armed forces, according to the Ukrainian Ministry of Defence.

“Strengthening bilateral defence cooperation with Estonia is one of our top priorities. I am confident that the continued effective engagement between the agencies will contribute to procuring weapons and military equipment,” Klimenkov said.

Robert Dougherty

Robert Dougherty

Robert is a senior journalist who has previously worked for Seven West Media in Western Australia, as well as Fairfax Media and Australian Community Media in New South Wales. He has produced national headlines, photography and videography of emergency services, business, community, defence and government news across Australia. Robert graduated with a Bachelor of Arts, Majoring in Public Relations and Journalism at Curtin University, attended student exchange program with Fudan University and holds Tier 1 General Advice certification for Kaplan Professional. Reach out via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or via LinkedIn.
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