(Bloomberg) — Thirteen “prominent” weapons manufacturers have signed a declaration which will form the basis for an “alliance of defense industries,” an international coalition of arms producers Ukraine is creating in a bid to stem Russia’s invasion, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy told participants at an arms-focused event in Kyiv on Friday, without providing details. Any weapons maker “that shares our intention to provide real protection from aggression in these current risky circumstances” could join the alliance, he said.
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Ukraine is taking steps to ramp up arms production, including a plan to provide economic relief to weapons manufacturers and create a fund to finance military spending with dividends paid by the state-run defense companies and revenues from sales of confiscated Russia’s assets, Zelenskiy said. France, among others, has promoted the establishment of multiple industrial partnerships after a visit to Kyiv by its armed forces minister this week. Defense companies from over 30 countries attended Friday’s forum.
Russia attacked Ukraine with drones overnight and hit some infrastructure object in the central Vinnytsia region, local authorities said. Ukrainian state railway company said a number of trains are delayed as a result of the attack. Russia’s defense ministry said air defense systems destroyed shells from a Hurricane multiple rocket launcher system aimed at the Belgorod region. Power supplies were disrupted in a village near Bryansk after a Ukrainian strike there, regional authorities said.
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