«Russia’s War of Aggression — the Old and the New». Speech of Minister Oleksandr Kamyshin at the NATO-Industry Forum

On October 25, the annual NATO-Industry Forum was held in Stockholm. We publish the speech of Minister for Strategic Industries of Ukraine Oleksandr Kamyshin.

First of all, I would like to remind you that Ukraine faced Russian aggression not 608 days ago, but it was earlier in 2014. We had enough time to study Russian methods of so-called hybrid warfare and before encountering the full-scale invasion we have got experience. We now want to alert our partners: do not underestimate the danger. For decades, many of us believed that conflicts of the intensity we face today in Ukraine were a thing of the past. But now we see the threats and we need to be ready.

The impact of Russia’s aggressive war spans both tactical and strategic decisions in the defense industry, in the combat fields, yielding valuable lessons that could be advantageous for NATO’s defense strategies.

With depleting stocks — as they call it «war of warehouses» — of weapons and ammunition globally, scaling up manufacturing capabilities becomes crucial, significantly shaping the direction of the war we have now.

Traditional warfare emphasizes the importance of increasing ammunition production. Ukraine, the European Union, and the United States are intensifying efforts to bolster their manufacturing capabilities and fortify supply chains.

The emergence of drone warfare in various domains has added a new dimension to modern combat. Advancements in electronic warfare highlight the crucial role of defense tech and the necessity for continuous progress. And we would be happy to share that lessons learned back to NATO defense industry as well.

The rapid race of innovation and the role of new defense technologies underscore the significance of achieving technological superiority in the pursuit for victory.

Ukraine’s battle-tested technologies, specialized experience, and expertise present unique opportunities to all of you. The country’s adeptness in modernization, especially transitioning from Soviet to NATO standards, shows promising potential.

The need for Ukraine to become the next arsenal of the free world emphasizes the potential of robust public-private partnerships. Such collaborations can strengthen capabilities and contribute to global security.

As NATO approaches its seventy-fifth anniversary at the Washington Summit next year, we may want to recall the initial reasons that led to its formation. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, we believed the main threat was gone. NATO policies then focused on reducing military presence and engaging in anti-terror operations. Unfortunately, we now find ourselves revisiting the founding principles: military alliances are created to enhance collective defense capabilities. To fight the wars — full-scale wars — against tyrannies. For the freedom, for the democracy — these are the values we stand for in Ukraine.

I`m here to promote defense industry of Ukraine. I`m grateful to each of you, your countries for all the weapons and ammunition you`ve given to my country that help us to withstand. With having all those weapon and ammunition in Ukraine I believe that local production would be a logical next step for defense industries of NATO countries. First of all, that’s the maintenance and repair, second, that could be R&D and assembly, and then full-scale production. I`m sure that you`ll find it valuable and you will solve a number of those targets I heard from General Lavigne — like more, faster, cheaper, and sometimes even better.

I’ve heard from Secretary General their concerns about the cost. The cost of investing in defense industry, and warehouses, and spare parts, and stocks — but not using that.

I could tell that the highest cost that is paid is lives of people. We would be ready to share our lessons learned in this war and in defense industry, especially in defense tech. But, please, don`t underestimate the danger.

We`ve been building in my country as the bread basket for Europe, for the whole world. And we`ve been good in farming, in selling grain, with cheap price and cheap cost of logistics. We`ve been efficient in that. We showed that we can be good if we make something.

Now we build my country is the arsenal of the free world. And I`m sure that each of you, each of your companies and countries, could find an opportunity to be part of that. Let`s make it together. Thank you.