Russian soldiers stand near a tank outside a former Ukrainian military base in Perevalnoye. Ukraine's major state-owned arms company has halted all exports to Russia. (Agence France-Presse)
WARSAW — Ukraine’s state-owned defense giant Ukroboronprom has decided to halt all exports of armament and military equipment to Russia, said Yuriy Tereshenko, the group’s chief executive. Ukroboronprom will not carry out any supplies to the Russian armed forces “until the conflict de-escalates,” according to Tereshenko.
“Today, for obvious reasons, we are not supplying weapons and military equipment to Russia,” Tereshenko told local news weekly Zerkalo Nedeli. “Yes, we will incur economic losses, but is it reasonable to equip the enemy’s Army?”
Russia is one of the leading importers of Ukrainian arms, according to data from a report by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). From 2009 to 2013, about 7 percent of Ukrainian armament and military equipment was purchased by Russia, which ranked as the third largest market for Ukraine’s arms exports.
Tereshenko was appointed to head the defense group March 24 following the sacking of Sergei Averchenko. Tereshenko’s predecessor was fired amid unanswered calls by Ukrainian members of parliament to halt Ukroboronprom’s exports to Russia.
Providing “the Ukrainian Armed Forces and other military units with modern armament and military equipment is the main task of Ukroboronprom,” Tereshenko said in a statement released following his appointment. The group is “ready to enhance qualitatively the combat capability of the Ukrainian Army by supplying up-to-date armament and military equipment,” he said.