Wednesday, September 27, 2023
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Western Firms Are Stiffing Ukraine on Military Equipment Contracts

A number of defense companies in NATO nations are failing to deliver on contracts worth tens of millions of dollars, Kyiv said, as its forces continue a counteroffensive that is burning through weapons and military supplies.
Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov confirmed on Monday that the Polish company Alfa has so far failed to deliver on contracts signed in 2022 worth around $95 million.
“This firm is indeed one of the foreign companies that has signed contracts with the Ministry of Defense,” Reznikov told Ukrainska Pravda, which previously revealed the details of the missing equipment. Several arbitration claims have already been filed against Alfa, he added.
“There are many such firms, and, unfortunately, not all of them were able to fulfill the signed contracts, even the influential players in the market,” the defense minister said, noting that the ministry has already won an arbitration case against an unnamed foreign supplier. “There are also Ukrainian firms that didn’t deliver promised supplies, and American ones.”
Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov at a press conference on August 28, 2023, in Kyiv, Ukraine. Reznikov has accused Western defense firms of failing to deliver on arms contracts. Vitalii Nosach/Global Images Ukraine via Getty Images
Reznikov did not say what or how many American companies have failed to deliver agreed supplies and did not specify which countries other delinquent suppliers are from. Newsweek has contacted the defense ministry by email to request comment.
Alfa, he said, “offered us other types of projectiles; we are now studying whether they are suitable for us. And then we will either have them delivered, or we will demand the advance payment to be returned.”
The president’s office and the defense ministry have been scrambling to find military suppliers to support Ukraine’s defensive war. The scale of Russia’s invasion has proven a daunting challenge for defense firms and Western governments used to smaller, less intense combat operations.
Kyiv has repeatedly warned that meager and slow military commitments by foreign partners are blunting its battlefield operations. President Volodymyr Zelensky, for example, cited late Western weapons deliveries for the delays to the ongoing counteroffensive operation in the southeast of the country.
The Alfa case could prove another public embarrassment for the defense ministry, which is juggling several corruption scandals while seeking to eject Russian forces from the 20 percent of Ukrainian territory still occupied.
Reznikov himself almost lost his job last year over an inflated $350 million military catering contract. Several officials were removed from their posts, and rumors of Reznikov’s imminent removal still abound.
In a separate case, Zelensky this month dismissed all of the heads of Ukraine’s regional military committees amid a sprawling probe into corruption related to armed forces recruitment.

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