Zelensky Will Request More Weapons Directly at Conference With Top US Arms Makers

According to Reuters, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky will appear at a summit with Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, and other American weapons manufacturers later this month. The Ukrainian leader is expected to appeal for more arms transfers. On Thursday, top White House officials announced nearly $3 billion in military support for the war.

The conference will be hosted in Austin, Texas on September 21 and Zelensky will appear via video conference. Since the war started, he has spoken with Congress, the Grammys and numerous other worldwide cultural events. The summit later this month will be the first time Zelensky directly appealed to the heads of arms manufacturers.

After Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, the Biden Administration has announced several rounds of security assistance for Kiev totaling tens of billions of dollars. The US has sent over one dozen High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) produced by Lockheed and thousands of Javelin anti-tank missiles produced jointly by Lockheed and Raytheon. Both companies experienced bumps in their stock prices after the start of the war.

The weapons sales from the war in Ukraine are expected to last well into the future. This week, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin told a group of European officials the US will support Kiev for the long haul. "We will work together to train Ukraine’s forces for the long haul. We will work together to help integrate Ukraine’s capabilities and bolster its joint operations for the long haul," he said.

Austin was formerly employed at Raytheon and has supported the US intervention in Ukraine. On Tuesday, Austin, and Secretary of State Antony Blinken, announced $2.8 billion in military aid for Ukraine. The US has pledged over $15 billion in weapons for Kiev since February.

Kyle Anzalone is the opinion editor of Antiwar.com, news editor of the Libertarian Institute, and co-host of Conflicts of Interest.