The international conference “Reconstruction of Ukraine and the Strategic Role of Romania” continues its in-depth debates.
Panel IIIa delved into the dynamics and significance of Ukraine’s defense industry, emphasizing its vital role in post-conflict reconstruction and NATO integration aspirations. In contrast, Panel IIIb tackled the complex challenges of Black Sea navigation, highlighting the crucial role of the region’s maritime ports and their impact on Ukraine’s reconstruction process.
Panelul IIIa. Industria Apărării – Un Jucător pe Termen Lung în Ucraina și pe Frontul Estic al NATO
The third panel of the day, titled “The Defence Industry – A Long-Term Player in Ukraine and on NATO’s Eastern Front” was chaired by Mr. Radu TUDOR, Journalist, Antena 3 CNN, Romania, who was joined by H.E. Oleksandr KAMYSHIN, Minister of Strategic Industries, Ukraine (prerecorded message), H.E. Radu OPREA, Minister of Economy, Romania, Mrs. Hanna HVOZDIAR, Deputy Minister for Strategic Industries of Ukraine (via VTC), Mr. Mykhailo SAMUS, Director, New Geopolitics Research Network, Ukraine, Mr. Terry JAMISON, Regional Director for the Americas, Ukraine and Balkans, Boeing, USA, Mr. Adrian IACOB, Director Executive, Lockheed Martin Romania, Romania.
The panel focused on the relevance of Ukraine’s defense industry in its reconstruction process and within the context of efforts to accede to NATO. Since the onset of the Russian invasion, Ukraine has directed its attention not only to frontline resistance but also to the simultaneous development of various types of weaponry. By escalating the production of defense systems, new opportunities for workforce employment and budgetary stimulus have emerged in Ukraine. The Ukrainian GDP witnessed an almost 5 percent growth in 2023, with the defense sector playing a significant role in this progress. It is imperative to intensify the development of defense capabilities, not only in traditional domains but also in alternative sectors, such as drones, where Ukraine has already achieved a monthly production capacity of 50,000 drones. Nevertheless, Ukraine, alongside NATO partners, must redouble its efforts, considering the numerical superiority of Russian forces and the substantial gains derived from the sale of gas and oil. Establishing robust partnerships between Ukrainian companies and international entities, such as Boeing and Lockheed Martin, is a crucial necessity for fortifying capabilities and promoting innovations in the defense sector.
Panel IIIb. Provocări la libertatea de navigație în Marea Neagră – Rolul porturilor din Marea Neagră în procesul reconstrucției Ucrainei
The discussion was moderated by Mr. Silviu NATE, Director, Global Studies Center of Lucian Blaga University of Sibiu, Romania, with speakers Rear admiral (LH) Liviu COMAN, Commander of the Romanian Maritime Component Command, Romania, Mr. Vergil CHIȚAC, Mayor of Constanța, Romania, Mr. Maksym LAPAI, Deputy Chairman for Ports Organization of the State Enterprise “Ukrainian Sea Ports Authority”, Ukraine, Mr. Mykola GAPEYEV, Director, LLC Graincom Shipping, Ukraine, Mr. Marius BĂRBULESCU, CEO Navmar, Romania and Mr. Sergii KROPYVA, Deputy Head of Odessa Regional State Administration for Digital Development, Digital Transformation and Digitalisation (CDTO), Ukraine.
Among the maritime challenges mentioned in this panel are the disruption of supply chains, the insecurity caused by drift mines and Russian drones (and the methods by which this danger is countered), or the challenges faced by local authorities in the current security conditions in the Black Sea region. These navigational risks have focused in particular on the transport of Ukrainian grain, an issue in which Romania plays a leading role. According to Ukrainian officials, Romanian authorities and shipping companies will also be very essential in the reconstruction process in Ukraine.
Despite the current war conditions, the activity of Ukrainian shipping companies is constantly developing. For 2024, these companies’ plans are to broaden international cooperation and restore port infrastructure damaged by Russian attacks.
Together, these discussions provided a deep insight into the strategies of reconstruction and security consolidation in the current geopolitical context.