Ukraine's state arms producer opens office in Washington

FILE PHOTO: Recovery Forum at the Ukraine Recovery Conference in Berlin

(Reuters) - Ukraine's state-owned arms manufacturer Ukroboronprom has opened its first foreign office in Washington as Kyiv seeks to work more closely with allies to step up weapons production and counter Russia's invasion.

"Its main task is to promote joint US-Ukrainian defense projects and enhance our integration into NATO's defense industrial base," strategic industries minister Oleksandr Kamyshin said on X, referring to the office which opened on Tuesday.

Following Russia's full-scale invasion in 2022, Ukraine has sought to build up its domestic armaments sector and urged allies to agree joint ventures, invest in Ukrainian businesses, and place orders for Ukrainian weapons.

Ukraine's defence sector, held back for decades by under-investment, red tape and corruption, is trying to compete with Russia's far more advanced arms industry and higher budget.

Last year, Kyiv agreed with two U.S. firms to jointly manufacture vital 155mm artillery shells in Ukraine, according to Kamyshin, although production was not expected to start for at least two years.

(Reporting by Yuliia Dysa; Editing by Mark Potter)