NEW DELHI: Pakistan has decided to dispatch a fresh arms consignment to Kiev coinciding with Ukrainian foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba’s “emergency visit to Islamabad” this week amid depleting stockpiles slowing down the counteroffensive against Russia.
ET has learnt that a merchant vessel has been berthed at the Karachi Port since last week to load nearly 200 containers of defence stores by Pakistan Ordnance Factories. The consignment is expected to be delivered at Poland’s Gdansk Port for the Ukrainian ministry of defence.
The consignment consisting of rockets is expected to be delivered in the second week of August.
As Kiev runs short of ammunition amid its counteroffensive, Kuleba’s trip will be the first big visit from Ukraine to Pakistan since the war and the issue of defence procurement is expected to figure high on the agenda, ET had reported last week.
Kuleba will meet his Pakistani counterpart Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, and is likely to call on Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and military authorities (the most important institution of Pakistan).
Ukraine's arms and ammunition stockpiles are depleting fast despite supplies from the West. This has slowed down the “counter offensive”.
Pakistan has been at the forefront of arms, ammunition and artillery supplies to Ukraine since last August at the behest of the West and via third countries including Poland and Germany. The UK’s ministry of defence had entered into a deal with the Pakistan Ordnance Board to supply arms to Ukraine.
Ukraine-Pakistan defence partnership has been a phenomenon for the past three decades with Islamabad procuring key defence equipment from Kiev.
ET had reported last month that arms consignment from Pakistan Ordnance Factories via a US flagged ship was being shipped to Ukraine through Jordan and Poland. Aqaba Naval Base in Jordan will be used to send consignment to Polish port of Gdansk onwards to Ukrainian armed forces. Defence items that were shipped via Jordan and Poland include air defence vehicles, multiple barrel rocket launchers, recovery vehicles, cartridges and spare parts.
Pakistan defence trading firm Kestral Trading established a firm in Warsaw allegedly under the name ‘Balferrten Investments’ to smoothen supplies to Ukraine. Kestral Trading has allegedly entered into a partnership with a Chinese defence firm, Beijing Heweiyongtai Science & Tech Co Ltd, to procure UAVs for supplies to Kiev, ET had reported in May.
Kiev has launched the process to supply Mi-17 helicopter engines and auxiliary spare parts to the Pakistan military in lieu of Islamabad’s regular supply of defence equipment to the Ukrainian army.
Last year, the UK used Pakistan as an air bridge to supply arms to Ukraine via Romania.
ET has learnt that a merchant vessel has been berthed at the Karachi Port since last week to load nearly 200 containers of defence stores by Pakistan Ordnance Factories. The consignment is expected to be delivered at Poland's Gdansk Port for the Ukrainian ministry of defence.