SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) — The Utah Aerospace and Defense Association (UADA) could become a partner with the Ukrainian government after both sides signed a memo of understanding (MOU) this week to foster collaboration.

In a press release this afternoon, UADA officials said their President/CEO Aaron Starks and Ukraine Minister for Strategic Industries Oleksander Kamyhin signed the agreement in Washington, D.C.

According to the press release, the MOU “reflects a shared commitment to promoting industry growth and development in Ukraine,” creating a framework for increased “armored vehicle manufacturing; artillery and air defense systems; aerospace equipment; autonomous systems; and more.” It could open up manufacturing opportunities for UADA in Ukraine.

The announcement comes after a Utah delegation, including Starks, visited Kyiv earlier this year for a number of high-level meetings.

Pictured left to right_Aaron Starks, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Oleksandr Kamyshin, Ryan Starks. Courtesy Ukrainian Embassy

“We highly value the commitment and support that Utah has shown our country. Utah was the first state-level leadership delegation to visit Ukraine after the full-scale invasion, and we will always remember that,” said Kamyshin. “We are excited to execute this MOU with [UADA] because it will help us bring U.S. defense companies to Ukraine, expedite our victory in the war, and begin rebuilding our nation. A special thank you to Aaron Starks and his team for their support and collaboration.”

“This is a historic milestone in Utah’s relationship with Ukraine and a major opportunity to leverage critical industries for a more peaceful and prosperous world,” said Starks. “Our industry leaders in Utah stand with Ukrainians and we will do whatever we can to help them win the war and build a smart, robust economy.”

Under the MOU, UADA and Ukraine said they will cooperate more closely on aerospace, defense, and security initiatives, underlying the commitment of both parties to advancing critical technologies, economic growth, and national security.