Pak is sending container loads of arms to Ukraine under UK, Poland deals

Since the beginning of the war, Pakistan has sent hundreds of containers carrying arms and ammunition to Ukraine through Eastern European countries.

| Updated: 16 March, 2023 3:08 pm IST
Pakistan and Ukraine enjoy close military and industrial relationships.

Pakistan has been sending hundreds of containers loaded with arms and ammunition, including artillery rockets, to Ukraine since the beginning of its war against Russia last year.

As recently as last week, the economic crisis-hit Islamic country shipped 38 containers of arms and ammunition destined for Kyiv through a vessel named MV Ocean Grand allegedly under the US flag.

According to independent conflict analysts, Islamabad has signed deals with the United Kingdom and Poland for exporting wartime machinery to Kyiv by routing it through ports in northern European.

Pakistan government’s ordnance factories sent 99 containers of ammunition from Karachi port to Kyiv through an unknown third country last week in a bid to strengthen its defence relationship with Ukraine.

Islamabad ships containers carrying arms and ammunition to Ukraine through Eastern Europe, primarily Poland, and Germany. Analysts believe that Pakistani shipping and brokerage firm Project Shipping is the main player in this West-supported initiative.

In February this year, Pakistani sent an ammunition consignment of 162 containers to Ukraine from Karachi through Germany after it signed an agreement with the UK’s ministry of defence.

In addition, Pakistan is also helping Western countries deliver critical arms and ammunition to the Zelenskyy regime. In December last year, the UK allegedly used the Pakistani air force based in Rawalpindi as the air bridge to transfer Ukraine-destined arms from a British air base in the Mediterranean to Avram Iancu Cluj International Airport in Romania.

Recently, a Pakistani firm signed an MoU with a Polish firm to supply defence equipment to Kyiv. Some other Pakistani and Polish companies are also involved in the transfer of the equipment, while a Canadian firm is acting as an intermediary.

Conflict watchers also say that Pakistan has provided Ukraine with a consignment of its shoulder-fired, man-portable surface-to-air missile system Anza Mark-II. The consignment was shipped to Poland for transfer to Ukraine.

In exchange, Ukraine has promised Pakistan to help upgrade its Mi-17 helicopters.

Not just the Pakistani government, but its non-state actors have also been activated to help Ukraine in the war. As The New Indian reported earlier, a Pakistan-origin British billionaire named Mohammad Zahoor, who is married to a Ukrainian beauty queen, provided fighter jets to Kyiv last year. He is also engaged in constructing a £1m housing project for Ukrainian refugees in Germany, as per reports.

Pakistan and Ukraine enjoy close military and industrial relationships. According to estimates, Ukraine signed arms contracts worth USD 1.6 billion with Pakistan between 1991 and 2020. Last year, the two countries committed to optimising their military relations with a focus on defence production, training, and intelligence sharing.

According to reports, Islamabad has also signed a USD 85.6 million deal with Ukraine for the repair of its 320 T-80UD tank fleet, which was earlier sold by Kyiv.

Experts opine that Pakistan – discredited for being a terror sponsor worldwide, is using the Russia-Ukraine war as an opportunity to regain its status as a faithful western ally.

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