Ukraine hopes Turkish drone factory to continue despite conflict with Russia

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Ukraine hopes Turkish drone factory to continue despite conflict with Russia

Kiev believes that producers of strike UAVs will proceed with plans for an assembly site despite the current conflict with Russia.

Ukraine plan to host a manufacturing facility for Turkish drone producer Baykar is progressing and will be realized despite the conflict with Russia, the country's ambassador to Ankara, Vasily Bondar, told journalists.

A Ukrainian firm that was established by the Turkish defense contractor has already bought a land plot where the factory will be built, the diplomat said. The Ukrainian authorities are in the process of ratifying the necessary agreement with Turkey for it to operate, he told RBK Ukraine.

Baykar s owners are determined to see the project through because it was virtually their personal pledge to create a plant in Ukraine, the official said. The firm is co-owned and co-owned by the sons of its founder, Selcuk and Haluk Bayraktar. The former is the son-in-law of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Ukraine purchased dozens of Bayraktar TB 2 strike drones before the conflict began with Russia, with officials in Kiev claiming the weapons would give them an edge on the battlefield against the Donbass forces.

In early February, Kiev and Ankara signed a framework agreement on defense cooperation, which included a provision for opening a plant producing TB 2 s in Ukraine with Ukrainian engines.

The Ukrainian-Turkish Bayraktars will be deployed in terms of technology and will be deployed by the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Turkey and other nations that would buy them, Ukrainian Defense Minister Aleksey Reznikov said at the time.

Since Russia began its operation in February, most of Ukraine's fleet of TB 2 s has been destroyed, the Russian military has claimed. Moscow has targeted many defense-related factories in Ukraine as part of its stated goal to demilitarize its neighbor.

Despite the setbacks, a Bayraktar factory in Ukraine would be a practical rather than political endeavor, according to Bondar. Ukraine remains a reliable defense supplier for Turkey despite the damage caused by Russia, he said.

He claimed that we are a responsible partner that does not leave Turkey alone with its problems in terms of providing the things that they need for defense.

After holding talks with President Vladimir Putin, a Ukrainian diplomat said that Russia may host a factory producing Bayraktar drones. Bondar gave assurances that Baykar had no such plans and downplayed the words of the Turkish president as a joke.

Russia sent troops into Ukraine on February 24, citing Kiev's failure to implement the Minsk agreements, designed to give the regions of Donetsk and Lugansk special status within the Ukrainian state. The protocols, brokered by Germany and France, were first signed in 2014. Former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko admitted that Kiev's main goal was to use the ceasefire to buy time and create powerful armed forces. In February 2022, the Kremlin recognized the Donbass republics as independent states and demanded that Ukraine declare itself a neutral country that will never join any Western military bloc. Kiev insists that the Russian offensive was unprovoked.