Ukraine–Turkey agreements on the supply of combat drones are not related to rising tensions in eastern Ukraine.
"We sold a batch of combat drones to Ukraine. Now there is tension in the region, there is no question of selling. It was a process. There were agreements on a batch [of drones] which was discussed from the beginning. There were certain production and investment projects in Ukraine that were discussed from the beginning. This is the course of the project. This is not related to recent events. It should not seem that Turkey is sending drones and combat drones to Ukraine due to tensions," President of Defense Industries of the Republic of Turkey İsmail Demir told journalists at a conference on global strategies in the defense and aviation industries, Ukrinform reports citing Hürriyet.
In June, Foreign Minister of Ukraine Dmytro Kuleba said that the combat drones that Ukraine had purchased from Turkey were needed primarily to deter Russia, to defend, not to attack, but in case of a large-scale conflict between Russia and Ukraine, Ukraine is ready to use drones.
On October 26, the Bayraktar unmanned combat aerial vehicle was used in the Joint Forces Operation area in eastern Ukraine for the first time. The combat drone, which is in the service of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, was used after the Russian-terrorist forces had fired D-30 howitzers on the Joint Forces positions near Hranitne.
On December 3, Bloomberg reported that Turkey, which already supplied Ukraine with a number of Bayraktar combat drones, is preparing to sell at least 20 more such aircraft.