Ukraine’s defense imports from Turkey surged 30-fold in Q1 – Turkish Data

Turkish drone maker Baykar’s TB2 drone is seen at a stand during the first day of the SAHA EXPO Defense & Aerospace exhibition in Istanbul, Turkey, November 10, 2021. REUTERS/Umit Bektas/File Photo

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ANKARA, April 6 (Reuters) – Ukraine received nearly 30 times more defense industry equipment from Turkey in the first quarter than a year earlier as it prepared for and fought the Russian invasion, according to official data.

Turkey exported $59.1 million of these products to Ukraine during the period, compared to $1.9 million in the first quarter of 2021, according to data released by the Assembly of Turkish Exporters.

Assembly, an industry association, did not specifically identify the equipment.

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Ukraine has bought more than 20 Bayraktar TB2 armed drones from the Turkish company Baykar in recent years and ordered another 16 on January 27. This batch was delivered at the beginning of March.

Ankara and Kyiv have a long history of defense cooperation ties.

A member of the NATO military alliance, Turkey shares a maritime border with Ukraine and Russia in the Black Sea, has good relations with both and has offered to mediate.

While he continued to supply drones to Ukraine, he also avoided imposing sanctions on Moscow.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan has repeatedly criticized Russia for invading Ukraine, but also made it clear that he wants channels of communication with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, to remain open.

Since launching an invasion that uprooted a quarter of Ukraine’s population, Russia has failed to capture a single major city. Moscow describes its actions as a “special military operation”.

Ankara’s total defense exports in the first quarter increased by 48.6 percent from a year earlier, according to data from the industry association.

In 2021, Turkey exported $3.224 billion worth of defense products, an increase of 41.5% compared to 2020.

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Reporting by Ece Toksabay Editing by Daren Butler and Bradley Perrett

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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