Kiev, Ankara to expand manufacturing Bayraktar drones
Ukrainian President says signing an agreement with Turkey to expand the manufacturing of the Bayraktar drones in Ukraine will strengthen Kiev's defense capabilities.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky announced Thursday that his country signed an agreement with Turkey to significantly expand the manufacturing of the Bayraktar unmanned combat aerial vehicles in Ukraine.
"These are new technologies, new jobs, the strengthening of the state's defense capabilities," Zelensky commented on the agreement after meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Kiev.
Economically, Ankara and Kiev discussed increasing signed a new free trade agreement (FTA), which according to Zelensky "will help us achieve our goals more rapidly and effectively.”
Tensions will end peacefully & diplomatically
For his part, Erdogan affirmed his country's readiness to do its part in mediation and defuse the tensions between Russia and Ukraine, reiterating Ankara's support for "the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine, including Crimea."
Erdogan said Turkey believes the ongoing tensions between Russia and the West "will end peacefully and diplomatically on the basis of international law."
Russia rules out impact of agreement on Moscow-Ankara relations
The First Deputy Head of the Russian Upper Chamber's International Affairs Committee, Vladimir Dzhabarov, ruled out that the Turkey-Ukraine Bayraktar drones agreement would affect Russian-Turkish relations.
Dzhabarov told Sputnik that this step would not affect relations with Turkey, as selling weapons is one of the state's internal affairs, indicating that Russia has its own relations with Turkey.
Commenting on the agreement, the Russian diplomat pointed out that time will show how wrong such steps were.
Kiev using Bayraktar in Donbas
Last month, high-ranking diplomatic sources in the Turkish Foreign Ministry confirmed that Istanbul will host the process of negotiating the Minsk Accords between Russia, Ukraine, and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe.
Last December, Bloomberg quoted a Turkish official as saying that Turkey would not enter into a conflict with Moscow over Kiev in the event of a military conflict between the two.
Russian President Vladimir Putin hinted to his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan that Kiev is using the Turkish Bayraktar drones in the Donbas conflict, and deliberately disrupting the Minsk settlement agreements.