Ukraine’s defence imports from Turkey skyrocket in first quarter 2022

Ukraine’s defence industry imports from Turkey increased almost 30 fold in first quarter compared to last year, Reuters reported on Wednesday citing official data.

Turkey exported $59.1 million of defence industry equipment to Ukraine in the period, compared with $1.9 million in the first quarter of 2021, Reuters cited data published by the Turkish Exporters' Assembly.

The assembly did not specify the equipment exported to Ukraine.

Ukraine has purchased more than 20 Bayraktar TB2 armed drones from Turkish company Baykar in recent years and received 16 more in early March.

Ankara and Kyiv have long maintained close defence-cooperation ties.

NATO member Turkey shares a maritime border with Ukraine and Russia in the Black Sea. The country remains on good terms with Moscow and Kyiv and has offered to mediate.

Turkey is reluctant to impose sanctions against Moscow as it is continuing to supply drones to Ukraine amid the Russian invasion.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has criticised Russia for invading Ukraine, yet he wants to keep communication channels to Russia open.

Ankara's total first-quarter defence exports were up 48.6% in 2021, according to the association's data.

In 2021 Turkey exported $3.224 billion in defence products, which marked an increase of 41.5 percent compared with 2020, Reuters reported.

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