Russia will scrutinise military cooperation with Turkey should it go ahead with plans to sell drones to Ukraine, Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov said on Wednesday, according to the TASS news agency.
“We will look (at the prospect) specifically in each individual case,” Borisov told reporters in response to a question on the matter.
On April 12, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov warned Turkey and other countries against supporting the “militaristic” aspirations of Ukraine. Russia is pursuing an arms build-up in Crimea and along its border with Ukraine after a ceasefire between Kiev and Russian-backed rebels in eastern Ukraine collapsed, three pro-Russian media channels were banned and Ukraine sanctioned a powerful Moscow-linked oligarch.
Ukraine purchased 12 Bayraktar TB2 unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in 2019 and planned to equip them with MAM-L smart micro munitions made by Turkish weapons manufacturer Roketsan. In October, Vadim Nozdrya, the head of Ukraine’s state-owned arms trading company Ukrspetsexport, said the army planned to purchase 48 of the drones.
Turkish drones played a major role in turning the tide in armed conflicts in Syria, Libya and in the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh, where Azerbaijan and Armenia clashed last year.