Ukraine on Thursday said it will build a factory to produce Turkish armed drones that Kiev previously bought to use against pro-Russian separatists in the east, a deal that risks irritating Moscow.
“A land plot on which the factory will be built has already been chosen,” Ukrainian foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba said at a press conference with Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu in the western Ukrainian city of Lviv.
“There were a number of obstacles to the implementation (of this project) but all of them have been removed,” he added, without providing further details.
Cavusoglu did not speak specifically about the subject but stressed that Kyiv and Ankara were “in the process of strengthening their relations in many sectors,” including defense.
In late September, Ukrainian defense minister Andriy Taran and Haluk Bayraktar — CEO of the Turkish company Baykar that produces Bayraktar armed drones — signed a memorandum to establish joint training and maintenance center for the drones in Ukraine.
“We have been waiting for this moment for a long time,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said after the signing of the memorandum with Baykar.