Ukraine: Why Turkey sells arms to Kiev – Politics

An advertising clip as a lesson in geopolitics and threatening diplomacy: At the aviation fair in Dubai, the Russian manufacturer Sukhoi recently presented Su-75 before, a fighter jet. Although it is not yet ready for series production chess food flying his maneuvers, the pilot aims a drone. It’s not just any UAV. The typewriter Bayraktar comes from Turkey. It is one of the country’s top sellers, and the Turkish drone was one of the reasons for Azerbaijan’s victory in the recent Caucasus war.

Ukraine also has these unmanned aircraft. Now that a Russian invasion of Ukraine is imminent, Kyiv has new ones Bayraktar– Ordered drones. Moscow is reluctant to see modern weapons for the enemy, and that alarms the Kremlin. The Sukhoi commercial says a lot about Turkey’s relations with both Russia and Ukraine.

Ankara has been selling arms to Kiev for a long time and has expanded its arms cooperation. Turkey wants to become a world-leading arms supplier, builds unmanned aerial vehicles, frigates, rockets, helicopters and armored vehicles and sells them to countries such as Pakistan, Kazakhstan and Ukraine. According to the US agency Bloomberg, Kiev has been supplied since 2019. With several dozen drones, the country has more aircraft than officially known. The necessary checkpoints on the ground would also come from Turkey.

Not only the United States but also Turkey is arming Ukraine. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, a supporter of a policy of provocation and balance, does not shy away from conflicts when it comes to selling weapons or even buying weapons. Neither with Russia – look at Ukraine and the drones – nor with the United States, that is what the ongoing dispute over the Russian air defense system, which was acquired against the will of Washington, stands for. S-400.

Putin accuses Ankara of “destructive behavior”.

So far, Erdoğan has gotten away with his policy, which is as selfish as it is contradictory. In the case of Ukraine, this may now become more difficult. Russian head of state Vladimir Putin has now informed his Turkish counterparts that the Turkish drones sold to the Ukrainians are already being used in the Donbass conflict. Putin accused Ankara of “destructive behavior” and provocations. With the Turkish drones, Ukrainian side is undermining the Minsk peace agreement and threatening the pro-Russian separatists.

In light of a Russian invasion of Ukraine that the US government considers likely in early 2022, Turkey could be caught between all stools. It is not only a NATO state, but also a Black Sea beach that sees itself as a supreme power in the waters: Turkey controls the only waterway through which both Russian and NATO warships sail into the Black Sea, the Bosphorus and the Dardanelles.

At the same time, Ankara remains an important arms supplier to Ukraine. The government also supports Kiev in other matters. On the issue of Russia’s annexation of the Crimean peninsula, Erdoğan has made it clear from the outset that he does not accept Russia’s actions. However, Ankara has close ties to Moscow in a strangely ambivalent relationship: the two states are on opposite sides of the front in conflicts such as those in Syria or Azerbaijan. But they also work together, often against the interests of the United States, Europe or NATO. And the countries are flirting with further arms deals.

Moscow will help Turkey develop the engines for its own fifth-generation fighter jet. And if American Turkey is not new F-16fighter jets – which is conceivable given the opposition in Congress – the Turkish president could also be interested in Russian jets, as they say in Turkey.

Should war break out in the Ukraine crisis, Erdoğan may be under pressure. Moscow rejected his first attempt to elegantly escape the Ukraine dilemma: Ankara had offered to mediate between Kiev and Moscow. “We are in touch with both sides and advise them to remain calm,” said Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Çavuşoğlu. Moscow just waved it off.

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