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Ukraine signs memorandum on training and maintenance centres for Turkish drones

Akinci, unmanned air vehicle developed by Baykar performs a demonstration flight during TEKNOFEST 2021 the Aviation, Space and Technology Festival at Ataturk Airport in Istanbul, Turkey on 24 September 2021. [Muhammed Enes Yıldırım - Anadolu Agency]
Akinci, unmanned air vehicle developed by Baykar performs a demonstration flight during TEKNOFEST 2021 the Aviation, Space and Technology Festival at Ataturk Airport in Istanbul, Turkey on 24 September 2021. [Muhammed Enes Yıldırım - Anadolu Agency]

Ukraine on Wednesday signed a memorandum to establish joint training and maintenance centres for Turkish armed drones, a statement on President Volodymyr Zelenskiy's website said, Reuters reports.

Ukraine has previously bought the drones from the Turkish defence technology company Baykar to bolster its armed forces in their fight against Russian-backed separatists in the war in the eastern Donbass region.

Turkish ties to Ukraine have irked Russia, which warned Ankara in May against fueling what Moscow called "militaristic sentiment" in Kyiv.

Baykar has sold its Bayraktar TB2 armed drone to Azerbaijan, Ukraine, Qatar and Libya. Canada scrapped export permits for drone technology to Turkey in April, after concluding that the equipment was used by Azeri forces fighting Armenia in the enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh.

"We have been waiting for this moment for a long time. This is an important event for us," Zelenskiy said after the signing of the memorandum with Baykar.

The memorandum was a step towards joint Ukrainian-Turkish production of the drones, the statement said.

READ: Iraq mulls buying Turkish drones, helicopters, military hardware

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