Agreement Likely to Affect Relations with Russia
On 4 July, the National Security & Defence Council of Ukraine announced that Turkey and Ukraine have signed a Memorandum of Understanding regarding UAS and transport aircraft.
“The parties have agreed to develop cooperation in the direction of unmanned weapons systems and discussed the possibility of creating a joint design office for the development of new engines for armored vehicles,” the statement read. MONCh understands that Turkey is also expressing significant interest in the acquisition of An-178 transports from Ukraine.
The agreement will certainly anger Russia, with whom Turkey’s relations have been strained since late 2015. Recent agreements – such as Turkey’s decision to purchase the Russian S-400 air defence system and its offer to collaborate in development of a next-generation follow-on system, the S-500 – may be at risk as a result. Russia’s annexation of Crimea from Ukraine has created a strategic imbalance that exacerbates Turkish concerns about the Crimean Tartars.