The Turkish newspaper “Sabah” quoted the Turkish official as saying that Kyiv had bought the drones from the private Turkish company “Baykar” for defense, stressing that this did not represent the existence of an agreement between the two countries.
Turkey is a member of NATO, shares maritime borders with Russia and Ukraine, and has good relations with both countries.
Ankara has criticized the Russian invasion of Ukraine as unacceptable, but it has avoided using the rhetoric of other NATO members, which are tougher, and is opposed to their use of sanctions.
Turkey cooperates closely with Russia in the fields of energy and defense. It also sold Bayraktar TB2 drones to Kiev, and signed an agreement to participate in the production of more, during a visit by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan last month. This infuriated Moscow.
On Wednesday, the Ukrainian Defense Minister said that his country had received a new shipment of armed drones, which have proven their effectiveness in recent years against Russian forces and its allies.
“Ukraine wanted to buy this product from our company, and they made a big deal,” Kiran said, according to Sabah.
“This is not an aid from Turkey. These are products that Ukraine bought from a Turkish company. Of course, we are proud of these products,” he added.
The comments came as Western countries increased sanctions on Russia and military aid to Ukraine, as Ukraine struggles to fend off a series of Russian attacks.
Since Russia launched its attack last week, the Ukrainian embassy in Ankara has broadcast several video clips of what it described as Turkish drones bombing Russian targets.
The Turkish newspaper, Sabah, described the publication of the clips as manipulation aimed at provoking a dispute between Russia and Turkey.