Greece, France Block Turkish UAVs Supply to Ukraine

Joint Veto Stalls EU Funding for Bayraktar TB2 Armed Drones and Artillery Ammunition
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  • 04:50 AM, February 21, 2024
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Greece, France Block Turkish UAVs Supply to Ukraine
Turkish Baykar-produced Bayraktar TB2 drone

Greece, the Greek Cypriot Administration of Southern Cyprus (GCASC), and France have collectively vetoed a proposal during the European Union Political and Security Committee meeting, preventing the financing of Turkish-made Bayraktar TB2 armed drones and artillery ammunition to Ukraine.

The equipment, intended to be purchased with European funds earmarked for Ukraine's urgent needs, faced opposition from the three nations.

Kathimerini, a Greek daily newspaper, reported that the trio's veto contradicted the apparent majority support for the proposal among EU member states. The move raises questions about the internal dynamics and geopolitical considerations within the European Union.

A diplomatic source in Brussels revealed that Greece and Cyprus had been aware for some time of a significant order from Turkey, set to be financed with EU funds. Once the order was confirmed, the permanent representatives of Greece, Cyprus, and France swiftly moved to block the procedure, revealing a coordinated effort among the nations to restrict the transfer of these military assets.

The Bayraktar TB2 Armed UAVs and artillery ammunition are of vital importance to Ukraine, a country currently embroiled in a conflict with Russia since February 2022. The Ukrainian military has actively employed UAVs and howitzers in their war efforts, and the veto on the supply from Turkey is a setback for their ongoing defense strategy.

Despite the ongoing conflict, many NATO member countries have attempted to supply artillery ammunition to Ukraine. However, the capacity of their existing product infrastructure has proven to be inadequate. The joint blockade by Greece, the Greek Cypriot Administration, and France on the proposed supply from Turkey further complicates Ukraine's efforts to bolster its military capabilities.

Turkish drone maker Baykar has initiated the construction of a factory in Ukraine, aiming to complete the project within approximately 12 months. The facility's planned capacity is set at around 120 units per year. However, there remains uncertainty about the specific drone model that will take precedence in the production line—whether it will be the Bayraktar TB2 or the TB3.

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