Ankara and Kiev’s strategic partnership is set for a boost with a new military cooperation deal to be signed during the Ukrainian president’s visit to Turkey on Friday.
Volodymyr Zelensky will meet President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in the Turkish capital to discuss matters ranging from defense and trade cooperation to bilateral, regional, and international issues, including the Karabakh crisis.
Joint production of the AN-178 aircraft by Ukrainian manufacturer Antonov and Turkish aviation firms will also be on the agenda.
Erdogan previously met Zelensky in Ukraine’s capital Kiev in February. Under an agreement signed during the visit, Turkey pledged to provide 205 million liras ($25.8 million) to help Ukraine meet its military needs.
The two countries also agreed to increase bilateral trade to $10 billion and $20 billion, significantly higher than the $5 billion recorded in 2019. The leaders also called for negotiations on a free trade agreement that have been ongoing since 2012 to be concluded this year.
Last year, Ukraine also purchased six Bayraktar TB2 armed unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and three ground control station systems from Turkey. A delegation led by Ukraine’s vice prime minister also visited Turkey last August.