FM Çavuşoğlu rejects accusations on Ukraine's use of drones
Turkey's foreign minister responded on Oct. 30 to accusations against the country about Ukraine's use of drones in the conflict-ridden eastern Donbas region.
Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said drones used by Ukraine may have been produced in Turkey but are used by Ukraine, thus Turkey cannot be blamed.
"If a country has purchased a weapon from us or another country, then that weapon cannot be labeled as Turkish or Russian or Ukrainian. If a state is purchasing this from us, then that product is no longer Turkish. It may have been built in Turkey but it belongs to Ukraine. Turkey cannot be blamed over this," he told reporters after a meeting with Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov on the sidelines of the G20 Leaders' Summit in Rome.
He said Turkey faces weapons from different countries during its fight against terrorism. "Sometimes in our fight against terrorism in different countries, we come across different weapons from different countries, including Russia. We never blame Russia."
"Also, Ukraine should stop mentioning (Turkey's) name," he said. The Bayraktar TB2 has been sold to countries including Ukraine, Qatar, Azerbaijan, and Poland.
In May, Poland became the first EU and NATO member state to acquire drones from Turkey.
Demonstrations erupted in the capital, Kyiv, on Nov. 21, 2013, after Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych did not sign the European Union Association Agreement.
After Yanukovych fled the country in February 2014, demonstrations grew and pro-Russian separatists declared their so-called independence in the cities of Donetsk and Lugansk in the eastern part of the country.
More than 13,000 people have lost their lives in clashes between separatists and the Kyiv government since 2014.
At least 57 Ukrainian soldiers have been killed since the start of the year compared to 50 in all of 2020.