SAHA EXPO 2021: Turkey – Ukraine Defense Industry Cooperation Panel

Within the scope of SAHA EXPO 2021 Defense & Aerospace Exhibition on November 12, 2021 a panel was held under the title of ‘Turkey – Ukraine Defense Industry Cooperation’. Moderated by Haluk BAYRAKTAR, SAHA Istanbul Chairman and BAYRAKTAR DEFENCE General Manager, the Panel’s speakers were: Ukraine’s Ambassador to Turkiye Vasyl BODNAR, Ukrainian company Defence Technology LLC CEO Pavlo BUKIN, the State Company UkrspecExport General Manager Vadym NOZDRIA and STM General Manager Özgür GÜLERYÜZ.

Date: Issue 112 - February 2022

Delivering the opening remarks of the ‘Turkey – Ukraine Defense Industry Cooperation’ Panel, SAHA İstanbul Chairman and BAYRAKTAR DEFENSE General Manager Haluk BAYRAKTAR underlined that while he was checking the number of agreements between Turkey and Ukraine in the last 5 years he noticed that there is a really very high level of tendency between the two countries when we look at the memorandums of understandings (MoUs) and cooperation agreements. “Actually all of these are built between two friendly and neighbor countries in the good spirit of trust and our strategic partnership and actually all these defense oriented projects between Turkey and Ukraine, support and benefit both countries in a very clear way so it’s kind of a win-win strategy,” BAYRAKTAR said.  He stressed that at the moment between Turkey and Ukraine there are more than 30 projects and added: “When you look at the trade volume, the total trade volume between Turkey and Ukraine is about 5 Billion dollars but when you look at the defense projects you have about more than a billion dollars in total contract value, ongoing projects, and most of them, almost all of them have been signed in the last 3-4 years. So, it constitutes a really large chunk of the total trade volume between the two countries.” 

In his speech Ukraine’s Ambassador to Turkiye Vasyl BODNAR underlined that Ukraine is one of the stronger and potential country and very good ally for Turkey.  Ambassador BODNAR stressed that Ukraine and Turkey are celebrating the 10th anniversary of their strategic partnership and this strategic partnership is based on two main dimensions.  Ambassador BODNAR said: “First of all it’s a trust, and political cooperation and dialogue between our Presidents and their guiding number of their actions, but the other thing is we have a practical locomotive, and the practical locomotive of our strategic partnership is our defense cooperation. As you (Haluk BAYRAKTAR) correctly mentioned during the last couple of years this dimension of cooperation became very visible and became very important to our countries.  So first of all why it is strategically important. We are the countries that are not only selling to each other some products, but we are doing things together, we are working on some prospects which could strengthen our defense strengthen our capabilities, strengthen our resilience.  And in today’s world it is really important that we are complimentary countries, we are working together by supplying each other something but not competing, that is the basic ground of our interest.  Secondly it is important that we are looking for the new dimensions of cooperation and I see it here in this Exhibition.  So I have been working here a couple of years ago as consular general and I have also been visiting other exhibitions but such a strong presentation of Ukraine and such innovative products which have been produced/proposed here… it shows how strongly we are developing and how important to strengthen our cooperation and to look for the future. There is another thing, we have a wide range of things, not only concentrating something, specific areas, but widening it, starting from land, sea, air and space and it is also important to use all the potentials that we have.”