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France and Greece Block the Purchase of Bayraktar TB2 Drones for the Ukrainian Military

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Bayraktar TB2 of the Armed Forces of Ukraine / Archive photo
Bayraktar TB2 of the Armed Forces of Ukraine / Archive photo

France and Greece have blocked the purchase of Bayraktar TB2 drones for the Ukrainian Armed Forces using funds from the European Union, citing the condition that only defense products manufactured in EU countries should be bought with EU money

France, Greece, and Cyprus vetoed the purchase of Turkish-made Bayraktar TB2 drones for the Ukrainian Armed Forces, which was intended to be funded by the European Union’s Peace Fund.

It was meant to be part of a broader supply of Turkish-made defense products aimed at addressing Ukraine’s urgent needs, funded by the EU.

Read more: ​Ukraine Has All Right to Strike russia, Using F-16 Aircraft

However, citing the condition that only defense products manufactured in EU countries should be bought with EU funds, France, Greece, and Cyprus decided to block the purchase.

This information was reported by the French portal Opex360.

Bayraktar TB2 of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Defense Express
Bayraktar TB2 of the Armed Forces of Ukraine / Archive photo

According to the publication's authors, Greece acknowledged that its decision was influenced by both the motive of "European defense autonomy" and the reluctance to support Turkey's military defense industry with its own funds.

The French explained their motives more circumspectly, stating that "European money should be spent with maximum efficiency and to support Europeans." However, this poses a problem because, due to the French and Greek vetoes, other EU countries may face challenges in promptly supplying Ukraine with the necessary defense equipment.

Bayraktar TB2 of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Defense Express
Bayraktar TB2 of the Armed Forces of Ukraine / Archive photo

Additionally, as Opex360's authors further explain, the EU's Peace Fund is funded on a subsidiary basis, with each country contributing its share proportionally.

Interestingly, it emerges that Germany contributes the largest share to this Fund and, at least publicly, does not object to the purchase of Turkish defense products for Ukraine.

Additionally, the portal's authors provide another example: there was a previous incident where an EU country used the Fund's money to purchase non-European defense products. Estonia, in this case, was updating its weapons stockpile to replace Soviet systems transferred to Ukraine. Strikingly, this purchase faced no opposition.

Bayraktar TB2 of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Defense Express
Bayraktar TB2 of the Armed Forces of Ukraine / Archive photo

The Opex360 authors also highlight an interesting observation: during the initial months of the russian invasion, the Ukrainian military extensively utilized Bayraktar TB2 drones. However, their visibility has significantly decreased over time due to active counteraction from russian air defense and electronic warfare systems.

In doing so, they refer generally to the words of the Chief of the General Staff of the French Army, General Pierre Schill, spoken during a speech in the Senate in November 2023.

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