Russia is Losing Access to Czech UAV Technologies Due to Western Sanctions

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The "Primoco UAV One 150" drone is Czech-based Primoco UAV's flagship product. The company has has withdrawn from Russian market due to Western sanctions against Moscow over the Ukraine crisis. / Photo credit: Primoco UAV
The "Primoco UAV One 150" drone is Czech-based Primoco UAV's flagship product. The company has has withdrawn from Russian market due to Western sanctions against Moscow over the Ukraine crisis. / Photo credit: Primoco UAV

Czech drone maker ceases all operations in Russia due to concerns of the sanctions regime of Western countries

Czech drone manufacturer "Primoco UAV" has announced the company has halted its activities in the Russian market and sold its local subsidiary "AO Primoco BPLA". In a statement, the company cited various difficulties related to Western sanctions against Russia as the reason why it decided to shut down its operations there as of January 31, Defense News reports.

In the statement, the Czech company explained the decision's been made because of the sanctions regime against the Russian Federation and the impossibility of obtaining the export license needed to operate its drones.

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In the Russian market, the company focused exclusively on providing aerial work, DaaS services (drone-as-a-service) for the civil sector.

The "Primoco UAV" specializes in making medium-sized UAVs. Its flagship "Primoco UAV One 150" drone is enabled with a maximum take-off weight of 150 kg, an endurance of 15 hours, and a maximum speed of 150 km/h (93 mph), according to data from the business.

The Czech Republic, where "Primoco UAV" is headquartered, is a NATO ally and a member state of the European Union. In response to Russia’s recent recognition of two Russia-backed temporarily occupied regions in eastern Ukraine, the Czech government has joined the wave of condemnation from the world leaders and called on the EU to impose new sanctions on Moscow. As a result, the Czech manufacturer could no longer develop its business in Russia.

"Diplomatic relations between the Czech Republic and the European Union on one hand and Russia, on the other hand, are at a low point," said Ladislav Semetkovsky, Primoco UAV's CEO. He noted that in 2022 alone, the subsidiary company in Russia lost contracts worth €12 million.

Defense Express memo: Russian Federation critically relies on foreign components to their UAVs. The country's Armed Forces use products by leading manufacturers of the drone industry to compose their "own" vehicles. The main components of such systems are provided by manufacturers from other countries – Europe, the USA, Asia. Russian serial tactical and combat unmanned systems mostly consist of civil drones components. Thus the production is limited by export restrictions on these parts.

As Defense Express reported, the precedent that led to the Czech manufacturer's decision happened on February 21. Russian President Vladimir Putin officially recognized the Russian-backed occupied territories as independent entities and signed corresponding executive orders. Later he ordered the Russian Armed Forces to enter the regions of Ukraine. Both moves were recognized as an assault on the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine by world leaders, including NATO and EU countries. The United States and the United Kingdom called it an invasion and already imposed sanctions on Russia.

Defense Express / Ukrainian companies showcase innovative technologies in UAE / Russia is Losing Access to Czech UAV Technologies Due to Western Sanctions
Ukrainian companies showcase innovative technologies in UAE / Photo credit: Ukrspecexport

By the way, while Russia relies on UAV technologies supply from other countries, Ukraine is moving towards manufacturing drones in coordination with Turkiye. Ukraine also participates in the UMEX–2022 international exhibition of UAVs and UAV technologies in Abu-Dhabi. Ukrainian exhibition features cutting-edge developments and unmanned systems, as well as counter-UAV weapons.

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