According to two sources, Canada and Turkey have agreed to resume Canadian exports of drone parts. However, this agreement is contingent upon Ankara completing the ratification process for Sweden’s NATO bid. The deal also includes a requirement for increased transparency regarding the usage of these parts.
Following a significant 20-month delay, Turkey acted promptly this week to support Sweden’s inclusion in the Western military alliance. This endorsement was confirmed through a parliamentary vote and received the necessary approval from the president. As a result, Hungary remains the only ally that has yet to ratify Sweden’s membership.
Two persons wish to remain nameless and have stated that Turkey is believed to send the final documentation to Washington by Friday. By implementing this step, Canada could expeditiously eliminate the export limitations it imposed in 2020.
According to an individual familiar with the process, the agreement was reached in early January following extensive discussions. According to another source who is knowledgeable about the plan, both parties have reached an agreement that it will come into effect once Sweden’s ratification process is finished.
The Countries Have Consistently Maintained a Constructive Dialog
As reported by Charlotte MacLeod, a spokesperson for the Canadian Foreign Ministry, the export controls are still in effect. However, Ottawa is actively working towards finding a solution with Turkey, considering its position as a NATO ally.
“Canada and Turkey maintain an ongoing dialogue regarding our bilateral, economic, and commercial relations,” she stated.
As a result of what some countries of NATO saw to be Turkey’s transactional approach, the bid procedure that Sweden went through prompted them to feel frustrated. The implementation of this strategy led to Stockholm and other allies making compromises over the transfer of armaments and the steps taken to combat terrorism.
According to remarks made by officials from the United States, Turkey’s confirmation of Sweden’s participation in NATO paves the way for Ankara to receive the F-16 fighter jets that the Turkish government so desperately wants.
Canada decided in 2020 to put a stop to the export of drone technology to Turkey. It was discovered that Azerbaijan had exploited the optical technology on drones manufactured in Turkey during the fight with ethnic Armenian troops in Nagorno Karabakh, which is an area that Baku has recently recovered control over. This led to the decision to make this judgment.
Ottawa suspended negotiations on raising the restrictions in 2022 when Ankara expressed concerns about NATO’s applications to Finland and Sweden. However, as reported by Reuters, discussions were reignited following a NATO leadership summit in July of the previous year.
Transparency for End Users
According to sources, Ankara and Ottawa have reached an agreement where Ankara will share information with Ottawa regarding the recipients of Canadian-made equipment. This is particularly important when the equipment is being re-exported to countries that are not members of NATO.
The process of notifying, which is a common practice in the international arms trade, encompasses the Wescam sensors utilized in Turkey’s Bayraktar TB2 uncrewed aircraft, other goods with dual-use capabilities, and exports related to arms.
According to one source, the agreement enhances openness and interaction between the parties involved, with the goal of preventing any future disputes. This comes after Canada accused Azerbaijan of breaching Turkey’s end-user assurances by using the camera equipment in 2021.
Ankara has consistently voiced its disapproval of export controls, arguing that they go against the principles of the NATO alliance. In previous instances, it has encountered trade embargoes from France, Germany, and Sweden due to conflicts in the eastern Mediterranean and its activities in northern Syria.
Although Ankara has urged Canada to remove the limitations, it has also expressed its capability to manufacture the drone components it currently imports independently, such as optical equipment. A number of nations, such as Ukraine, Ethiopia, and Pakistan, have acquired Turkish drones following their impressive performance on the battlefield.
Turkey’s Foreign Ministry announced that it welcomed Cindy Termorshuizen, Canada’s connect assistant foreign minister, for discussions on various regional and international matters. However, further details still need to be provided.
The Turkish president, Tayyip Erdogan, has voiced his pleasure in Sweden’s backing of Turkey, noting that it has been favorably welcomed by “Canada, Sweden, and all Western countries.” This action was believed to provide Turkey with a considerable boost to its status inside NATO.
According to NATO regulations, Turkey is required to submit the final document, known as the instrument of ratification, to the archives of the U.S. State Department in order to finalize its ratification of Sweden.
Canada became the inaugural NATO nation to approve Sweden’s entry request in 2022 following Russia’s extensive incursion into Ukraine.