Czech drone maker withdraws from Russia amid sanctions concerns

WARSAW, Poland – Amid growing concerns about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Czech drone maker Primoco UAV announced the company will suspend operations in the Russian market and sell 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 close operations there as of January 31.

“The only reason for this decision is the sanctions regime against the Russian Federation and the inability to obtain an export license. [the company] Primoco UAV said.

Ladislav Semetkovský, chief executive officer of Primoco UAV, said that just this year the Russian branch lost a contract worth 1 billion rubles ($12.6 million) due to unfavorable political conditions.

“Diplomatic relations between the Czech Republic and the European Union on [the] on the one hand and on the other hand Russia… is at a low level. As a result, we were unable to meet our commitments and develop our business in the Russian market,” he said.

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 Russian-backed breakaway regions in eastern Ukraine, the Luhansk People’s Republic and the Donetsk People’s Republic, the Czech government has called on the EU to impose new sanctions on with Moscow.

“We are providing assistance to Ukraine. We have given them aid in the form of ammunition, but also as humanitarian aid, and we will continue to do so. But the most important thing now is the joint action of the European Union and NATO,” Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala wrote in a tweet on February 22.

In the Russian market, Primoco UAV only provides unmanned aerial services for the civilian sector. The company did not disclose the name of the subsidiary’s Russian buyer.

The Czech manufacturer specializes in the production of medium-sized UAVs. Its flagship Primoco UAV One 150 drone is activated with a maximum takeoff weight of 150 kg (330 lb), a endurance of 15 hours and a top speed of 150 km/h (93 miles). /hour), according to data from enterprise .

Jaroslaw Adamowski is a Polish correspondent for Defense News. Czech drone maker withdraws from Russia amid sanctions concerns

Jake Nichol

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