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Latvia announces new military aid package for Ukraine, includes air defense

by Elsa Court and The Kyiv Independent news desk April 30, 2024 4:49 PM 2 min read
Latvia's Prime Minister Evika Silina is talking to the press as she arrives for a two-day summit in Brussels, Belgium, on April 18, 2024. (Jonathan Raa/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
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Latvia has approved the delivery of a new military aid package to Ukraine, helping to "improve both Ukraine's air defense and intelligence capabilities," Latvian Prime Minister Evika Silina announced on April 30.

Ukraine has asked international partners to deliver more air defense in the wake of an increase in Russian strikes energy infrastructure since March.

The package includes anti-aircraft guns, tactical unmanned surveillance systems, and "other essential material and technical assets to the Armed Forces of Ukraine," Silina said on X.

Each shipment of aid affirms the relationship between Latvia and Ukraine and "its fight against the aggressor Russia, which is the biggest threat to world peace and security," Silina said.

Latvia has been one of Ukraine's staunchest supporters since the outbreak of the full-scale war and annually allocates 0.25% of its GDP to provide military aid to Ukraine.

Silina said earlier in April that Riga's military aid for Kyiv amounted to 392 million euros ($419 million).

Latvia also established the international drone coalition for Ukraine together with the U.K. in January to bolster Ukraine's arsenal of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).

Latvia and Ukraine are now working to increase joint drone production, Ukraine's Foreign Minister said on April 26 during the visit of his Latvian counterpart Baiba Braze to Kyiv.

Latvian defense minister: Drone coalition raises over $535 million to buy drones for Ukraine
A drone coalition co-led by the U.K. and Latvia has collected over 500 million euros ($535 million) to purchase drones for Ukraine, Latvian Defense Minister Andris Spruds wrote on X on April 24.
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11:25 PM

Every Western decision is late by a year, says Zelensky.

Western partners have been deliberating key decisions on military assistance for Ukraine for "too long," President Volodymyr Zelensky said on May 20 in an interview with Reuters. The president described the delivery of aid, particularly badly needed air defense, as "one big step forward, but before that, two steps back."
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