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Latvia to send first batch of drones to Ukraine as part of drone coalition

by Rachel Amran April 16, 2024 10:16 PM 2 min read
Ukrainian Defense Minister Rustem Umerov and Latvian counterpart Andris Spruds hold a joint press conference in Kyiv on Dec. 12, 2023. (Kaniuka Ruslan / Ukrinform/Future Publishing via Getty Images)
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Riga will deliver its first batch of drones to Ukraine within the framework of the Latvian-led drone coalition, Latvian Prime Minister Evika Silina told reporters on April 16, Delfi reported.

Drone warfare is a significant part of Ukraine's war with Russia. As Ukraine enters its third year of war amid weapons shortages and uncertainties over Western aid, Russia has intensified drone and missile strikes against civilian targets and critical infrastructure.

Latvia's Defense Minister Andris Spruds said that this batch will be Latvia's first important contribution to the drone coalition. Silina said earlier this month that Riga would soon deliver 1 million euros ($1.1 million) worth of drones to Ukraine.

Ukrainian and Latvian defense ministers announced this year that Latvia would lead a coalition of more than 20 countries to send "thousands" of drones to Ukraine. The coalition, now co-led with the United Kingdom, includes Germany, Canada, the Netherlands, Lithuania, Sweden, Estonia, and Denmark.

Latvia plans to allocate at least 10 million euros ($10.6 million) per year for the development of the drone coalition.

Earlier this week, Ukraine's Defense Ministry announced that Germany, the Netherlands, and Canada agreed to supply Ukraine with drones, while Lithuania will allocate additional funds for first-person view (FPV) drone production.

Ukraine is also working to scale up domestic production, aiming to produce 1 million drones in 2024.

Ukraine war latest: Russia destroyed Kyiv Oblast power plant after Ukraine ran out of air defense missiles, Zelensky says
Key developments on April 16: * Zelensky: Russia destroyed key power plant near Kyiv since Ukraine ‘ran out of missiles’ for its defense * Source: Ukraine strikes Russian modernized long-range radar system in Bryansk Oblast * Bloomberg: Russia does not have capability to launch offensive on Khar…
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