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Umerov: Ukraine, Latvia to work on joint projects in drone production

by Dinara Khalilova and The Kyiv Independent news desk January 5, 2024 6:04 PM 2 min read
Rustem Umerov stands in the Ukrainian parliament during voting on his nomination as the Ukrainian defense minister in Kyiv on Sept. 6, 2023. (Andrii Nesterenko/AFP via Getty Images)
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Ukraine and Latvia are planning joint projects in the production of drones, Defense Minister Rustem Umerov said on Jan. 5, as the country aims to step up its domestic arms manufacturing.

President Volodymyr Zelensky earlier pledged that Ukraine will produce 1 million drones in 2024, recognizing the importance of this weaponry on Ukrainian battlefields.

Umerov's statement follows his phone call with Latvia's Defense Minister Andris Spruds, in which they discussed the current situation on the front line, in particular, the use of electromagnetic warfare and drones.

"I thanked my colleague for Latvia's proactive steps in developing the drone coalition. We will increase production of drones and bolster joint projects in this sphere," Umerov said on Facebook.

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Spruds, in turn, thanked Umerov "for the productive phone call."

"We must continuously support Ukraine's fight for freedom. The steady supplies of capabilities for Ukraine are crucial. In this regard, the next steps for the drone coalition were discussed," Spruds said on X (formerly Twitter).

Neither Umerov nor Spruds provided details on the drone coalition and the joint projects Ukraine and Latvia are planning.

The drone coalition is only the latest in a series of allied initiatives to support various areas of the Ukrainian military capabilities, such as the fighter jet coalition, the air defense coalition, and the artillery coalition.

Strategic Industries Minister Oleksandr Kamyshin revealed in October that Ukraine is already producing thousands of drones per month, with the aim to build tens of thousands per month.

Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said that more than 200 Ukrainian companies have begun developing drones, fueling a massive increase in production as well as technical innovation.

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