Latvia sent first batch of drones to Ukraine, preparing second one

latvia sent first batch of drones to ukraine, preparing second one

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)

Latvia has already dispatched the first batch of drones to Ukraine and is preparing a second one, Latvian Defense Minister Andris Spruds said in an interview with ArmyInform published on June 17.

The first group of drones was organized within the Latvian national program, but Riga has also begun to implement joint international purchases, Spruds said.

Latvia and the U.K. are the leaders of the international coalition to supply Ukraine with drones, which have become a crucial capability on Ukrainian battlefields.

Spruds announced back in May that the Latvian government would invest around 20 million euros ($22 million) in the drone coalition this year and a similar sum to the development of Latvia's own drone capabilities.

The defense minister said the coalition has also received international commitments totaling 549 million euros (around $590 million).

"So the next step is to use that funding effectively, and we're doing that on several levels," Spruds said.

"One of the first levels is national procurement. Latvia has already organized a batch of drones, and they have already been sent.

"Now we are already collecting the second batch of drones, which should soon be sent to Ukraine."

According to the minister, the international purchases have so far amounted to the "modest sum" of 350,000 euros (over $370,000), but "this is the first step."

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