Latvia’s contribution to safety: aid for Ukraine and new arms for Latvia

The provision of arms to Ukraine does not create problems for Latvia’s security and defence, said Commander of Latvian National Armed Forces (NBS) Leonīds Kalniņš in an interview to TV3.
Kalniņš said Latvia mainly sends its military stores that do not affect the combat preparedness of the country’s own armed forces. Shipments of aid have helped NBS to develop, get rid of old Soviet arms and replace them with NATO arms.
According to Kalniņš, Latvia has completed a double objective with its arms supplies – aid Ukraine and replace its old armaments with new ones.
As for the drone capabilities of Latvian armed forces, Kalniņš these capabilities had already been in development before the start of the war in Ukraine. According to him, the army actively procures local products. He invited local manufacturers to present their prototypes to the army more actively. “But our requirements are very high, and don’t be offended if many of you fail to meet them,” said Kalniņš.
Commenting on the report from Nekā personīga, specifically that it is not possible to register Latvian-made Patria armoured cars because such an option is not provided by the law, Kalniņš said this is not an emergency – problems were identified in time and are being worked on. This means supply terms and the amount of Patria vehicles to be supplied will not be affected.
On the 30th of April Latvian government approved the supply of howitzers, tactical UAV monitoring systems, as well as other important equipment to Ukrainian armed forces. Prime Minister Evika Siliņa explained afterward – although Latvia is unable to sent Ukraine a Patriot air-defence system, the system provided by Latvia will still serve as a good addition to Ukrainian armed forces.
When asked whether Latvia is losing any of its military capabilities in this way, Siliņa said that the principle of parity is observed in the transfer of technical means, that is, the government assesses what has already been ordered and will soon be delivered to the Latvian Defence Department in order to understand what can be transferred to Ukrainians.
Latvia diverts 0.25% of its GDP towards military support for Ukraine. Latvia continues supporting Ukraine both bilaterally and together with allies, notes Siliņa.
Latvia previously sent Ukraine helicopters, machine guns, UAVs, howitzers and other armaments.
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