Latvian Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister Artis Pabriks has confirmed the country’s interest in buying Bayraktar TB2 combat drones from Turkey, which have been used on battlefields in Syria, Libya, Azerbaijan, Ethiopia, Iraq; and now in Ukraine.
In an interview with Nikkei Asia on the sidelines of the Antalya Diplomacy Forum on March 12, Pabriks said Latvia “is interested in acquiring from Turkey the kind of armed drones Ukraine’s military has been using against invading Russian forces.”
“We are interested in them also. Bayraktar is [on] our horizon,” he said.
“Hopefully soon enough” to another Twitter user asking when the country would buy them. He had just visited Turkish company Baykar’s R&D and production facilities
The TB-2 hunts down missile-defense systems with laser guided bombs. The Ukrainian military has shared video footage of TB-2 drones apparently destroying Russian missile-defense systems, supply convoys and tanks.
Latvia, along with Estonia and Lithuania, was occupied by the Soviet Union for half a century before it gained independence. Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, NATO partners such as the U.S., Canada and Spain have sent top officials to Latvia to assure the country it will be protected by NATO.
Latvia has so far provided Ukraine with around €200 million worth of surface-to-air Stinger missiles, anti-tank weapons, ammunition and equipment like helmets, along with humanitarian aid.