Service investigation has been launched to establish the reason why a drone was lost on the Latvian-Russian border during military exercise at weekend, Defense Minister Andris Spruds (Progressives) said in an interview with the Latvian pubic television today.
The minister said that the Latvian Foreign Ministry has informed Russian authorities on the case. In line with international practice, Russia should return the drone to Latvia, but this might not happen and Russia might use this incident for its propaganda.
As reported, due to technical reasons, the National Armed Forces (NAF) on Saturday lost communication with an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), which was used for ground surveillance in the Latvian-Russian border area during the Namejs 2023 exercise, the Ministry of Defense informed earlier.
The communication with the drone was lost on Latvian territory and its potential landing site was determined by the flight path and wind direction taken earlier. It is highly probable that the surveillance aircraft landed on Russian territory.
According to the ministry, in view of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, surveillance of Latvia’s external borders, airspace and territorial waters is being intensified.
NATO allies are also providing rotational air patrol missions over the Baltic States, the ministry informs.
The Ministry of Defense told LETA that the drone was not militarily armed, but was intended for surveillance.
Commenting on whether the aircraft could still threaten airspace, the ministry said that after the complete loss of communications in the territory of Latvia, the unmanned aircraft switched on emergency landing mode.
The ministry has refused to provide more detailed information about the technical specifications of the unmanned aerial vehicle.
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