Vitaliy Deynega, deputy defense minister of Ukraine, told media yesterday that the Ukrainian defense forces will not purchase Chinese-made DJI Mavic drones, so as not to damage its relations with the US.
According to stories run by RIA Novosti and Ukrainian news website LB.ua, Deynega confirmed to media that to maintain the country’s ties with the US, “we cannot buy anything Chinese, in particular things like drones.”
He made these remarks in response to concerns China is supplying Russian troops with drones that can launch military strikes against Ukranian targets.
“Next year drones will play a decisive role, no less important than aircraft,” Deynega was quoted as saying. “But unfortunately, Russia has more advantages in this area. It’s awful.”
China’s foreign ministry refuted allegations in April that some Chinese-made drones, including those by world-famous DJI, were being used by Russian forces in combats in the Russia-Ukraine conflict.
It claimed that China has strict export controls in place to prevent drones being shipped to conflict zones, and that its scope of scrutiny and technical standards are aligned with those enforced across the world.
All drone exports that meet criteria specified under the nation’s export laws have to secure official approval beforehand, lest they be used for non-peaceful purposes, said the ministry.
Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine last year, both sides have accused each other of launching drone strikes against military and civilian targets within their respective borders, amid heightened concerns about how drones can be weaponized in modern warfare.