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Most of Russia’s drones come from China, Russian Finance Minister admits

“Today, (our) drones are mostly all from the People’s Republic of China. We are grateful to our partners,” Siluanov stated.
Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov. Credit: Russia’s MinFin
Most of Russia’s drones come from China, Russian Finance Minister admits

Addressing the State Duma’s Budget and Taxes Committee on 16 October, Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov admitted that virtually all of the drones currently used by Russia in Ukraine are supplied by China.

“Today, (our) drones are mainly all from the People’s Republic of China. We are grateful to our partners,” Siluanov stated.

But we need to develop our own resource base, and the necessary funds have been allocated,” he added.

The admission came in the context of announcing a new Russian program to build up domestic drone production capabilities. “We are directing additional money to drones. Over 60 billion rubles are earmarked for a new national project on developing our drone base. The task is for 41% of all drones by 2025 to have the ‘Made in Russia’ label,” Siluanov said.

China has consistently denied providing any military assistance to Russia. In August 2023, China even imposed restrictions on exporting long-range civilian drones due to the war in Ukraine, and concerned buyers could retrofit them for military purposes.

The international working group on sanctions against Russia, chaired by Head of the Office of the President of Ukraine Andrii Yermak and Ambassador Michael McFaul, has determined that 67% of foreign components for Russian drones are supplied from China, according to Ukraine’s Presidential Office statement made on 28 September.

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