Court closes case over Lithuanian ex-air force commander’s suspension

Colonel Audronis Navickas
Augustas Didžgalvis

The Vilnius Regional Administrative Court announced that it was not objectively able to order the Defense Ministry to reinstate Navickas in his post, since the ministry had done so on Feb. 10.

The Defense Ministry has said that Navickas failed to enforce the Defense Resource Council’s decision, made in February 2016, not to repair military helicopters in Russia.

Navickas was dismissed from the post shortly after his reinstatement, based on military intelligence information that he had “belittled” the defense minister and the chief of defense and sought to discredit the national defense system during his suspension from duties.

The process of sending Mi-8 helicopters to Russia for an overhaul was cleared by high-ranking defense officials before it was stopped at the last stage in 2016.

The Foreign Ministry says that helicopter repairs in Russia would have run counter to the European Union’s decisions on sanctions against Moscow and to Lithuania’s foreign policy.

Dainius Guzas has replaced Navickas as the Lithuanian Air Force commander.

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