Parliamentary panel says nothing shady about Lithuania’s AFV purchase

DELFI / Tomas Vinickas

“The procedure is going rather smoothly, in accordance to the law and transparently,” Paulauskas told journalists after the committee’s visit to the Ministry of National Defence on Wednesday.

In his words, the value of the deal will be around 300 million euros.

Defence Minister Juozas Olekas said the State Defence Council should be convened over the issue in October.

In August 2014, the government gave a green light to the Defence Ministry’s plans to purchase AFVs, which may be the biggest deal in the history of Lithuania’s Armed Forces.

Doubts about the transparency of the purchase were raised by the director of the Lithuanian Defence and Security Industry Association, former chief of defence Valdas Tutkus. In a public letter, he said he had known for a year about the plans to choose the German-made Boxer infantry fighting vehicles. In his words, Boxer prices may be 35 percent higher than offers from other companies. Furthermore, Boxer representative, Artec, allegedly rejected offers from Lithuanian companies to contribute to the production and maintenance of the vehicles.

Meanwhile, Olekas has rejected the accusations, saying that the choice is yet to be made among several offers.

In his words, the final decision will be made at the end of September or early October.

Chief of Defence Lieutenant General Jonas Vytautas Žukas has said that Boxer prices would not be 35 percent higher than that offered by other companies.

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