Head of the Lithuanian Parliament Committee for National Security and Defense Artūras Paulauskas told BNS all procedures required for buying about 100 armored fighting vehicles (AFVs) are conducted in line with the law. Meantime, independent experts say the deal may turn to be corrupt.
“The procedure is going rather smoothly, in accordance to the law and transparently," Paulauskas told journalists. In his words, the deal will amount to some 300 million EUR. Defense Minister Juozas Olekas, in turn, said the State Defense Council should be convened in October to discuss the nuances of the deal. Then one of the twelve suppliers will be chosen.
Earlier in August, the Lithuanian government permitted the Defense Ministry to announce a tender for purchase armored fighting vehicles. This may become the biggest ever deal in the history of Lithuania’s army. The transparency of the deal was questioned after Head of the Lithuanian Defense and Security Industry Association (LGSPA) Valdas Tutkus (once the government army commander) said in an open letter that yet a year ago he knew that the Boxer, a German-Dutch multirole armored fighting vehicle, would be chosen. He said that the price of Boxer may turn to be higher than the offers of other companies by 35%. In addition, he said, Artec GmbH, the supplier of Boxer armored vehicles, declines the offers of the local firms to help handling the FAV.
Juozas Olekas and Commander of the Lithuanian Army Lt. General Jonas Vytautas Žukas deny Tutkus’ accusations. Artūras Paulauskas agreed with them saying that all the statements of the former army commander concerning the result of the tender are lie. He said all the offers are studied and the markets are being analyzed. “We have discussed all the criteria, the best options, but the final decision should be left to specialists, experts.”
To recall, the Boxer FAV was presented in early September, near the Crown Plaza Vilnius Hotel. Commander of the Lithuanian Army Lt. General Jonas Vytautas Žukas, who was present at the ceremony, said it is unalloyed pleasure to be in the driver’s seat of the Boxer FAV. Darius Antanaitis, a representative of the manufacturer said the Boxer is designed to fight against the fighting armored vehicles of the adversary.