Mindaugas Lingė: Challenges in defence don't disappear anywhere, so the resignation of Arvydas Anušauskas won't hinder the search for standard solutions

Despite the resignation of the Minister of National Defence Arvydas Anušauskas, the defence challenges are not going away, so the Seimas will continue to search for solutions jointly, says Mindaugas Lingė, Chairman of the Seimas Committee on Budget and Finance (BFK).

Mindaugas Lingė<br>T.Bauro nuotr.
Mindaugas Lingė<br>T.Bauro nuotr.
Vyriausybės posėdis, Arvydas Anušauskas.<br>V.Skaraičio nuotr.
Vyriausybės posėdis, Arvydas Anušauskas.<br>V.Skaraičio nuotr.
Daugiau nuotraukų (2)


Mar 18, 2024, 1:21 PM

„We have all sorts of challenges, but regardless of those challenges, what is important (...) is the willingness to look for solutions (...). And those changes, I hope, will generally benefit having active all interested persons operating in the political arena and responsible for mobilizing leadership in the search for those solutions,“ Mindaugas Lingė told journalists at the Government on Monday.

He said that the problem of the opposition's withdrawal from the parties' agreement on defence could be quickly solved once the questions they have raised about the non-transparent public procurement in the Ministry of National Defence (KAM) and the vacant ministerial seat are answered.

„They can be dispelled very soon. I have heard two conditions: what has been stated about public procurement; the Special Investigation Service has already given that answer. The second condition was the minister's presence so that it could be resolved quickly, „ Lingė added.

ELTA recalls that the minister's unexpected resignation news appeared on Friday. While Anušauskas neither confirmed nor denied the rumours of his resignation spread on social networks, the Government's press office stated on Friday evening that the Prime Minister had received Anušauskas's request to resign from the Cabinet of Ministers.

On Saturday morning, Anušauskas himself gave more details about his resignation. After a meeting with President Gitanas Nausėda, Anušauskas told journalists that he had received an offer from the Prime Minister to give up the post of Minister of National Defence to another politician and to take his place as chairman of the committee in the Seimas. According to the politician, he refused such change.

However, after he met with the President, Anušauskas also mentioned possible corruption in the national defence system, saying that he had encountered cases of „gross interference in public procurement“.

For her part, Šimonytė wrote on her Facebook account that Minister of National Defence Anušauskas's resignation was unrelated to any sudden change in Lithuania's national security or negative news about the Ministry's activities. According to her, it is related to the expectation to do „even more and faster“ during this term of office.

Laurynas Kasčiūnas, chairman of the Seimas Committee on National Security and Defence (NSGK), said on Saturday that he is ready to take up the Minister of National Defence post and would do so if he received an offer.

On Monday, representatives of political parties and businesses gathered in the Government for the second meeting on defence funding initiated by Prime Minister Ingrid Šimonytė. The meeting will take place after Anušauskas announced his resignation. Following this news, the opposition announced that it would not attend the planned meeting.

The first such meeting took place at the end of January.

Anušauskas has previously said that to achieve the defence ambitions, the following year's budget should allocate EUR 400 million more for national defence.

Šimonytė argues that Lithuania's annual funding for national defence should be increased by 0.7% of gross domestic product (BVP) by 2030. This year, defence funding will amount to 2.75% of GDP.

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