After arriving at STT, Armonaitė talks about the biggest problem of the Ministry of Defence

Aušrinė Armonaitė, the Minister of Economy and Innovation, who came to the Special Investigation Service (STT) on Monday to testify, says that the outgoing Minister of National Defence Arvydas Anušauskas has cast a shadow over the entire Ministry of National Defence (KAM).

Aušrinė Armonaitė.<br>Ž.Gedvilos (ELTA) nuotr.
Aušrinė Armonaitė.<br>Ž.Gedvilos (ELTA) nuotr.
Daugiau nuotraukų (1)

Mar 26, 2024, 8:11 AM, atnaujinta Mar 26, 2024, 8:14 AM

The Minister also notes that the Ministry of Defence needs to be more open when talking to foreign investors.

„There is a shadow cast over the entire national defence system. My answers may contribute a little to clarity, to answers for researchers and the public. I will be happy to provide everything I know and can help with,“ Armonaitė told reporters on Monday.

„As a Minister, I find it incredible, in a bad way, how in 30 years, there has not been a single foreign direct investment in Lithuania that is more significant in the field of defence. I would say that this is fundamentally harmful to the country. I believe that we will change this now. Now, the whole government is working proactively to get more investors,“ she said.

Armonaitė notes that there could have been more openness in the Ministry of Defence.

„When we communicate with companies in various sectors, such as energy, transportation, and defence, it is very important that not only the Ministry of Economy works and communicates with them, but also the ministry responsible for the regulatory field of that sector.

Armonaitė stated that she had not noticed any signs of corruption in the national defence system.

„As far as the defence sector is concerned, to be honest, I have not noticed any such signs, any shadows from my field“, she said.

Armonaitė also stressed that Anušauskas should have thought better about his public statements and their consequences.

„However, you should think about what you say. When such words come out of the mouth of a Minister who is leaving office, they have a huge effect on society. They can cause distrust in the entire national system. We are now talking about increasing funding for the national defence system. We have to work three times more now to create transparency,“ the politician stressed.

The Special Investigation Service (STT) has already questioned the outgoing Minister of National Defence Arvydas Anušauskas, the Chairman of the National Security and Defence Committee (NSGK) of the Seimas, Laurynas Kasčiūnas, the Liberal Member of the Seimas, Raimundas Lopata, and the former Vice-Minister of National Defence, Vilius Semeška, on possible corruption in the National Defence system.

ELTA recalls that Anušauskas, who is stepping down from his post, said that during his work at the Ministry of National Defence (KAM), he had encountered „cases of gross interference in public procurement“. The President considered these remarks by the Minister as very serious. The parliamentary opposition was quick to react to Anušauskas' statements. The minority parties in the Seimas have announced that they will no longer attend the meeting organised by the Prime Minister on Monday to discuss the issue of defence funding. The same Anušauskas's remarks have led the Vardan Lietuvos (In the Name of Lithuania) party to appeal to the Prosecutor General's Office to open a pre-trial investigation.

The STT said it had not opened any pre-trial investigations related to the Ministry of Defence. However, the service confirmed that it had received information from the Ministry about Lopata, a member of the Seimas and a member of the Parliament's National Security and Defence Committee (NSGK). The latter claimed that it was not clear whether the data analysed by the STT related to him or to possible corruption within the Ministry of Defence itself.

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