The Lithuanian State Border Guard Service's move to terminate a contract with Helisota helicopter and aircraft repairs company, which is indirectly owned by businessman Gediminas Žiemelis, was legitimate, as the contract threatened Lithuania's national security, the Court of Appeals ruled.
© DELFI / Orestas Gurevičius

"The objective of public procurement is to purchase services that would not only ensure direct functions of the State Border Guard Service, namely, execution of the border regime control, but also the function assigned to the country's Armed Forces - military defense of the state in case of war. The objectives would not be achieved under the contract with the claimant," reads the ruling.

A court of lower instance had ruled that Helisota, owned by Žiemelis' aviation group Avia Solutions Group, poses a threat to national security due to links with business and government figures, while the contract with Helisota would prevent from purchasing services necessary for border control and armed defense, in case of war.

The State Border Guard Service had called the tender last September.

Another subsidiary of Avia Solutions Group, aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) services company FL Technics, has been barred from NATO tenders. In November of 2015, a special governmental commission banned FL Technics from expanding at the Vilnius airport.

Furthermore, the Šiauliai administration in December of 2015 banned Avia Solutions Group from repairing airplanes at the Šiauliai Airport, which also hosts NATO fighter-jets. The State Security Department has established Žiemelis' cooperation with businessmen who are close to Russian President Vladimir Putin and are subject to Western sanctions.

Leave a comment
or for anonymous commenting click here
By posting, you agree to terms
Read comments Read comments

NATO jets in Baltic scrambled once to intercept Russian plane

NATO fighter jets, stationed in the Baltic states as part of the NATO air policing mission, were...

US Army deploys tanks, IFVs to Lithuania for training

The US Army's Abrams tanks and Bradley infantry fighting vehicles were on Friday transported to...

Defense Ministry moves to lower upper age limit for conscripts to 23 years (Updated)

The Lithuanian Defense Ministry proposes to lower the upper age limit for draftees for mandatory...

Croatia to rejoin NATO battalion in Lithuania in 2 years

Croatia plans to rejoin NATO 's multinational battalion in Lithuania in two years' time, the...

Government asks MPs to allow it to borrow funds to meet 2 pct defense spending target

The Lithuanian government has asked the parliament to allow it to borrow funds to increase defense...