Lithuania's Defence Minister Juozas Olekas says that the country is choosing infantry fighting vehicles from more than two options.
Juozas Olekas
© DELFI / Mindaugas Ažušilis

The minister spoke after the country's chief of defence told LNK TV news on Thursday evening that a choice would be made "between two suppliers".

"We currently have an even broader selection of offers we are assessing," the minister told BNS on Friday.

"Maybe the chief (of defence) had his own assessment, he may be choosing from two but the scale of assessment is a bit broader. We have not yet decided to pick between just two," said Olekas.

This was not the first example of contradicting comments made by the chief of defence and the defence minister about the acquisition of armoured vehicles.

In July, the chief of defence stated that the Defence Resources Council of the Ministry of National Defence had given a green light to the purchase of German Boxer vehicles, with the decision yet to be coordinated with the State Defence Council.

A few hours after the report, the defence minister stated that no decision had been made, and the presidential press service said the State Defence Council would not be called in connection to any specific acquisition contracts.

Acquisition of armoured vehicles should be the biggest deal in the history of Lithuania's Armed Forces.

In Olekas' words, the project of buying German howitzers will be completed before deciding on the armoured vehicles. Lithuania will reportedly buy 16 self-propelled Pzh2000 howitzers, and the "contract is about to be signed," said the defence minister.

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