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The Lithuanian Defence Ministry's General Inspectorate has completed its probe into two helicopter repair contracts, with the findings to be released by Defence Minister Raimundas Karoblis next week.
Combat helicopter AS 365 Dauphin
Combat helicopter AS 365 Dauphin
© wikipedia nuotr.

"The General Inspectorate has completed the probe regarding helicopter repairs. The defence minister will present the findings of the probe next week," Vita Ramanauskaitė, the minister's spokeswoman, told BNS on Thursday.

Air Force Commander Colonel Audronis Navickas last November was suspended from his duties due to the investigation. He has appealed the suspension decision to court.

The former heads of the Defense Ministry said that Navickas had failed to comply with a decision, taken last February, to repair Mi-8T search and rescue helicopters in non-Russian companies.

According to documents available to BNS, the process of sending Lithuanian military helicopters to Russia for repairs was cleared by high-ranking defence officials before it was stopped at the last stage.

The Lithuanian Foreign Ministry says that helicopter repairs in Russia would have run counter to the European Union's decisions on sanctions against Moscow and to Lithuania's foreign policy.

Helisota, a Lithuanian helicopter maintenance, repair and overhaul services provider, planned to subcontract a Russian company for helicopter parts repairs after winning a public tender process.

Helisota is 100 percent owed by Warsaw-listed Avia Solutions Group (ASG), Lithuania's biggest aviation business group.

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