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The United States Embassy has called for an explanation of how the semi-automatic weapons M14 used by US snipers and donated to Lithuania's Armed Forces ended up in the hands of private individuals, delfi.lt news portal said.
President Dalia Grybauskaitė is trying out the semi-automatic weapon M14L1
President Dalia Grybauskaitė is trying out the semi-automatic weapon M14L1
© A.Didžgalvio nuotr.

According to the portal, the support granted by the US government to Lithuania had been unlawfully transferred to third parties, although Lithuania and the United States have signed an agreement banning sale of weapons granted by the US.

M14, which are valued by collectors worldwide, were available for sale in Lithuania to any individual carrying a police permit to own a gun. The Weaponry Fund under the Interior Ministry sold the weapons at an incredibly low price – 347.54 euros apiece.

Jonas Salavejus, acting director of the fund, said that eight M14 weapons had been sold within a year. A decision was taken two years later to recover the weapons upon request of the US government.

"When the weapons were transferred to the Weaponry Fund, there was no notification of the Lithuania-US agreement banning transfer of the weapons to third parties, nobody also told us that the weapons cannot be sold," said Salavejus.

The agreement between the Lithuanian and the US governments was signed in 2002, three years after the handover of the M14 weapons to the Lithuanian Armed Forces.

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