A report published in German media on Sunday, saying that Berlin would not sell armoured Boxer vehicles to Lithuania, could be part of a provocation campaign aimed at derogating good relations between Lithuania and Germany, according to Lithuanian Defence Minister Juozas Olekas.
Juozas Olekas
© DELFI / Tomas Vinickas

"One could perceive a covert provocation here... The first sense that one gets after hearing such news is that something is wrong in relations between Lithuania and Germany," Minister Olekas told LRT radio on Sunday, adding that Vilnius-Berlin relations were in fact excellent.

According to Olekas, the story published by the German newspaper Welt am Sonntag might have been a provocation inspired by Russia.

"I would not rule out [such a possibility], because we are in the middle of information war and this might be an element of it. Although it is a reputable newspaper, things happen," Olekas said.

The German Sunday newspaper Welt am Sonntag reported that the German Defence Ministry had said that the country would not sell armoured vehicles to Lithuania within the coming several years. It said that in the production of new armoured vehicles, priority would be given to the German armed forces.

According to the newspaper, Lithuania planned to purchase "a two-digit number" of fighting vehicles and in case of successful negotiations, this would have been a deal between the two governments, not between Lithuania and the Boxer manufacturer, which would have allowed avoiding cumbersome procedures.

"I'd like to reiterate that our relations, as between NATO partners, Lithuania and Germany, are good. We are waiting for German soldiers to come to military exercises we're hosting, to arrive most probably in those same Boxers, for joint preparations with Lithuanian troops. And an article like this might sow some uncertainty," the Lithuanian defence minister added.

Olekas told BNS that until now Lithuania had only held direct talks with the German Defence Ministry on a possible acquisition of armoured howitzers PzH 2000, with an official response expected to come shortly. The German company has directly submitted its offer regarding armoured vehicles, along with nine other manufacturers, he said.

The Lithuanian army is seeking to accelerate the development of its defence capabilities in response to Russia's aggressive actions in the region and the war in eastern Ukraine, where Ukrainian government forces are fighting against pro-Russian separatists.

Naujienų agentūros BNS informaciją skelbti, cituoti ar kitaip atgaminti visuomenės informavimo priemonėse bei interneto tinklalapiuose be raštiško UAB "BNS" sutikimo neleidžiama.

Prosecutors want exchanged Russian spy's accomplices tried in absentia

A criminal case in which charges were brought against two suspected accomplices of Nikolai...

Nauseda: Lithuania needs to spend 14 billion EUR on climate change over 10 years

Lithuania will need to spend 14 billion euros over ten years to meet its climate change commitments,...

Application to register "For the Fatherland" submitted in Prime Minister's name

Lithuania's brand database officially states that an application to register a brand " For the...

Parliament lowers election threshold to 3 percent

The Lithuanian Seimas on Tuesday lowered the parliamentary election threshold to 3 percent for...

Cuban dissident calls on Lithuania to block EU-Cuba deal

Cuban dissident Guillermo Farinas , on a visit to Vilnius, has called on Lithuania to block the...