Germany cashes in on Baltics' fear of Russia
AFP · 11 Dec 2015, 15:12
Published: 11 Dec 2015 15:12 GMT+01:00
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"We have come to the unequivocal opinion to choose and acquire the Boxer infantry fighting vehicles," said Lithuania's defence chief Jonas Vytautas Zukas.
Speaking after a meeting of the State Defence Council, he said the Baltic EU and NATO nation had picked the German-made vehicles out of 12 bids.
The first vehicles made by the Artec grouping of Krauss-Maffei Wegmann and Rheinmetall MAN Military Vehicles are expected to arrive in 2017.
He said the price would be disclosed only after the talks with Artec are over, but a government source said the deal could be worth around €400 million.
In its state budget for 2016 approved on Thursday, Lithuania has vowed to raise defence spending by more than a third against this year amid increased concerns over Russia's actions in Ukraine and military activity in the Baltic area.
In September, Lithuania signed a €16-million deal to buy 21 used self-propelled howitzers from Germany.
The United States has meanwhile deployed some military equipment in Lithuania, including its Abrams battle tanks.
The three Baltic states and Poland have also called for a permanent NATO presence in the region to deter Russia but the allies have so far stuck to back-to-back troop rotations.