The United States complained to one of his most loyal vassals – Lithuania. Turned out to be Lithuanian state in violation of the agreements sold donated to the Washington rifles to individuals. Although the occasion seems a trifle Lithuanian press came out with headlines of “unprecedented scandal in relations between Vilnius and Washington.”
Lithuania’s defense Ministry on Tuesday publicly demanded from the interior Ministry to return the semi-automatic M-14 rifle, presented earlier USA Lithuanian army. Why the military chose to disclose their requirement in the press, and not sent to related Department for a normal official channels, is not explained. Apparently, the return process was already under way, but not very actively.
“Washington now will rise questions about how in General in the Baltic countries dispose of provided military assistance”
“This year, on the basis of information about the return process, it became clear that five rifles were recovered,” – said the press service of the Ministry.
Recall the US government gave Lithuania a party of semi-automatic rifles M-14 back in 1999 (the main weapon of the us army they were in the years 1959-1970). After the upgrade they were used by Lithuanian military, but then also decided to give them up. In 2001, the Ministry of defense at the request of the Department of state security gave him ten copies of this weapon. The defense Ministry drew attention to the fact that the transfer does not violate the obligations of Lithuania in the arms traffic, signed in 2002 between the Republic and the United States. In 2014, the rifle was in the Armory Fund, which is included in the interior Ministry. And from there they began to sell.
All the fuss for three barrels
The behavior of the defense Ministry becomes clear if to recollect, that on the morning of Tuesday the information resources of Vilnius has come out with alarming headlines: “Lithuanian-American relations – an unprecedented conflict.” So wrote the portal Delfi, adding with reference to its sources that the trouble beginning of the American Embassy. It demanded an explanation of how the presented M-14 were in private hands. The Embassy is confident that the weapons illegally transferred to third parties, despite the agreement to ban its sale. The rifles were sold freely – they could buy anyone.
Now, the weaponry Fund has already promised to go to court about the remaining three rifles sold to civilians, with the requirement of forced return. The defense Ministry also appealed to buyers with a request to voluntarily return the weapons.
And the weaponry Fund sold the rifle cheap – 347,54 euros. “It’s actually a very low price, since the collector from any country in the world willing to pay for this weapon is 25 thousand euros”, – said the entrepreneur Darius, Cekanauskas, a member of the Riflemen’s Union. He was one of eight people who purchased the rifle. As two of the buyer, he does not want to return, let him promise the same in return 347 euros. The other five buyers they have returned. The interior Ministry, in turn, have returned to their army.
How is it that donated the weapon was sold, was unable to explain even the Minister of defense Juozas Olekas. “As I recall, the army gave them some Agency, not for sale, but the Agency gave the Lithuanian army, and the Armory Foundation is not we passed, as I remember”, – he told reporters, vowing to figure it all out, but then the calls were not answered. We will remind, in September Olekas was already involved in another scandal – the so-called Golden forks turned out that the purchase of kitchen supplies for the army were carried out at inflated prices to eight times.
Trump ruined the mood Vilnius
Former Lithuanian Deputy Prime Minister Zigmas Vaišvila says that the Embassy is concerned about the issue of morality. “Lithuanians, as well as in Russian, there is a saying “gift not given”. Not very ethical to pass the rifle on to other departments, and then to sell them. In an extreme case we could write off the rifle and placed in a Museum if they are outdated,” he commented the newspaper VIEW scandal erupted. According to Vaisvila, the call of the Ministry of defense to the individuals are also sounds not very correct from the point of view of morality. “Weapons because it was already transferred, donated, sold. All of this petty and undignified,” he complained.
Lithuanian press is agreed that the Americans found out about the sale for a long time – about it openly spoke and wrote in the social networks themselves collectors. His version of why fuss Embassy started just now, shared with the newspaper VIEW Director of the International Institute of the newest States Alexey Martynov. He did not rule out that the U.S. Embassy in Vilnius after the election Donald trump felt that the trend will change soon, the attitude of the Baltic States in the state Department becomes cooler and so the diplomats decided to draw attention to such problems, even small, like the fate of the three old rifles.
“The fact that the USA supplied military weapons ended up in the possession of individuals, can not but arouse indignation. I think Washington now will rise questions about how in General in the Baltic countries dispose of provided military assistance as questions about the appropriateness of such assistance,” – said the expert newspaper VIEW.
In the Baltic States the authorities have spoiled the mood because of the win trump, reminded Martynov. “Trump is not a sincere friend of Russia, I do not share the idealism of some of our politicians, but he is inclined to protect the domestic interests of the US and are skeptical of assistance to the same Baltic countries”, – said the analyst.
As he wrote in February of last year, the newspaper LOOK, the American weapons sold to Ukraine. In particular, the Deputy head of the Ministry of Ukraine Petro mehedi and close to Bashar al-Assad, Brigadier General of the Syrian Talal Mahluf agreed to sell to the Arab Republic obtained the U.S. weapons.