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The Polish unit of Nuctech, earlier this year eliminated from Lithuanian airports' baggage scanner tender over national security concerns, has won the bidding for a contract to supply an X-ray machine for the Kena border crossing point, according to the country's chief customs officer.
Nuctech
Nuctech
© Vida Press

However, Darius Zvironas, the director-general of the Customs Department, says that the contract with Nuctech Warsaw is unlikely to be cleared by a special governmental commission vetting deals of importance to national security, meaning that a new tender will have to be announced.

"Now that we have the winner of the public procurement procedure, [...] the decision will probably be made this week or next whether we can buy our machine from the Chinese manufacturer," he told BNS in an interview.

Rasa Jakilaitiene, the spokeswoman for the prime minister, told BNS that the commission should announce its conclusion on Thursday.

"If the country's policy is headed toward focusing on security, then I believe we will not be able to buy the X-ray machine [from Nuctech Warsaw] and the tender will be repeated," Zvironas said.

According to the director-general, the department received two bids, but only Nuctech Warsaw's offer met the tender requirements.

He noted that there are alternatives to Chinese X-ray machines, including those made by French or US companies.

Prime Minister Ingrida Simonyte said last week that the Kena crossing point on the border with Belarus needed an X-ray machine as soon as possible.

In February, the governmental commission decided that the planned airport scanner deal with Nuctech did not meet national security interests.

Nuctech then dismissed the national security concerns, saying that its equipment is produced in the Polish capital "under the strictest applicable EU and national performance and safety standards".

Critics say that Nuctech's "extreme low-level pricing strategy" suggests that its motives are not commercial but rather "an interest to control strategic EU infrastructure and data driven knowledge", according to the Wall Street Journal.

BNS
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