The Ministry of National Defense says the contract with the Slovaks guarantees that helicopters under repair will not be taken to third countries.
In November, Slovakia's Letecke Opravovne Trencin a.s. won a tender to repair the Lithuanian army's MI-8 helicopters. With ten days remaining until the signing of the contract in Lithuania, the executives of the Slovak company reached agreement with Russia's state enterprise Russian Helicopters in Moscow. The latter company is part of Rostec, Russia's military group producing and repairing military equipment. It is currently on the US sanction list.
Sigitas Dzekunskas, director of the Defense Materiel Agency under the Ministry of National Defense, told the LRT the Slovak company has no right to repair aircraft in other countries.
"They cannot get third countries involved in the contract execution without our consent," Dzekunskas said.
In his words, under the contact, the Slovak company will perform 92 percent of repair works itself, and the remaining 8 percent will be done by a subcontractor from Azerbaijan.
"It’s very important for us to prevent the transportation of helicopters to third countries," he said, adding that if the Slovaks asked for such permission, the Ministry of National Defense would not give it.