Screening for arms firms reduced

SLOVAK MPs, on May 27, amended a recently approved law paralysing the domestic defence industry, the news wire TASR wrote.

The law on the protection of classified information required arms producers to undergo security screening by the National Security Office (NBÚ) before they could trade their products. As screening takes several months, trade by these companies had virtually halted.

Smer opposition party leader Robert Fico proposed that the respective provision be stricken from the law through an amendment to the Small Trades Act; MPs approved the step.

NBÚ screening will now be compulsory only for companies that supply Slovak security forces.

Previously, Economy Minister Pavol Rusko had prepared a plan to give all arms producers a one-year transition period to pass screening.

Kerametal chief executive Igor Junas told TASR that his firm was still waiting to be screened more than a year after submitting a request.

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