The Defence Ministry has made a preliminary decision on one of the most important trades in this election term. The nominees of Andrej Danko, chair of the Slovak National Party (SNS), submitted a classified document to the government that proposes from whom Slovakia should purchase 81 eight-wheel transporters for €417 million, the Denník N daily reported.
The ministry reportedly chose the Finnish Patria AMV multi-role military vehicles, the Denník N wrote, referring to sources from the ministry and the armaments industry.
If the government approves the proposal, nothing will prevent the sale.
The ministry also wants Slovak companies to become involved in the trade as subcontractors. One of these may be Way Industries from Krupina (Banská Bystrica Region) which has, until recently, been controlled by the financial group Slavia Capital. The company informed that it has in the meantime sold its shares, the Denník N reported.
No details revealed
The decision to purchase the eight-wheel transporters was not preceded by an open competition or discussions with opposition politicians and non-governmental organisations. The ministry claims that they have observed the law. Since the trade concerns military material, it is possible to choose the winner by direct order without competition.
The ministry has not revealed any details and only confirms that it has submitted the document about the purchase of both eight-wheel and four-wheel vehicles to the government. It will provide more information only after it is approved by the cabinet and the Security Council, the ministry’s spokesperson Danka Capáková told the Denník N.
She also rejected the claim that they are trying to hide something.
“The interdepartmental review may result in changes, so it would be premature to comment on this topic as it may not be the final solution,” Capáková said, as quoted by the Denník N.
The daily also wrote that when discussing the purchase of transporters, they had serious talks only with the Finns.
The market has a wide range of eight-wheel transporters. When Lithuania considered purchasing these vehicles some time ago, it was selecting from 10 various types. Eventually, it chose German Boxers.
The Finnish Patria seems to be a good choice for Slovakia. They have been purchased by Croatia, Sweden, Poland and South Africa. The Poles have been using them in Afghanistan, the Denník N wrote.
The new transporters will be used by the Slovak army for at least the following 30 years, the daily reported.