The Defence Ministry stated on November 30 that it had signed contracts to purchase 14 American F-16 fighter jets.
“The ministry has signed the technical contract documents that are needed to start the process of fighter jet renovation in accordance with the government resolution,” said Danka Capáková, spokesperson for the ministry, as quoted by the Denník N daily.
However, after PM Peter Pellegrini stated that he considers the contracts to be invalid for now and that whatever the ministry signed can be shredded, the ministry has changed its attitude.
Commenting on the agreement, Pellegrini noted that the governmental resolution clearly stated that the documents could be signed only with the agreement of the Finance Ministry.
“The prime minister should be informed about the signing of these contracts by the minister. We are not talking about the purchase of socks here,” Pellegrini said in a political talk show broadcast by the TA3 news channel on December 2, referring to the purchase of fighter jets, one of the biggest purchases in the history of Slovakia amounting to more than €1.6 billion.
The Defence Ministry meanwhile corrected its original statement. As Capáková explained, only the drafts were signed in order to start the process of renovation and the American side was also notified. As she stressed, they respect the fact that the agreements need to be approved by the Finance Ministry, and they will take further steps in this respect, the SITA newswire wrote.
The Americans stated that they have not yet received any signed contracts concerning the purchase of F-16 fighter jets, Denník N reported.
3. Dec 2018 at 22:09 | Compiled by Spectator staff