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Published: 24 august 2012 10:29

Lithuania’s Environment Minister proposes to use housing renovation funds to purchase helicopters

Žvejybos kontrolei pasitelktas Karinių oro pajėgų sraigtasparnis Mi-8.
KAM/Antano Gedrimo nuotr. / Mi-8 currently used by the Lithuanian Armed Forces

Lithuania’s Environment Ministry has proposed to the government to reallocate 138 million litas (EUR 40m) from the stalled housing renovation scheme for funding the purchase of three search and rescue helicopters by Lithuania’s Armed Forces.

However, the Transport Ministry objects to this reallocation of support and urges to speed up the renovation of blocks of flats without reducing the European support earmarked for renovation.

“The ministry proposes to look for possibilities to speed up the processes of housing renovation without rushing to reduce EU funds planned to be assigned for this purpose,” the Transport Ministry said in a letter to the Environment Ministry.

The Armed Forces issued a call for tenders earlier this year for the purchase of three search and rescue helicopters but the winners have not been announced yet. The Ministry of National Defense told BNS in June that applications for taking part in the tender had been submitted by three companies, which had not been specified.

Lithuania plans to purchase mid-range helicopters, with the first expected to be delivered by April 2015 and the remaining two by September 2015.

As reported previously, Lithuania plans to earmark 50 million litas in EU funds per one helicopter, or a total of 150 million litas for all of them.

The helicopters, which will be used for civil tasks, shall be purchased by 2016, i.e. until the expiry of service life of Russian Mi-8 helicopters now in use.

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