"Speaking about the future modernization of the Armed Forces, we should look at the share allocated for acquisitions and investment where we had to pay 80 percent for the earlier commitments over the past four years. This leaves us with merely 20 percent of the limited funds for modernization (…) and acquisitions in line with our priorities," Juknevičienė told a news conference in Vilnius on Wednesday.
In her words, the bulk of the equipment modernization budget went towards combat ships and trucks bought by the earlier Social Democratic administration, which she said did not reinforce the country's defense capacities.
"The four years passed while paying for the earlier government's purchases, it was a huge challenge, especially since we saw that some of them weren't a priority. I do not criticize the purchase of Spartan, it answered its purpose. However, the SISU (trucks) and ships – I am sticking to the opinion I had at the time of coming to the office – were not a priority. Yes, they are high-quality good items, but definitely not the type that would reinforce the defense potential," said Juknevičienė of the Homeland Union – Lithuanian Christian Democrats (conservatives) who are in the opposition in the new Seimas.