VILNIUS – Development of Lithuania’s defense industry should begin with the removal of obstacles thereto, representatives of the country’s authorities have said also stressing the necessity to bring the required regulation up to date.
In particular, Kestutis Budrys, President Gitanas Nauseda's chief national security advisor, noted that the Law on Control of Weapons and Ammunition, which was adopted decades ago to regulate the circulation of weapons and ammunition with a view to ensuring the safety of an individual, the public and the state, no longer reflected the reality and would therefore be revised.
“As agreed, the ministries will address this issue by means of a task group, as well as the changes related to regulation, the licensing procedure, as we should be more flexible and respond to the greatest potential, not just to the top risks,” he said during a news conference held after a discussion hosted by Nauseda on Monday and attended by MPs, Cabinet members and business representatives.
“We are now reviewing the obstacles, of which there is no shortage for the companies operating in the Lithuanian defense area… There are many restrictions and we want to remove those obstacles so as to provide more growth opportunities for the Lithuanian companies as well as to be able to attract international investors to Lithuania,” Economy and Innovation Minister Ausrine Armonaite said during the news conference.
Defense Minister Arvydas Anusauskas stressed that the regulation of defense industry should facilitate, and not aggravate, its development.
“It’s time to stop stigmatizing the defense industry in our legislative base. It [the defense industry] should not be some kind of an exception. On the contrary, … it should have its required legal regulation that would facilitate, and not aggravate, the development of this sector,” he pointed out.
Armonaite stated that draft amendments to the Law on the Fundamentals of Free Economic Zones would be submitted to the parliament on Tuesday with the aim to remove the activities related to ensuring state security and defense as well as to production, keeping or sale of arms, ammunition or explosives, from the list of activities prohibited and/or restricted in free economic zones.
The minister described the existing prohibition as just one of the obstacles to developing the defense industry.