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2019.06.04 10:59

Lithuania says decision on Huawei rests with NATO and EU

Austėja Masiokaitė-Liubinienė, BNS2019.06.04 10:59

Defense Minister Raimundas Karoblis says decisions on the use of Huawei technologies in the development of Lithuania's fifth generation, or 5G, network have to be made at the NATO and EU level.  

"The issue 5G communications should be international. Discussions on the aspects of cybersecurity and communications security are underway at the NATO level and in the European Union," he told Žinių Radijas on Tuesday morning. 

Following NATO allies' decision not to work with Huawei, it is important for Lithuania to address challenges involved in exchanging intelligence and ensuring the security of the allies' communications while they are in Lithuania, according to the minister. 

"5G is a management system, not just a communication system, and if systems are incompatible, then we are going to have problems," he told the radio station.

Karoblis said possible options would be for Lithuania to choose other technologies for military and state communications or to work with an operator that is not using the Chinese giant's technology. 

In his words, if all operators opted for Huawei, Lithuania would have to look for "alternative state communications".

The minister said decisions will be made "in the near future". 

The United States has recently begun to push its European partners not to use Huawei's equipment.

Reuters recently reported that the US ambassador pressed the Lithuanian government not to allow China's technology giant Huawei to participate in the development of the country's 5G network.

Read more: US ambassador pressed Lithuanian government on Huawei, news agency reports

Washington says Huawei equipment may help China spy on Western businesses, an allegation categorically denied by the Chinese company.