2021.11.16 09:30

Lithuanian MoD moves to ban Chinese, Russian tech

BNS2021.11.16 09:30

The Lithuanian Defence Ministry is initiating legislative amendments to bar “unreliable” bids from public tenders over national security.

The proposed amendments would prevent Lithuania from purchasing technologies from Chinese, Russian and Belarusian manufacturers, according to the ministry.

"The regulation would apply to a contracting authority that is the manager of a critical information infrastructure, participates in mobilisation tasks, is active in the field of defence or in a sector of national security importance," it said in a press release on Monday.

The ministry estimates that there are almost 400 such entities in Lithuania.

"The current law provides for the possibility of screening suppliers in terms of national security, but there are no clear criteria for contracting authorities to follow," Deputy Defence Minister Margiris Abukevičius said in the press release. "The legislative amendments would oblige them to immediately reject unreliable bids."

The new legislation would oblige contracting authorities to reject bids outright if the supplier, subcontractor, manufacturer or entity controlling them comes from countries whose suppliers, subcontractors or manufacturers are not considered to be reliable.

Bids would also be rejected if maintenance or support services for equipment are provided from unreliable countries.

The state will draw up a list of countries posing risks to national security based on the threats identified in the National Security Strategy, which is currently being updated.

"We aim to ensure that hardware and software is procured from countries whose suppliers are reliable, ie NATO, the European Union, the European Free Trade Association and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. Other countries will be assessed by the government," said Abukevičius.

If passed by the parliament, the proposed amendments could come into force in July 2022.

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