In an unprecedented move, the Norwegian government has blocked the sale of military equipment destined for Cyprus’ National Guard.
This is the first time the Norwegian government has blocked the sales of military equipment– manufactured by Norwegian companies– to Cyprus, drawing an angry reaction from the Cyprus government, Phileleftheros reported on Tuesday.
Despite the Defence Ministry seeking clarification, the Norwegian government has yet to respond although within the political shadows, there is talk that the move has to do with the current stages of negotiations for the solution of the Cyprus problem.
The British company that is managing the contract has assured the Defence Ministry that it will obtain the necessary export licences while it is unable to explain the Norwegian government’s line of action.
If the Norwegian government does not change its position, and by the looks of things, it is highly unlikely, the Defence Ministry will be forced to call for new tenders while the specifications of the product will need to be changed.
Despite offers by the British company to supply similar equipment from another European country, the Defence Ministry’s Tenders Committee decided to start the entire procedure from the beginning and to change the specifications of the equipment.
The refusal of the Committee to accept the British company’s proposal brought about the strong reaction of a high ranking officer of the National Guard who stormed out of the meeting calling the Committee ‘traitors’, and is now facing a disciplinary investigation.
The military is in favour of the British company’s proposal as it considers the equipment of the utmost importance and whose arrival on the island has already been delayed by a number of months.
Military circles have started seeking political support to bear pressure on the Tenders Committee to accept the British company’s proposal.