Lithuania aims at enhancing cooperation with Italian defence giant Leonardo

Lithuania MFA | @LithuaniaMFA
Lithuania’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Gabrielius Landsbergis, with Stefano Pontecorvo, President of the Italian defence industry company Leonardo, in Vilnius.

In Vilnius on 3 June, Lithuania’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Gabrielius Landsbergis, and Minister of the Economy and Innovation, Aušrinė Armonaitė, met with Stefano Pontecorvo, President of the Italian defence industry company, Leonardo. They discussed the importance of strengthening cooperation between Lithuanian defence industry companies and the Italian defence giant, especially in high-tech. The aim is to integrate Lithuanian companies into the value chains of the Leonardo Group.

Landsbergis emphasised Lithuanian businesses’ interest in continuing cooperation with Leonardo Group companies within the framework of the European Defence Fund.

“We understand the important role of your company and the European defence industry as a whole in contributing to our security, especially in light of the challenges of the Russian aggression in Ukraine. The willingness of the European defence industry to increase production volumes in real terms is one of the most effective elements aimed at deterring Russia and is an important component of the security of the whole region,” said Landsbergis.

The ministers presented the newly adopted Law on the Defence and Security Industry of Lithuania, which provides an opportunity to implement defence and security industry projects faster and more efficiently in Lithuania. Lansbergis also invited the Italian company Leonardo to take advantage of the favourable conditions and legal framework created for defence industry activities in Lithuania.

“We have taken some bold decisions to improve the performance of the security and defence industry in Lithuania, from facilitating the ability to manufacture our products for European defence to making it easier to develop major projects. Rheinmetall’s ammunition plant and other foreign and Lithuanian companies have already benefited from these changes. We are open to cooperation and welcoming new potential investors to our country,” said the Minister of the Economy and Innovation Armonaitė.

Lithuania’s defence industry consists of about 80 companies producing ammunition, unmanned aircraft systems, night vision devices, optics, electronic components, and information and communication technology solutions.

The Ministry of the Economy and Innovation is working hard to attract more foreign investment to Lithuania and strengthen the defence and security industry. One initiative is the drafting of amendments to the laws relevant to the Lithuanian defence and security industry, which propose to remove excessive requirements for the sector’s development and avoid dependence on foreign suppliers by reducing restrictions on the production of armaments.

In addition, the Ministry’s efforts led to the removal of the restriction on defence activities in Lithuania’s free economic zones (FEZs). This will encourage companies to expand and create good jobs. 

Leonardo is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of high-tech technology, a leader in aerospace, defence, and security, and a technological partner for governments and companies. It is the 12th largest defence company globally and the largest in the European Union.

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