The Slovenia Times

Slovenia to buy armoured personnel carriers from Patria

An armoured modular vehicle (Svarun 8x8) that Slovenia purchased from Patria in 2006. Photo: Daniel Novakovič/STA

Slovenia will buy armoured personnel carriers (APCs) from the Finnish defence company Patria, having solicited offers from four countries for the planned purchase.

The decision was announced by Prime Minister Robert Golob after meeting Finnish President Alexander Stubb on the sidelines of the NATO summit in Washington on 10 July.

The Golob government decided to enter direct government-to-government talks after revoking in 2022 the previous government's decision to purchase 45 German-made Boxer eight-wheeled vehicles via the Organisation for Joint Armament Cooperation for €343 million, including VAT.

In September 2023, Defence Minister Marjan Šarec said the ministry had invited Finland, Poland, Romania and Italy to send final offers after a preliminary round that also included the US.

"Processes within the military and the Defence Ministry that took nearly two years have led to a choice, I'll call it a favourite or the most favourable bidder, the Finnish Patria," Golob said in Washington.

Golob did not reveal any details about the price or the number of the APCs Slovenia will buy from Patria, saying it was too early to say. The public will be informed once it is clear what the purchase will encompass and what the dynamics will be.

Talks between the countries' defence ministries are ongoing and the contract will stipulate the transaction be carried out directly between the two ministries, said Golob, adding that this would ensure maximum transparency.

"In a way, this will allow us to remove the stain in our relations with Finland due to previous purchases from this company whose equipment is a mainstay at all NATO missions," Golob said in reference of the Patria corruption scandal nearly two decades ago.

Slovenia's three-time PM Janez Janša, was convicted in 2013 for allegedly accepting a promise of a bribe in relation to the tender won by Patria in 2006. He spent 145 days in prison before the Constitutional Court quashed the conviction in 2015. The case became statute barred later that year, meaning Janša was formally acquitted. He has been alleging the scandal was orchestrated by his political opponents.

In response to Golob announcing Patria as the pick for the APC deal, Janša called it "the irony of history".

Slovenia is buying the APCs to set up a medium-sized battalion group under its commitments to NATO.

Golob will shortly be taking over temporarily as defence minister after incumbent Marjan Šarec was elected to the European Parliament. Golob is expected to nominate a candidate for new defence minister in autumn.


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