The Direct Defense Challenge to Europe

The Direct Defense Challenge to Europe
(Johanna Geron, Pool Photo via AP)

Lithuania has banned a Chinese tech firm on security grounds, while Estonia warned the EU on the dangers of both Chinese and Russian espionage. 

The Chinese company, Nuctech, which makes security-inspection software, was banned from working with Lithuanian airports, Lithuanian authorities said on Wednesday (16 February). 

The Lithuanian government was also drafting a bill to bar other companies that posed a security risk from contracts in the transportation, energy, and telecommunications sectors in future. 

Nuctech was deemed a “threat to national security” by Lithuania’s intelligence services and cyber-defence forces. 

 “Using equipment and technologies of Russian or Chinese origin in sensitive sectors poses both short and long-term threats,” Lithuania’s deputy defence minister, Margiris Abukevičius, told EUobserver. 

The decision to ban Nuctech is a step towards our strategic goal – freedom from unreliable technology suppliers and elimination of possible security risks before the damage is done,” he said.

The move is likely to sharpen EU debate on ties with China. 

The article by Andrew Rettman published on February 18, 2021 highlighted the perspective from the Baltic states about the authoritarian challenge posed for Europe’s direct defense.

And the Baltic concern is similar to that expressed by the Australians with regard to the ill-timed recent agreement signed by the European Union leadership with China.

Giving President Xi a life rope when building out a 21st century surveillance state into which European businessmen enter to have their “private” meetings in China is reminiscent of scenes from 1938 when businessman from Europe and the United States visited Germany to do business with the Third Reich.

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