11:16 GMT29 September 2020
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    The US demanded an explanation from Lithuania with regard to illegal sales of semi-automatic M14 sniper rifles, donated to the country by Washington. The incident could lead to a serious conflict, as the agreement signed by the two parties prohibits the sale of the weapons.

    Two US Air Force F-22 Raptor stealth jet fighters fly near Andersen Air Force Base, Guam. File photo
    © REUTERS / Master Sgt. Kevin J. Gruenwald
    The US Embassy stated that the weapons that were delivered to Lithuania as part of the US military aid to the country had been sold to third parties. According to reports, anyone who has a permit for carriage of a weapon could buy the rifles without any obstacles.

    The US also announced that Lithuanians sold their highly valued semi-automatic sniper rifles M14 for nothing. The arms that are a dream of any collector were reportedly sold for less than 350 euro per item, web portal delfi.lt reported.

    "This is actually a very low price," entrepreneur and member of Lithuania's Riflemen Union Chekanauskas Darius said cited by the media outlet. "Any collector would be willing to pay for these weapons € 25 000," he added.

    Darius is one of the eight people who have bought the rifle from Lithuania's Weaponry Fund. Following the scandal, the fund requested customers to return the weapons and promised to refund the money spent on them. However, so far only five buyers have returned their purchase.

    F-22 Raptor jets. File photo.
    US Air Force / Master Sgt. Jeremy Lock
    The rifles were delivered to Lithuania in 1999. The weapons had been in use for several years, but then were abandoned. In 2014, the rifles were handed over to the Weaponry Fund, which started selling them off.

    The US learned about the practice by accident, after receiving information from private collectors. According to the agreement signed by the two countries, the rifles can't be sold or handed over to third parties.

    Related:

    Lithuania to Host 80 US Troops for Drills - Defense Ministry
    US Army Servicemen Arrive in Lithuania for Joint Drills - Defense Ministry
    Tags:
    rifles, military aid, sales, United States, Lithuania
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