Romanian Defense minister Teodor Atanasiu said in a press conference on Tuesday that he requested his British counterpart to lift the secrecy over the contract by which two old frigates of British giant BAE Systems were sold to the Romanian states several years ago.
His statement comes after a flurry of revelations in British newspaper The Guadian and most Romanian dailies regarding the terms of the contract between BAE and Romania, which is said to have involved secret commissions for various intermediaries.
According to Atanasiu, the Romanian side cannot publish the contract provisions alone as such a move has to be supported by both parties. This is why he intervened for the government in London to agree with the publication of the contract provisions.
He also said that the contract includes a clause according to which in case it is proven that commissions were received in Romania for the procurement of the two frigats, the British part must return all the contractual money to the Romanian side. But, Atanasiu says, it is not known who introduced such a clause in the contract.
Minister Atanasiu will answer senators’ questions next week when he’s invited to present the situation before the Defense Committee of the upper chamber of the Romanian Parliament.
Commission deputy head Norica Nicolai has said the Romanian Supreme Defense Council will be officially asked to clear what is the legislative framework at the basis of the procurement, while the Romanian Intelligence Service and the Foreign Intelligence Service will have to disclose all information on possible irregularities.
Nicolai also said members of the Defense Commission will go to the Black Sea city of Constanta to verify whether the two frigates are up to NATO standards.
The frigate procurement has also been the subject of an investigation by the Romanian anti-corruption prosecutors since the first revelations on the issue last week.