Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda welcomed on Tuesday a decision by Andrius Palionis, the new agriculture minister, to set up a working group to review his predecessor's initiative to relocate the Agriculture Ministry from Vilnius to Kaunas.
Atidaroma "veidrodinė" Žemės ūkio ministerija Kaune
© DELFI / Rafael Achmedov

According to the president, the pros and cons must be considered carefully before launching the reform.

"Minister Palionis' efforts to assess the benefits of moving the Agriculture Ministry to Kaunas are a welcome position," Nauseda said on his Facebook page.

"Developed countries always consider both the benefits and the disadvantages of a project before undertaking such reforms, seeking to make the right decisions. I am glad that Lithuania is adopting the good practices of Western countries," he added.

The working group has until September 6 to submit its findings to the new minister, a member of the Lithuanian Social Democratic Labor Party.

The group includes the ministry's specialists, and representatives from the Public Procurement Office and the centralized public property management company Turto Bankas. It is led by Jurij Kornijenko, the head of the Agriculture Ministry's Corruption Prevention and Internal Investigation Division.

Last week, the ministry formally invited Bei Capital, a SBA Group company, the winner of a public tender process for the lease of premises in Kaunas, to sign a contract on September 10.

The ministry had intended to sign the contract by August 26.

The ruling Lithuanian Farmers and Greens Union promised in their 2016 general election campaign to move two ministries -- for agriculture and environment -- from Lithuania's capital to its second-biggest city.

As part of the plans, a unit of the Agriculture Ministry was opened in Kaunas last April.

The relocation initiative has been strongly supported by Ramunas Karbauskis, the Farmers and Greens' leader.

BNS
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