The European Union (EU) should cover up to 75 percent of Lithuania’s costs in combating African Swine Fever (ASF), Agriculture Minister Virginija Baltraitienė has said, adding that the officials representing the Community’s Member States have agreed to increase financing for Lithuania at the Informal Council of Agriculture Ministers.
Virginija Baltraitienė
© DELFI / Šarūnas Mažeika

“There was a discussion, we reported what we have done, what program has been implemented, and all countries, which stated their opinion, agreed that it’s necessary to provide more substantial financial aid, to make procedural decisions, to provide additional technical support, and promised to increase financing for certain measures to up to 75 percent so as to cover the losses and the costs stemming from preventive measures,” the minister told BNS by phone from Luxembourg.

The funds would be provided once the European Commission (EC) approved a respective regulation, she said adding that Lithuania would submit applications for each measure.

“We will apply, supplement the program and establish specific amounts when we need to. We asked for 100-percent financing everywhere and we may possibly get such amounts for certain measures and up to 75 percent for others. We will have to ask for money in each particular case,” the minister said.

Some 6.6 million euros has already been spent to combat ASF since 2013 and the EU has covered 1.837 million euros. Lithuania asked to cover full costs, citing its being a buffer state as the reason.

An outbreak of ASF was for the first time confirmed in Belarus in the summer of last year. The disease, which is lethal to domestic pigs and wild boars, spread into Lithuania and Poland at the start of this year, into Latvia in June and into Estonia in September.

BNS
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