Following bad press that Norway's child welfare services received in Lithuania for restricting parenting rights of a Lithuanian mother, the country's embassy in Vilnius has hired a public relations agency to improve the country's image.
© DELFI / Kiril Čachovskij

Norway's Ambassador in Vilnius Dag M. Halvorsen stated that "after various interpretations of Norwegian children’s rights policies flooded the Lithuanian public sphere, many Lithuanians have started to look upon Norway with scepticism".

"We therefore think that there is a need to attract more attention to the on-going cooperation in various fields between Lithuania and Norway, which started shortly after the restoration of Lithuania's independence. Lithuania is a close neighbour and trading partner with Norway and Norway is home to one of the largest Lithuanian diasporas," the ambassador said in a written response to BNS.

"Having evaluated the current situation, perspectives and possibilities, the embassy wishes to provide more information and facts about the cooperation between Norway and Lithuania in many areas and how they can develop further. Therefore we see the need for some guidance from local communication advisers. We begun our cooperation with Ad Verum mid March," said the diplomat.

The situation of Lithuanian emigrant families in Norway became a major concern, when a Lithuanian mother had her parental rights suspended by Norway's children rights service Barnevernet. The situation was aggravated by a failed attempt to take the child out of the country.

Barnevernet actions have gotten negative press in the Lithuanian media.

BNS
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