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Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda has called on the country's Health Minister Aurelijus Veryga to cut short his vacation, return to work and provide his explanation on corruption suspicions against Vice Health Minister Lina Jaruseviciene.
Gitanas Nausėda
Gitanas Nausėda
© Scanpix

"It would abnormal if the health minister did not accept responsibility in his sector and directly linked to the vice minister's work. You could probably not know a person who works far away from you, not know all aspects, but a vice minister is a person substituting for a minister. There are many questions. The minister should end his vacation sooner and go back to work as he will definitely need to answer those questions," the president told journalists during his visit to Medininkai on the Belarusian border.

According to the president, the questions Veryga needs to answer are related to "certain systemic matters" that manifest themselves in various scandals surrounding this ministry.

"The case of Sarunas Narbutas and now this case show that when Lithuania lacked PPE and tests, when everyone were trying so hard, I do understand the situation was extraordinary. Nevertheless, there were a lot of things and a lot of muddy water and some people were trying to go fishing," the president said. "It's unacceptable and people caller marauding. We must fight against such phenomena."

Nauseda also said the minister should provide answers before one could speak about his resignation. "Let's wait for the answer about how the system worked, what flaws that system had and what is the minister's personal liability for this system's, to put it mildly, not completely satisfactory functioning," the head of state said.

Lithuania's law enforcement agencies are now carrying several investigations into the procurement of coronavirus test reagents and rapid coronavirus tests, with Vice Health Minister Lina Jaruseviciene named a suspect in one of them.

Meanwhile, Sarunas Narbutas, the head of a cancer patient organization, is a suspect in a separate investigation into the procurement of reagents use for coronavirus tests.

BNS
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