Ambassador to Azerbaijan: “Support of Lithuanian specialists is highly appreciated in this country”

Kęstutis Kudzmanas, the Lithuanian Ambassador to Azerbaijan, is glad about the will of this country’s politicians and their particularly decisive combat against corruption which also resulted from activities of employees of the Special Investigation Service (STT) and the Prosecutor General‘s Office of the Republic of Lithuania performed under the European Union (EU) financed Twinning project.

According to the Lithuanian Ambassador to Azerbaijan, Azerbaijan authorities have declared combat against administrative corruption in main public management sectors – the traffic police, customs, education system (especially, in universities) and healthcare area. Cross-cutting measures were taken in order to reduce the arbitrariness of public servants.

In the opinion of ambassador Kęstutis Kudzmanas, actions taken over a short period of time give reason to hope that combat against this phenomenon will not be but a short-term campaign. Azerbaijan’s actions aimed at efficient solving of the corruption problem are supported by the EU, OSCE and other international institutions.

Officials from STT and the Prosecutor General‘s Office of the Republic of Lithuania provide regular advice to Azerbaijani colleagues: provide expert advice, organize training and seminars for officials of the Anti-Corruption Department with the Prosecutor General of the Republic of Azerbaijan on the improvement of legal acts, methods of investigating criminal cases, recovering property, improvement of skills for prosecutors, operational activities, international cooperation, legal assistance while investigating corruption cases.

This work has been performed since 2009 after STT won the Twinning project competition announced by the European Commission on the Support for the Anti-Corruption Department with the Prosecutor General of the Republic of Azerbaijan. It is one of the first projects won by a Lithuanian institution filing an independent application.

The Embassy of Lithuania in Azerbaijan draws attention to the fact that it is the Anti-Corruption Department in Azerbaijan which is currently being essentially strengthened – through drafting legal acts on conferring greater authority upon the Department, preparing to increase personnel and technical capacities.

As stated by the ambassador, the support of Lithuanian specialists is highly appreciated in Azerbaijan, and in Brussels this project is considered to be one of the most efficient Twinning programme projects under the EU Eastern Partnership as compared to results achieved.

Such joint projects with a donor country helping achieve specific results and a beneficiary country undertaking to implement certain reforms are not new to Lithuania – after the accession of our country into the EU, state institutions obtained the right to support related institutions of other countries.

Having obtained this right, Lithuania has undertaken to ensure the smooth and efficient implementation of the EU Development Cooperation Policy, to share experience and knowledge through Twinning projects. The development cooperation in corruption prevention, detection and investigation areas (in line with provisions of the Action Programme of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania for 2008-2012) is one of STT’s international cooperation priority areas.

The main objective of the Twinning project initiated by the European Commission in 1998 is to help beneficiary countries improve capacities of their institutions aimed at implementing requirements of the EU acquis or approaching them. The Programme is one the most important tools of the European Commission for developing capacities of public administration institutions.