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People in Lithuania will be able to submit marriage registration application remotely

VILNIUS – People in Lithuania will be able to submit marriage registration applications remotely by sending them by mail or via a courier, the Justice Ministry says, having drafted changes to the existing rules.

"Caused by the pandemic, the existing situation is encouraging us to implement more convenient and safer ways of providing services so that people don’t need to visit institutions. It will allow solving many problems as people use to need visit civil registries," Justice Minister Elvinas Jankevicius said in a statement.

In his words, Lithuanian and foreign citizens who want to get married in Lithuania will be able o send applications to civil registries through registered mail or via a courier.

Lithuanian citizens will also be able to submit marriage registration applications via the civil registry information system (mepis.lt) and also send them by registered mail or via a courier. Foreigners who will want to register marriage in Lithuania will be able to do that in their own countrt by registered mail or via a courier.

Now in Lithuania, to submit a marriage registration application, couples need to visit civil registries in their local municipalities.

Lithuanian govt to make decisions on COVID-19 vaccines, but there're many risks – minister

VILNIUS – The Lithuanian government will make decisions on COVID-19 vaccine purchases, but there are many risks in planning them, Health Minister Aurelijus Veryga said on Monday.

President Gitanas Nauseda's office has refused to convene a meeting of the State Defense Council on vaccine procurement matters. 

"The government will definitely make decisions on the purchase of vaccines, all the more so because it involves certain financial obligations. Anyway, the State Defense Council decisions would have been recommendatory in nature," he told reporters.  

The Commission has signed a preliminary purchase agreement with British-Swedish pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca which expects to be among the first to start producing a COVID-19 vaccine. 

Member states could withdraw from the acquisition after the agreement was signed, but Lithuania has decided to go ahead with it, according to Veryga.    

In the procurement, doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine will be distributed on a population-based pro-rata basis. 

Lithuania has to decide on what further strategy as the European Commission is negotiating with other potential vaccine producers, Veryga said. 

"We should decide whether we diversify the procurement of vaccines, or set some proportions, or opt to participate in the procurement of all vaccines – there are seven of them currently – and earmark money for that," the minister said.

"There are a lot of risks. It is possible that, in theory, all these vaccines will be approved as effective and then we will need to buy all of them," he said. "If we refuse to buy a vaccine and it proves to be effective, then we will not have an effective vaccine."

The country may end up buying too many doses than its population needs and will have to decide what to do with the surplus, the minister said.  

The vaccine procurement process involves significant financial commitments and strategic decisions that go beyond the Health Ministry's competence, he added.  

Values based positions in the international arena

On 17 September, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania Linas Linkevičius continued his visit to Washington D.C., where he met with the United States National Security Advisor Robert O'Brien.

“On behalf of the U.S. President, Lithuania was thanked for its consistent adherence to values based positions in the international arena, as well as for being a reliable partner, for fulfilling the commitment to increase its defence spending, and for its efforts to achieve energy independence. We hope that the U.S. will continue to focus its attention on Lithuania and on the entire region, and we appreciate the U.S. military presence in the country,” said Lithuania’s Foreign Minister.

In the meeting, Linkevičius and O'Brien discussed the situation in Belarus, a joint response and new sanctions, which the U.S. intended to impose coordinating with the European Union.

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