Asked by BNS to comment whether Lithuania needs a new format of emergency coordination, Prime Minister's Chancellor Deividas Matulionis said "formally its' not needed but informally it's really needed."
"I would say different institutions talked rather differently … and I would say they truly lack coordination. I therefore think that, first of all, we have to clearly know what really happened, all circumstances, and then the same comments have to follow. I think that every officer, especially statutory, must coordinate every position with political leadership, and in this case, I believe, such free commenting is unacceptable and should not be tolerated. These are fairly serious issues," the head of the Prime Minister's Office said.
"I think such mistakes should not be repeated in the future. The fact that this time comments were, unfortunately, rather contradictory, is probably down to certain relaxation during the vacation period," Matulionis added.
The Press Service of the President has told BNS there's no need to set up new institutions but the existing ones should carry out their functions more responsibly.
"Every institution in Lithuania must responsibly carry out its functions and, if needed, ensure effective inter-institutional coordination of actions and positions. There's no point in setting up new institutions or formats as Lithuanian airspace control, protection and defense is a key function of the Air Force," the Office said in a statement.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs says it "coordinates its positions and decisions with representatives of other institutions at all levels." The ministry acknowledges, however, that internal "miscommunication" happens sometimes.
"We all understand pretty well that a situation caused by "a human factor or error" costs a lot. But if every civil servant or politician does not feel personal responsibility for his/her decisions or positions expressed in the public, then even the best system of inter-institutional cooperation will not serve its purpose. We try to learn and make conclusions from every similar incident," Daiva Rimašauskaitė of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs told BNS.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of National Defense says it "would support all initiatives which would help to improve coordination."
Defense and security policy expert Aleksandras Matonis told BNS Lithuanian state institutions have fairly professional PR structures but, he added, separate institutions acted independently during the teddy-bear incident and did not coordinate their actions.
"An example of that is "isolated" communication of the national defense system, intersecting with messages sent by officers of other institutions, for example, the Civil Aviation Administration. The teddy-bear case is very similar to the incident in September 2005 when a Russia fighter jet Su-27 crashed in Lithuania and the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and National Defense set up a response team only several days later. Only in the teddy-bear flight case, there are no visible common actions a month and a half after the incident," Matonis said.
He said common training of PR specialists of state institutions would be one of the ways to avoid such situations in the future.
Swedish activists announced last month they had flown into the territory of Belarus on 4 July and airdropped hundreds of teddy-bears with atteched messages promoting the freedom of speech and human rights.
The Belorussian authorities initially denied the fact such a flight took place. But after less than a month, President Alexander Lukashenko sacked the commander of the country's Air Force and threatened Lithuania with retaliatory actions. Belarus also ordered the Swedish ambassador out of the country and later asked Lithuania's Prosecutor General's Officer for help in investigating the incident.
The Prosecutor General's Officer announced last Thursday that Lithuania's State Border Guard Service had launched a pre-trial investigation into illegal border-crossing and violation of international flight regulations.
Initially, Lithuania said it had no information on the incident. But after a deputy director of the Civil Aviation Administration said an administrative case might be initiated, the army's positions changed. Commander of the Lithuanian Air Force Major General Edvardas Mažeikis said the Swedish teddy-bear flight from Lithuania to Belarus on 4 July probably took place but no violation was recorded.