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Published: 10 october 2013 12:02

Lithuanian prime minister to probe adviser's behavior at shale gas meeting

Algirdas Butkevičius
Andriaus Ufarto/BFL nuotr. / Algirdas Butkevičius

Lithuanian Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevičius has pledged to probe his adviser Jūratė Juozaitienė's behavior at a meeting with the local community on shale gas exploration.

"She says that everything was edited, cut out, as people like to do in Lithuania, but we need to clear things out. (...). Judging from the video I have watched, one could understand that she presented arguments against the investors. Then we have to investigate it until the end," the prime minister told Žinių Radijas (News Radio) on Thursday.

In July, Juozaitienė, the prime minister's adviser on environmental issues, told the local community of the village of Žygaičiai, western Lithuania, that US energy company Chevron would withdraw from the shale gas exploration tender, if the Lithuanian government kept a 40-percent tax on shale gas.

The video of Juozaitienė and Vilius Kavaliauskas, the prime minister's other adviser, was posted on YouTube.

"If we keep our 40 percent, they will go," she told the local community.

Prime Minister Butkevičius told Žinių Radijas on Thursday that the American company had been told about a 15-percent tax.

"They were told that the government has its own opinion and that the tax will be reduced as the government will present conclusions and that percentage number will be reduced," he said.

The prime minister also expressed concern that four local municipalities in the area where shale gas exploration is planned intend not to approve the results of environmental impact assessment.

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