"We apply top standards of transparency. We care deeply about the efficiency of the use of the money. We are glad that until now, Lithuania has been among the best performing EU member states in terms of the use of EU money. As far as I know, additional information has been supplied to the European Commission. I believe that we will resolve all the remaining issues in the nearest future," he told Lithuanian Radio.
Kubilius said that the European Commission had interrupted payments based on data provided by the State Audit Office. He would not comment on the EU executive body's statement in which it dismissed as misleading and incorrect Lithuanian Finance Minister Ingrida Šimonytė's words that political reasons had been among the causes behind the interruption of payments.
Šimonytė said on TV last week that the European Commission had applied procedures that were "not fully" defined in an attempt to resolve its payment problems and defer payments to Lithuania for some time.
The Commission interrupted payments from the European Regional Development Fund and the Cohesion Funds to Lithuania in February, due to irregularities in the country's use of around 26 million litas (EUR 7.5 million) out of 2.8 billion litas in aid money in 2010. As a result, a transfer of 163 million euros, which Lithuania applied for last December, was not made.
The EU's executive body has said that its decision to interrupt payments for certain Lithuanian programs, which had an established error rate of 4.4 percent, higher than the acceptable 2 percent, was in keeping with high standards of financial auditing and control.