By Rasana Gasimova
The newly signed cooperation agreement between the labor ministries of Azerbaijan and Lithuania on social security and labor is a good platform to start initiatives, Linas Kukuraitis, Lithuanian Minister of Social Security and Labor said in an exclusive interview.
“We have had good partnership before signing of this agreement as well. In general, we exchanged experts and specialists. We exchanged ideas and knowledge on carrying out social reforms. It is also reflected in common twinning projects. Lithuania is taking part in nine twinning projects carried out in Azerbaijan. The signing of this agreement will further strengthen our cooperation. It will also be a platform for all the future exchanges," Kukuraitis said.
He also said that Azerbaijan and Lithuania should strengthen cooperation on use of social data.
Kukuraitis noted that during the meeting with Sahil Babayev, Azerbaijan’s Minister of Labor and Social Protection of Population, the sides pointed out to the importance of strengthening cooperation and exchanging experience in using social data in different registers. Social data is needed for forming a fact-based policy.
Azerbaijan and Lithuania could also cooperate in children rights protection, Kukuraitis said.
"Lithuania has just carried out reforms in this sphere. We could exchange and share experience. The society is changing and we must change our policies. We must always cooperate in the employment sphere, since there will always be difficulties with employment of disabled people. We have started reforms in Lithuania in this field. I think it is important for Azerbaijan as well," the Lithuanian minister noted.
He also hailed the effectiveness of the Center for Sustainable and Operational Social Security (DOST Center) in Azerbaijan.
Note that the cooperation agreement was signed by Azerbaijani Labor and Social Protection Minister, Sahil Babayev and Lithuanian Minister of Social Security and Labor, Linas Kukuraitis as part of their meeting in Baku held in Dost center under the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection of Population on October 3.
Azerbaijan and Lithuania enjoy great relations and strive to bring them to a higher level by implementing projects in transport and logistics. 2019 marks the 100 years since the two countries first established diplomatic relations.
Lithuania has established a well-functioning multimodal transport and logistics system and plays an important transit country role in the East-West and North-South corridors.
Moreover, the two countries' cooperation will enter a new stage in case of the accession of Azerbaijan to the international train project the "Viking Train", that links the network of sea container lines of the Baltic and the Black seas, Mediterranean and Caspian seas. It is a joint project of Lithuania, Belarus and Ukraine railways, stevedoring companies in Klaipeda, Odessa and Chernomorsk seaports, connecting Baltic and Black seas with railways. The regular runs were launched on February 6, 2003. In May 2016, Azerbaijan signed a protocol about the joining of Azerbaijan Railways CJSC to the "Viking train" project.
The main benefits of the Viking train include lower shipping cost, fixed schedule, reduced transit time, safety and security of goods, facilitated customs and border procedures, linkage with Baltic and Black seas and project’s environment-friendliness.
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