Russia and Lithuania signed a memorandum on interregional and cross-border cooperation to promote trade and the development of infrastructure along the border between the two countries, reports LETA. The document stipulates a timely exchange of information on relevant changes in legislation and on regional best practice in cross-border cooperation, and emphasizes investment in joint commercial projects. The sides also agreed to set up a joint group of experts to help resolve the complex issues of regional development more efficiently. The cross-border cooperation models represent important vehicles for Russia’s gradual integration into the European economic, political and security space. Over the past decade, practically all Russian regions bordering countries of Central and Western Europe have developed different strategies for cross-border cooperation, ranging from dialogue among regional entities on both sides of the border, to more sophisticated models of cross-border integration, such as Euro-regions.
Under favorable circumstances, compensation for the cutbacks in pensions should start earlier than as of 2014, reports ELTA. President Dalia Grybauskaite is confident that such a provision will be provided for in a law on pension compensation. “Only a concept [on the compensation for pensions] has been approved, the law is to be deliberated yet. In any case, the law will include a provision that the date could be advanced whenever it is possible,” Grybauskaite said on July 27, when visiting Musteika village in the Dzukija region. According to the government’s concept, compensation for the reduced pensions will be started as soon as the budget deficit goes down to 3 percent of GDP, which is expected in 2014. The concept establishes a gradual increase in pensions until they are higher by at least 5 percent than the ones before the reduction. The compensation may last until 2019.