"I think it's a strange advertising choice but, I believe, it does not cross the line in a democratic country, of our legal regulations and, I think, also of morality norms. As to the timing, we are speaking about a very important for us visit to Lithuania, I have in mind the pope's visit. So perhaps these steps should been coordinated but that's the decision of Vilnius," Skvernelis told the national radio LRT on Tuesday.
The Lithuanian government earlier asked Vilnius authorities to postpone the launch of the advertising campaign to after the end of Pope Francis' visit.
The Catholic Church of Lithuania has also slammed the advertising campaign, saying that it will reinforce the image of Vilnius as a sex-tourism city.
Starting in London and Berlin on Thursday, the main idea of the online ad is to introduce Vilnius as an undiscovered treasure of Europe, which is so exciting to discover, the municipal business development and tourism agency Go Vilnius says.
The ad's English text reads: "Nobody knows where it is, but when you find it – it's amazing". The ad features a young couple.
According to Go Vilnius, the advertising campaign is aimed at people aged 18-35.