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Tuesday 17.10.2017 | Name days: Karīna, Gaits
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Lithuania’s political and economic diary. Army’s mobilization drill show excellent recruits’ readiness

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUMobilization check has revealed that nine out of 10 reserve troops would be fit for military service in Lithuania, the army’s representatives said.

Some 250 reserve troops were invited to conscription centres in four cities of Lithuania on Thursday, April 23, for verification of personal data and health check-ups.

«Our goal was to gather a company of about 100 persons. Based on the current data, I can say that the ambition has been reached and, in some places, even topped – for instance, over 140 came in Panevėžys, the number in Šiauliai and Marijampolė is also over 100, the number in Klaipėda is about 90,» Captain Donatas Suchockis, public relations officer at the Lithuanian Army’s Joint Staff, told BNS, a Lithuanian news agency.

Lithuanian expatriate communities view the parliamentary Liberal MPs’ initiative to hold a referendum on dual citizenship in 2016 as «politicizing».

«We believe a referendum will not solve the problem. MPs are starting to politicize before the upcoming parliamentary elections. Dual citizenship is a popular proposal, people want it but the politicians seem to fail to consider all circumstances,” said Vida Bandis, the Lithuanian World Community’s representative in Lithuania, as saying.

In her words, expatriate communities abroad had long hoped that the dual citizenship issue would be settled by changing the Citizenship Law.

Lithuania’s state communications provider to tackle information warfare

Lithuania’s IT and Telecommunications Company Teo is starting a public education project entitled Consciousness Beats Propaganda in 10 cities and towns of Lithuania.

Aiming to tackle information warfare, the project will involve a series of public and free-of-charge lectures, with Aleksandras Matonis, an expert of information warfare, defence and security, holding discussion sessions.

The topics of information warfare, disinformation and propaganda in the Lithuanian society and the media have become relevant since the start of the Ukrainian conflict. A deliberate pursuit to affect the mind-set, approach or collective consciousness and memory has been observed not only in TV news, but also in entertainment shows, movies, public events and even advertisements. However, identifying the pursuit to make a purposeful impact on citizens’ opinion is not that easy for experts either, Teo says.

Austrian writer to receive award for Lithuanian literature translations

Lithuania’s Culture Ministry will confer its sign of honour award to Austrian writer and translator Cornelius Hell.

According to the press release, Hell, one of the key translators of Lithuanian literature into the German language who has been contributing to popularity of Lithuanian writing in German-speaking countries for more than 25 years, will receive the award for his merits to Lithuanian culture and arts, promotion of the community spirit and his personal input to cultural and spiritual environment.

Hell will receive the Culture Ministry’s top award at a conference which is held at the Lithuanian parliament on Friday to celebrate 45 years of cultural cooperation between Lithuanian and the state of Salzburg.

Lithuania bans possession of tobacco products by minors

The Lithuanian parliament, Seimas, has passed a law prohibiting youngsters under 18 not only to consume tobacco products, but to possess them altogether.

Seventy-five MPs voted for amendments to the Law on Tobacco Control, none voted against with 6 abstentions.

Initiators of the proposal say that based on statistics the number of smokers is growing and they are becoming younger.

The authors of the bill hope that the ban on minors to smoke and possess tobacco products will enhance the prevention of smoking among minors and will help reduce the number of minors who smoke.

Earlier the Seimas passed amendments to the Code of Administrative Violations, tightening smoking related penalties.

Previously the Law on Tobacco Control prohibited only consumption, sale or transfer of tobacco products to minors under 18.

Russian authorities stop attempt to smuggle Lithuanian cheese

Russia’s Federal Service for Veterinary and Fito-Sanitary Surveillance (Rosselchoznadzor) has prevented an attempt to bring in Lithuania-made cheese Svalia to the Russian Federation.

The consignment was declared as the Chinese tofu cheese marinated in a spicy sauce, the service announced on Wednesday. Customs officers detained the consignment in St Petersburg.

The container was loaded with 22 tons of the cheese Svalia produced in Lithuania. The incident is currently under investigation.

Lithuania bans wearing military insignia in public

Lithuania has banned wearing separate elements of military uniforms and insignia in public. The provision was incorporated into amendments to the Law on the Organisation of the National Defence System and Military Service and the accompanying legislation.

The Lithuanian Parliament says the purpose of the rule is to protect the public from a threat when people who are not soldiers may be mistaken for such because they wear elements of a military uniform. Violation of this provision will result in a fine between 28 euro and 144 euro.

The explanatory note states that the rule is intended to prevent confusion in case foreign troops without insignia turn up in the country.

Nordic Investment Bank to finance Lithuania’s home renovation

On Thursday, April 23, the Board of Directors of the Nordic Investment Bank (NIB) confirmed that the bank will issue a loan of 100 million euro to Lithuania to finance its Public Sector Energy Efficiency and Housing Renovation programmes. According to the Ministry of Finance, the deal will be inked in the nearest future.

Nordic Investment Bank to provide long-term loan to Lithuania for buildings renovation

100 million euro long-term loan will be used to renovate blocks of flats and public buildings, the latter mostly include hospitals, health care institutions and community centres. As a result, energy efficiency will be ensured, thus conserving environment and saving funds.

Lithuanian Energy Minister weighs in on EC’s Gazprom Anti-trust ruling

The situation in the Lithuanian gas market has changed significantly in recent years and now it’s up to the country to decide where to buy gas, the country’s energy minister Rokas Masiulis has said in comments about antitrust charges on Wednesday filed by the European Commission (EC) against the Russian gas concern Gazprom.

«Now Lithuania is buying gas from the sources justified in commercial terms. However, we don’t want to discard any sources since we need competition. We have a (LNG) terminal, we have a possibility to buy from Gazprom, now we can buy from other sources, if we manage to agree with other suppliers once the interconnection with Poland is in place. Now it’s up to us to decide where to buy,» Masiulis told.

He assured that the price of gas would be the key criterion when choosing the supplier.

According to him, the price will be the most important criterion.

Lithuanian and Estonian ministers call for ceaseless pressure on Russia

The foreign ministers of Lithuania and Estonia met in Vilnius on Wednesday, April 22, calling for continued pressure upon Russia for its actions in Ukraine.

Speaking at a joint news conference, Lithuania’s Linas Linkevičius and Estonia’s Keit Pentus-Rosimannus said that it was too early to talk about a breakthrough in the conflict.

«We share our stance on Ukraine and we indeed demand continued pressure and sanctions until full implementation of all Minsk accords. Regardless of the recent optimistic comments, we have to state that the situation remains complex, it is still too early to speak about some breakthrough, as the ceasefire is being violated on a daily basis, even with human casualties,» Linkevičius said.

The Estonian diplomacy chief, Pentus-Rosimannus, added that Russia should take responsibility for the developments in Ukraine.

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