bnn.lv Latviski   bnn-news.com English   bnn-news.ru По-русски
Monday 21.08.2017 | Name days: Linda, Janīna
LithuaniaLithuania

Lithuania’s political and economic diary. Gazprom drops claim against Lithuania

FaceBook
Twitter
Draugiem
print
(No Ratings Yet)

Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RU

View shows a petrol station of Gazprom Neft company and the headquarters of the Russian natural gas producer Gazprom in Moscow

Hague’s Permanent Court of Arbitration has terminated the proceedings initiated by Russian Gazprom, the Lithuanian Energy Ministry has said, adding that such an outcome had been expected since the onset of the dispute.

The Russian gas giant initiated the proceedings back in 2012 seeking to put on hold or prevent reorganization of Lietuvos Dujos (Lithuanian Gas), a Lithuanian natural gas utility then co-owned by the Russian company.

«Lithuania has always said that Gazprom’s claims and discontent are unfounded and Gazprom’s investment has not been affected. Lithuania has reformed its gas sector in pursuit of a strategic goal to create a diversified and efficient common gas market, where consumers have a choice and monopolies cannot abuse their dominant position,» the Ministry said in a press release.

It added that the termination of those proceedings would have no effect on another dispute between Lithuania and Gazprom, i.e., on the claim, which Lithuania had filed in Stockholm against Gazprom for overcharging for gas supplies between 2004 and 2012.

U.S. congressman in Lithuania: Russia is a bully

Russia is intimidating other countries, because this is how Moscow works, the chairman of the U.S. House Committee on Armed Services, Mac Thornberry, said in Vilnius on Thursday, April 2.

«Russia is threatening nearly everybody… They want to intimidate the Baltic States, they want to intimidate Poland, Ukraine and Romania – country after country. It’s like a bully on the schoolyard. And the question is, do you let the bully get away with that or do you stand up and say no, you can threaten, but we will not allow to run over us…» the GOP congressman told journalists after meeting with Lithuania’s President Dalia Grybauskaitė.

Thornberry said the Russian actions are comparable to the attacks carried out by the Islamic State and Al Qaeda, noting that this is the first time in 70 years that the Russian aggression has jeopardized world peace.

Presidential adviser Jovita Neliupšienė said the delegation of the U.S. House Armed Services Committee and Grybauskaitė discussed bilateral cooperation, military, cyber and energy security, the situation in the region and the outcomes of NATO’s Wales summit.

Meanwhile, the U.S. congressman stated that the conversation with Grybauskaitė focused on the Russian aggression in Ukraine and due response.

Lithuanian prosecutors resume CIA prison probe

Lithuania’s Prosecutor General’s Office has resumed an investigation into alleged operations of U.S. Central Intelligence Agency’s (CIA) secret detention centre on Lithuanian soil.

Closed in 2011, the investigation was resumed on January 22, 2015.

Lithuania’s road carriers to elect new leader

Following the resignation of chairman of the Lithuanian National Road Carriers Association (Linava) Algimantas Kondrusevičius, Linava Vilnius region’s members convened on Wednesday, April 1, and put forward candidates for the vacant position during the association’s general congress on May 15, where a new president will be elected.

As reported, long-serving president of Linava, Algimantas Kondrusevičius, resigned on his own accord in early March, citing poor situation in the freight forwarding market.

But behind the decision looms the legal action by Linava that has appealed to the Prosecutor General’s Office asking it to investigate the actions of Kondrusevičius and former secretary general Ričardas Malkus. The audit of the association has allegedly revealed that both of them might have abused their office. The president maintained his innocence throughout the ordeal.

Printing shop of counterfeit euro notes found

Law enforcement has busted a printing shop that was making counterfeit euro notes in Lithuania’s second-largest city Kaunas on Wednesday, March 1, the police said.

«We managed to establish a person who possibly produced 50-euro bills. The person has been detained and we found nearly all the equipment necessary to make the bills,” Deputy Police Commissioner General Edvardas Sileris.

In his words, the euro notes were produced under home conditions and were of mediocre quality.

According to data available to the police, about 870 possibly counterfeit euro bills have been withdrawn from circulation since the country adopted the new currency on January 1, 2015.

Russia threatens with «nuclear force» to Baltics

Russia has threatened to use «nuclear force» to defend its annexation of Crimea and warned that the «same conditions» that prompted it to take military action in Ukraine exist in the three Baltic States.

According to notes made by an American at a meeting between Russian generals and U.S. officials – and seen by The Times newspaper – Moscow threatened a «spectrum of responses from nuclear to non-military» if NATO moved more forces into Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia.

The Russians told the meeting, which took place in Germany last month, that an attempt to return Crimea to Ukraine would be met «forcefully including through the use of nuclear force».

According to the notes, the Russians said that «the same conditions that existed in Ukraine and caused Russia to take action there» also existed in the Baltic States, some of which have sizeable Russian-speaking minority populations.

Lithuanian reserve troops to be mobilized for exercise

Lithuania’s Armed Forces has started Thursday, April 2, to send out induction papers to reserve soldiers for one-day mobilization exercise to check the performance of the mobilization system.

1,000 induction letters will be sent out by Friday, according to Major Dainius Kazlauskas, the head of the Mobilization Division.

Random soldiers from Klaipėda, Šiauliai, Panevėžys and Marijampolė counties will be invited to arrive at certain points on April 23 to verify their personal data and have their health examined.

The induction papers will be sent to reserve soldiers who served between 2000 and 2008.

No Lithuanians were aboard sunken Russian vessel

Lithuania’s Foreign Ministry said on Thursday, April 2, it had received a confirmation that there were no Lithuanian citizens aboard the fishing boat that sunk in Russia.

Foreign Minister Linas Linkevičius conveyed condolences to the families and relatives of the killed crew members, as well as the people of Russia, Latvia, Burma, Ukraine, Vanuatu and other countries that lost citizens in the accident.

The fishing boat sank in the Okhotsk Sea on Wednesday evening, killing at least 54 sailors. Fifteen more are still missing, while 63 crew members were rescued.

The preliminary conclusion published by investigators maintains that the ship could have tipped over by dragging a heavy net.

Foreign media said overnight that there could have been Lithuanian citizens aboard the boat. However, they probably confused them with citizens of Latvia.

Dutch politician suggests «second Yalta conference»

Former Dutch EU commissioner and former leader of the liberal VVD party Frits Bolkestein thinks that Europe, the United States and Russia should organize a second Yalta conference to discuss a settlement in Ukraine and even the sovereignty of the Baltic States.

In an article published in the Dutch weekly Elsevier, Bolkestein argues that the current Western sanctions, imposed against Russia for annexing the Crimean Peninsula from Ukraine and waging a covert war against the country in its eastern regions, cannot be sustained. Instead, he says, European and American leaders should organize a conference with Vladimir Putin in order to confirm the Crimea’s status as part of Russia and settle the federalization of Ukraine. Moreover, the conference, Bolkestein says, should reaffirm the sovereignty of the Baltic States.

He makes a reference to the Yalta Conference, a meeting of American President Franklin D. Roosevelt, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Soviet leader Joseph Stalin in 1945. During the meeting, the leaders of the winning powers of World War Two settled the post-war order and, among other things, confirmed the Soviet occupation of the Baltic States and domination in Eastern Europe.

«Seventy years ago, there was a conference in Yalta, attended by Roosevelt, Churchill and Stalin. Maybe it’s time for a second Yalta conference, which would have to follow up on the results of Minsk. Yalta II should reaffirm the sovereignty of the Baltic republics, to accept the new status of Crimea and regulate the federal character of Ukraine,» Bolkestein said.

EU Structural Funds money flow may see end

Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevičius says that the European Union Structural Funds programming period for 2014-2020 will most likely be the last one for Lithuania, therefore funds should be allocated to improve economic and business conditions in the country’s regions.

Regions where GDP per capita is below 75 percent of the EU average may apply for support from EU funds. According to Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, in 2013 Lithuania’s GDP per capita was at 73 percent of the EU average.

«Support received during this programming period will probably be our last. Lithuania’s economy is growing and we are nearing the level of 75 percent of the EU average GDP per capita,» the prime minister told the national radio on Tuesday, April 2.

Ref: 020/111.111.111.1383

 


Leave a reply

Colder masses of air to enter Latvia this week; more rain expected

This week’s weather in Latvia will be dictated by a cyclone hovering above Northern Europe. Colder masses of air will flow into the country. A lot of rain is expected in Latvia this week, as reported by State Environment, Geology and Meteorology Centre.

Kirsis asks police to assess possible forging of votes at Riga City Council

Riga City Council’s Unity faction chairman Vilnis Kirsis has asked State Police to check if the city council’s electronic voting system was used without another deputy’s knowledge or consent, said the politician.

Expert: attack in Spain shows how terrorists switched to more easily reachable targets

Terrorist attacks that transpired in Spain this week shows how terrorists have switched to more easily reachable targets, where security requirements are not as strict, says Latvian National Defence Academy’s Security and Strategic Research Centre researcher Martins Hirss.

New mandatory tests in schools to be introduced four years from now

In four years’ time – 2021/2022 school year – it is planned to introduce completely new mandatory tests in schools, as reported by State Education Content Centre Director Guntars Catlaks.

Nearly 9,000 children and their parents got homes thanks to state support programme

In the first half-year of 2017, state support helped 1,527 families in Latvia to buy homes. Compared with last year, families’ demand for state support has grown 6%, as reported by Altum finance institute.

Prediction: Aseradens will likely take control over Unity

Economy Minister Arvils Aseradens will become the head of Unity, Betsafe bookmakers predict. The possibility of Aseradens becoming the head of the party is given 45% probability by Betsafe.

Provisional estimate for next year’s fiscal space in Latvia is EUR 60 million

Next year’s fiscal space has been estimated at EUR 60 million, as noted by Finance Minister Dana Reizniece-Ozola, adding that a more precise estimate will be available at the end of August.

Reconstruction of Vilnius airport runway concludes; aircraft return to Vilnius

On Thursday, 17 August, Vilnius airport’s runway was festively opened. This was the most massive reconstruction for the airport in the past 20 years. It was a unique project for Lithuania and all of Europe, airport representatives say.

Islamic State terrorist group takes responsibility for Barcelona attack

The recent terrorist attack in Barcelona, in which a shuttle bus rammed a crowd of people on La Rambla, killing 13 and injuring at least 100, has become this week’s topic.

Weather in Latvia to be warm but rainy on weekends

The sun will appear every now and then between clouds on Friday, 18 August. Still, some rain is expected, especially in the afternoon in Latvia’s eastern regions, where thunderstorms may appear. Rain is expected to reach the capital in the afternoon. Wind will draw in from the south. Air temperature will reach +21° C… +26° C, according to State Environment, Geology and Meteorology Centre.

Latvia’s export growth was moderately rapid in the first six months of 2017

Compared with the same period of 2016, Latvia experienced a moderately rapid export growth in the first six months of 2017, according to data published by Eurostat on Thursday, 17 August.

Latvia’s annual inflation in July was one of the highest in Europe

Inflation indexes in Latvia and the UK both reached 2.6% in July, which is one of the highest indexes in the European Union, according to data published by Eurostat on Thursday, 17 August.

Kirsis withdraws his candidacy in favour of Aseradens

Riga City Council member Vilnis Kirsis has decided to withdraw his candidacy from the race to become chairman of Unity in favour of a different candidate – Economy Minister Arvils Aseradens.

Rinkevics expresses Latvia’s interest in maintaining political consultations with Palestine

On Thursday, 17 August, Latvia’s Foreign Affairs Minister Edgars Rinkevics met with the leader of Palestine’s diplomatic mission in Latvia, ambassador Taissir Al Adjouri, to discuss mutual relations between Latvia and Palestine and the peace process in the Middle East.

Putin grins to the world’s seven billionth baby, Lithuania wary of border incidents

Russian President Vladimir Putin paid a visit this Wednesday to Kaliningrad, the westernmost point of Russia, but the reports about his trip in the Russian enclave and over the border in Lithuania were strikingly different.

Survey: red considered the safest colour for a car

Most Latvian drivers consider red to be the safest colour for a car. The most popular, however, is black, according to results of a survey by Virši-A fuel trader.

airBaltic’s number of carried passengers reaches a record in second consecutive month

Latvian airBaltic airline carried 393,312 passengers in July 2017, which is 21% more than the same period last year. The number of passengers carried by airBaltic remains the highest it has ever been in the airline’s history, BNN was informed by the company.

Brivais vilnis: nearly all fish processing companies are experiencing losses

Currently nearly all fish processing companies in Latvia are experiencing major or minor losses, says Brivais vilnis chairman Arnols Babris.

American helicopters to perform low-altitude flights within Latvia’s airspace

U.S. Air Force Brigade’s Task Force Phoenix helicopters, which are stationed in Latvia as part of Atlantic Resolve operation, will be performing low-altitude flights from 16:00 to 18:00 from Lielvarde to Dobele on Friday, 18 August.

Healthcare Ministry’s state secretary Karlis Ketners may be replaced

Latvian Healthcare Ministry may replace its state secretary Karlis Ketners. It is possible he will be transferred to work at Finance Ministry, as reported by LTV.

Suspects in Europe's insecticide egg scandal before Dutch court

In the Netherlands, two men have been in court in relation to the scandal of eggs containing banned insecticide that has caused an EU-wide health scare and cost millions of euros of damages.

Indian national with fake documents apprehended on Latvian border

An Indian citizen travelling from Moscow on a bus was caught at Terehovo border control point in Latvia for presenting officers a fake EU family member’s resident card. No criminal process was launched. The person returned to the country he was travelling from.

Latvijas dzelzceļš will not have to pay dividends from last year’s profits

The government decided on Wednesday, 16 August, that Latvijas dzelzceļš will not have to pay dividends from last year’s profits, which were EUR 880,998.

Latvian citizenship provided to 103 people

The Cabinet of Ministers has issued an order to provide Latvian citizenship to 103 people through naturalization.

Estonian Inbank's profits reach EUR 5.7 million in six months

Estonian financial services' provided Inbank made a profit of 5.7 million euros in the first half of 2017, which is a 429.4% increase compared to the respective period in 2016.