Latviski English По-русски
Wednesday 21.03.2018 | Name days: Una, Unigunde, Dzelme, Benedikts

Lithuania’s political and economic diary. Lithuanian economy to grow fastest in Baltics during 2014-2015

(+1 rating, 1 votes)

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

Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkēvičs (R) and his Lithuanian counterpart Linas Linkevičius (L) shake hands

Despite the heavy impact of Russian sanctions on the economy, Lithuania will see the fastest growth in the Baltics in 2014 and 2015, according to the latest EU economic growth report of the European Commission.

Lithuania’s economy is expected to grow by 2.7% this year, and by 3.1% next year. In comparison, Latvia’s GDP is expected to inch up 2.6% this year, and 2.9% next year, while Estonia will see 1.9% growth this year and 2% next year. 

Baltic and Finnish farmers insist on EU aid to buffer Russian embargo ill-effects

 As agricultural sector has been among the hardest-hit by Russian embargo, Baltic States and Finnish agricultural organizations submitted a repeated appeal for help to the European Commission, sending a joint letter to European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and Agriculture Commissioner Phil Hogan to remind the Commission of the complicated situation of the Baltic states and Finnish agricultural producers.

The letter emphasizes that no solution has been found to the situation, despite several formal pledges of imminent support.

Leaders of the organizations that signed the letter do not question the European Union’s common political decisions with regard to Russia, but the Commission is called for solidarity and collective action to buffer the negative and disproportionate effects of the import restrictions on the Baltic countries and Finnish farmers and rural communities.

Lithuania courts Belarus amidst standoff between Russia and West

As the standoff between Russia and the West over Ukraine doesn’t relent, there is a similar yet more subtle process going on in the neighbouring state of Belarus. Lithuania has been keen to bring Belarus economically and politically closer to the European Union, a position that Vilnius pushed during a Lithuania-Belarus economic forum held November 4-5.

Minsk has been reluctant to respond, which is hampered by Belarus’ strategic alliance with Russia and its resistance to get the best of the Western-style governance.

At the Lithuania-Belarus economic forum held in Mogilev, Lithuanian Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevičius said the Klaipėda LNG facility could supply the Baltic States as well as other countries in the region –thought to be a hint of Belarus. Once it is fully operational next year, the LNG terminal will have an annual import capacity of 4 billion cubic meters (bcm), greater than Lithuania’s total annual consumption of 3.27 bcm, thus enabling the export.

However, the Baltic states of Estonia and Latvia are more likely to benefit from Lithuania’s LNG terminal than is Belarus. Together, Estonia and Latvia consume only around 1.5 bcm of natural gas per year and have existing or planned pipeline connections to Lithuania. Belarus, meanwhile, consumes between 15 bcm and 20 bcm of natural gas annually, meaning any spare capacity from Lithuania’s LNG import facility would be negligible for the country.

Former Lithuanian Energy Minister Arvydas Sekmokas said on November 4 that only small amounts of natural gas could be shipped to Belarus with existing infrastructure.

Lithuanian Foreign minister hails Latvian counterpart on his coming-out

As Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics came out as gay on Thursday, November 6, stirring «ohs» and «wows» across the region, Lithuanian Foreign minister Linas Linkevičius congratulated his colleague, while a human rights activist says the step could encourage change in Lithuania as well.

«Edgars, my friend, admire your courage and sincerity!» Linkevičius tweeted on Friday and soon received a response: «Linas, thank you for support!»

«Famous people coming out are of huge significance for people who feel unaccepted in their own environment, by their families, their friends, they fear in school, are subjected to bullying. It’s a certain push for people, it helps them realize that they are not alone and that they should not be afraid of their sexual orientation. It is a major breakthrough which reflects Latvia’s progress in the area of human rights,” said Birutė Sabatauskaite, head of the Lithuanian Centre for Human Rights.

In her words, such a move could also encourage political decisions aimed at protecting the rights of LGBT people.

«The more people come out, the bigger incentive it would be for lawmakers, the state policy to regulate such relations. It would be a certain push for political decisions,» Sabatauskaitė said.

Lithuanian Post to employ 75 extra employees for currency changeover

Starting in January, 330 post offices across the country will exchange cash litas to euros free of charge for a period of 60 days. To handle the extra workload, Lithuania Post will hire 75 employees throughout the country, the company said..

Starting on January 2, 2015, almost 50% of all post offices will provide the currency exchange services. In some post offices, the currency will be exchanged by the postal staff, and some other post offices will engage mobile teams.

«We are going to recruit employees precisely for these teams,» Inga Dundulienė, director of Postal Network Division of Lithuania Post, said.

Lithuania Post is intending employ 1-2 new employees for a fixed-term work from January 1 to March 1, 2015 in every region of Lithuania. The employees will be responsible for smooth currency exchange process, update of records in the information system used for the currency exchange, preparation of reports, etc.

Lithuanian president will not attend Polish Independence Day celebrations

Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaitė will not attend Poland’s Independence Day commemoration in Warsaw.

The president’s press service told on Friday, November 7, that  «under a mutual agreement, the next meeting of the Lithuanian and Polish presidents will take place in early December », without elaborating.

By tradition, Lithuanian and Polish presidents usually attend the neighbouring countries’ Independence Day commemorations on February 16 and November 11.

Grybauskaitė attended such a commemoration in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2013, and former Lithuanian President Valdas Adamkus did that in 2007 and 2008.

In 2012, the Lithuanian president did not go to Warsaw for Independence Day commemoration. Her representatives then officially stated that she stayed in Vilnius due to important internal policy issues. But observers saw the move as a sign of deteriorating bilateral relations.

Polish presidents usually come to Vilnius to congratulate the people of Lithuanian on Independence Day on February 16.

World’s biggest LIKE to be lit in Lithuania

The resort of Druskininkai in southern Lithuania has announced of getting ready for litting the biggest Facebook’s LIKE symbol on Friday, November 7, and a symbolic capsule will be buried to mark the start of the construction of a cable car.

The LIKE symbol has been installed on the roof of the Snow Arena 50 meters above the ground.

The competition on where the symbol would be installed was launched by the State Tourism Department. Vilnius, Kaunas and Palanga also took part in it.

The project cost almost LTL 230,000 (over EUR 66,000).

Ref: 020/

Leave a reply

France's ex-leader Sarkozy in custody over links with Libya

French ex-President Nicolas Sarkozy has been taken in custody on March 20 and was held in custody on Tuesday and interrogated amid an investigation into whether late Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi added funds to his 2007 election campaign.

KVV Liepājas metalurgs’ steelworks bought out by Austrian Smart Stahl

The auction for the sale of the insolvent KVV Liepājas metalurgs rolling mill equipment concluded with the victory of Austrian Smart Stahl GmbH, as confirmed by insolvency administrator Guntars Koris.

Entomologist: at least 5% of ticks in Latvia are infected with encephalitis

There have been cases of tick activity during the winter period in Latvia this year. As air temperature increases, ticks become active and start popping up. This means residents should seriously consider vaccination to avoid getting encephalitis from tick bites, entomologists say.

Rail Baltica station’s construction at Riga airport will cost EUR 4.5 million

Creation of a separate railway station and related infrastructure at Riga International Airport as part of Rail Baltica project will cost EUR 4.5 million, says the project’s manager in Latvia and board member of European Railway Lines company Andris Linužs.

Norwegian minister steps down to keep minority government in power

In a move to avoid the collapse of the Norwegian minority government, its Justice Minister Sylvi Listhaug resigned amid a political storm she had caused by blaming an opposition party of not being harsh enough toward terrorism suspects.

Political party calls for immediate action to resolve «over-salted Riga» problem

Member of For Latvia’s Development political party’s Riga City Council faction Ansis Ansbergs urges the administration to find a quick solution to the excessive use of salt during the winter season because it has a negative impact on both human and animal health, as well as the state of buildings, cars and plant life in the capital.

MEP: fair competition should be secured for all European farmers

Sixteen members of the European Parliament from Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia and Poland submitted a joint proposal on Monday, 19 March, for a resolution regarding the future of the Common Agricultural Policy with a request to equalize the level of direct payments across all of Europe starting from 2021.

Estonia prison sentence upheld to Syrian man for causing burns to wife

In the Estonian criminal case, where a Syrian man has been convicted to 10 years in prison over causing corporal damage to his wife by setting her on fire, Estonian Supreme Court has rejected his appeal.

Olainfarm’s sales volume increased by 16% over the course of the year

Provisional consolidated data from Olainfarm for February 2018 shows that product sales volumes have reached EUR 10.69 million, which is 33% more when compared with the same period of 2017.

Minister: it is not impossible for banks to reduce number of risky clients to 5%

It is not impossible for Latvian banks to reduce the number of risky clients to 5%, says Finance Minister Dana Reizniece-Ozola.

Syrian Afrin left by 220 000 civilians, Turkish-supported rebels loot town

After seizing the northern Syrian town of Afrin from Kurdish militia, Syrian rebels supported by Turkey have been looting properties, journalists have reported. The town has been left by estimated 220 000 civilians.

Ministry orders Riga City Council to lift restrictions on questions

Latvia’s Environment Protection and Regional Development Ministry has asked Riga City Council to act and fix violations of democratic principles in the newly approved rules for deputies.

Observers of Russia election see lack of genuine choice, numerous irregularities

Official results of the Russian presidential election showed that Vladimir Putin received in a competition of eight candidates over 76% of votes and European observers have found the election has been conducted efficiently, but that there has been a lack of choice.

Olainfarm: tax law does not allow applying for tax discount in investment projects

Rushed changes to the Corporate Income Tax Law, approved as part of the expansive tax reform, do not allow businesses with prior permission from the government to apply for CIT discounts in investment projects to receive said discounts if their historic profits are not divided into dividends.

EU agrees to UK's transition period before Brexit

In a breakthrough in the Brexit talks, the UK gave its consent on Monday to an agreement with the European Union that a tangible border would not be established between British-ruled Northern Ireland and Ireland to have the bloc agree to retain most EU advantages for close to two years leaving the union.

Latvia experiences one of the most rapid export rises among EU member states in January

In January 2017, Latvia experienced one of the most rapid export increases among EU member states when compared to the same month of the previous year, according to data published by Eurostat on Monday, 19 March.

Russian citizens living in Latvia provided more support to Putin than citizens in Russia

During the presidential elections in Russia last week, support provided to President Vladimir Putin by Russian citizens living in Latvia turned out considerably larger than it was in Russia.

Every third illegally downloaded software programme – infected with a virus

Data compiled by International Data Corporation shows: every third illegally downloaded software programme is infected with malicious software. Nevertheless, 69% of consumers and 33% of businesses in Europe procure computers with software from unsafe sources.

Russian economy has grown stable along with oil prices

Higher prices of oil have allowed the Russian economy to recover despite European Union's and U.S. sanctions and in time to benefit the Russian President Vladimir Putin, who has secured his next term in office.

Number of vacant jobs in Latvia grew 17.9% in 2017

In 2017, there were 17.0 thousand job vacancies in Latvia, which was 2.6 thousand vacancies or 17.9 % more than in 2016. In public sector there were 6.1 thousand job vacancies van in private sector 10.9 thousand vacancies.

Latvian cosmetics producers exports goods worth approximately 20 million euros

Cosmetics producers in Latvia export products worth EUR 20 million every year. Volumes increase 5% every year. The main export partner states are located in Europe. Still, there has been a significant increase of export volumes to third countries – to some countries this increase was as large as 60% -70%, according to data from Latvian Cosmetic Manufacturers Association.

US Chamber of Commerce worried that Latvia’s political culture has not changed since Ridzene talks

American Chamber of Commerce in Latvia (ACCL): «We are concerned that Latvian society’s and its government’s political culture has not changed much since the publication of information detailing events associated with Ridzene talks in 2009-2011. The state capture detailed there may still be possible...

Latvia’s prime minister open for talks regarding MPC system’s liquidation

Prime Minister Māris Kučinskis is prepared to discuss the possible liquidation of the mandatory procurement system, but not for all businesses at the same time.

Air temperature in Latvia to remain mostly positive throughout the week

On Monday, 19 March, weather in Latvia will change, as a low atmospheric pressure area together with an atmospheric front will approach the country from the north. The day will be sunny for the most part, but the amount of clouds will increase as hours go by, as reported by State Environment, Geology and Meteorology Centre.

Ukraine: British diplomats expelled from Moscow could work in Kyiv

In a reaction to Russia's announcement that it would expel 23 British diplomats from Moscow as part of the UK-Russia argument over poisoning of double-agent in an English city, Ukrainian Foreign Minister has suggested to his British counterpart that the 23 diplomats could now work in Ukraine.