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Lithuania’s political and economic diary. Lithuania’s worries over Russian propaganda and threat persist

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RULithuanian ambassador to the United Nations Raimonda Murmokaitė insists Russia is using propaganda, manipulations and pressure at the UN, therefore the issue of Ukraine must be kept in on the agenda of the international communityand the Russian «propaganda machine» must be countered.

«The discussions at the UN Security Council about Ukraine were and still are very emotional and heated. In the discussions, Russia is using a broad arsenal of propaganda, lies, manipulations and pressure. So far, regardless of the active propaganda machine and lobbyism among third countries, Russia luckily remains in a clear minority in the council. However, with time we will need stronger efforts to keep it this way. The world is full of complicated and deadly crises, and the international community’s attention is shifting to the latest atrocities. Lack of attention benefits those who would want to remove the Crimea annexation and the war on Ukraine from the eyes of the international community,» Murmokaitė said in an interview published by the Lithuanian weekly magazine Veidas.

The diplomat noted that Russia, as a permanent member of the UN Security Council, has been actively exercising its veto right on a number of issues, not just Ukraine, over the past years.

The diplomat insisted that over nearly a year of its UN Security Council membership Lithuania has learned that «small countries can be influential and important players by acting in an active, consistent and focused manner.»

Army informs schools on detecting and resisting propaganda

Following the fears stemming from reports that Lithuanian schoolchildren attend annualy paramilitary camps in Russia, Education and Science Minister Dainius Pavalkis and officers of the army’s Strategic Communication Department on Thursday, October 16, met with Russian-language school headmasters.

The army representatives briefed the principles about the methods of propaganda and ways to recognize and resist it, the Education and Science Ministry said in a press release.

Pavalkis, in his turn, invited school principals to cooperate with Lithuanian institutions.

«Our education system provides good conditions for learning in the languages of ethnic minorities – we are among leading countries in this respect. A tenth of Lithuania’s schools of general education – this is over 100 schools – teach in an ethnic minority language. Nearly 60 of them instruct in Russian. We should work together to protect the schools from the intentions of ill-meaning countries and manipulations inside the country,»said the minister.

According to the press release, participants of the meeting emphasized the need for schools to stay alert when cooperating with schools or organizations of other countries and contact the ministries of Education and Science, Foreign Affairs and other relevant institutions in case of doubt.

Lithuanian Defense minister:  Lithuania trusts NATO, but needs more guarantees

Lithuania trusts the NATO allies and the organization, but the country’s residents are alarmed by the situation in Ukraine and they need additional guarantees, Lithuania’s Foreign Minister Linas Linkevičius told CNN.

«We are members of NATO. I have no doubt about security guarantees provided by our organizations, our NATO. The summit in Newport was really successful. As the Minister of Foreign Affairs, as a former Minister of Defence, I am really well-informed – the measures taken are serious,» Linkevičius told CNN’s Richard Quest when asked to specify whether Russia constituted a threat to the Baltic states.

The Lithuanian minister insisted that Lithuanian residents «are nervous, sometimes uncertain and they need some more assurances because of the situation in the region.»

In response to Russia’s actions in Ukraine, NATO this year stepped up the Baltic air-policing mission and patrol of the Baltic Sea, the U.S. has sent companies of troops to each of the Baltic States and Poland, NATO drills are held increasingly in the region.

Lithuania’s candidacy to ambassadorship in Russia

First deputy of Lithuania’s Government Chancellor, Remigijus Motuzas, has been proposed for the post of the Ambassador to Russia.

His candidacy was reportedly supported by the parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee.

Motuzas, 57, should replace Ambassador Renatas Norkus who has been representing Lithuania in Russia since January 2012.

Motuzas, who has a degree in philology and a doctoral degree of social education, has worked as a teacher, worker at the Ministry of Education and Science, as well as at the Centre Committee of the Lithuanian Communist Party and later the Lithuanian Democratic Labour Party.

In 1993–1994, he was education and science adviser to then president Algirdas Brazauskas, working as secretary at the Ministry of Education and Science in 1994–1997 and heading the Department of National Minorities and Lithuanians Living Abroad in 1997–2001.

In 2001, Motuzas joined the diplomatic corps: he has served as minister-adviser at the Lithuanian mission at the Council of Europe, headed the Foreign Ministry’s Administrative Department and the ministry’s state secretary.

In the 2004–2006 period, Motuzas was the minister of education and science, was Lithuania’s ambassador to Sweden in 2006–2011 and the director of the Foreign Ministry’s EU Presidency Department in 2011–2012.

Since January of 2013, Motuzas has been the First Deputy Government Chancellor.

Georgian Deputy PM in Lithuania: Georgia concerned over Russia’s actions in break-away regions

Georgia’s Deputy Prime Minister Georgi Kvirikashvili has said while on his visit to Vilnius that the treaty proposed by Russia for Abkhazia resembles the annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea region.

«This is very unfortunate that recently Russia proposed to one of the breakaway regions, Abkhazia, to sign the integration and cooperation treaty, which means, I think, the acquisition one of Georgia’s regions, something similar to the Crimea scenario. We are very concerned about it,» the vice-PM told a Lithuanian news agency.

«We already heard some promising notes from different layers of the Abkhazia society that they are not very happy with that proposal either», said the Deputy PM.

Abkhazia and another breakaway region, South Ossetia, declared secession from Georgia in the 1990s. Both were recognized independent states by Russia after the 2008 war.

Russia has permanently stationed thousands of troops in the region’s military bases. International community sees the regions as occupied Georgian territories.

On Thursday, October 16, Lithuania’s Foreign Ministry also condemned the Russia-proposed treaty for Abkhazia.

Ref: 020/111.111.111.111.1822


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