bnn.lv Latviski   bnn-news.com English   bnn-news.ru По-русски
Monday 18.06.2018 | Name days: Madis, Alberts
LithuaniaLithuania

Week in Lithuania. Intelligence still uses suspected CIA prison building

FaceBook
Twitter
Draugiem
print
(No Ratings Yet)

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

A photo taken on November 19, 2009 shows a training center of the Lithuanian State Security Department, the country’s domestic intelligence agency, in Antavilis near Vilnius

The Lithuanian State Security Department, or VSD, continues to use a building near Vilnius that allegedly housed a secret American Central Intelligence Agency’s detention facility for its training centre.

According to the Centre of Registers, VSD in April transferred the building in Antaviliai, a village close to Vilnius, to the centralized public property manager Turto Bankas ahead of its planned sale. However, Aurelija Katkuvienė, the department’s spokeswoman, says that the premises continue to be used by intelligence agency for training purposes. Lithuanian officials do not admit that the country hosted a CIA prison.

Lithuania may accept Palestinian representation

After Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad al Malki said recently that the Palestinians would like to have embassy in Vilnius within the next six months, adding that the issue will be discussed with Lithuanian Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis during his visit to Palestine in June, Lithuania replied it will consider accepting it.

According to Rasa Jakilaitienė, spokeswoman Foreign Minister Linas Linkevičius, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas expressed intentions to open a representative office in Vilnius during his visit to the Lithuanian capital back in 2013, but Palestine has taken no steps so far.

Since Lithuania has not recognised the state of Palestine, the Palestinian representation would officially be of a lower rank than an embassy and would probably be called Palestine’s office for relations with Lithuania.

Prime Minister Skvernelis is scheduled to visit Israel and Palestine on June 18 to 20. Some 136 countries have recognized the state of Palestine.

Klaipeda pays tribute to French POWs

Klaipeda paid tribute on Friday, June 1, to French prisoners of war who built the city’s Wilhelm Canal almost 150 years ago. The ceremony was attended, among others, by members of the French Navy Honour Guard who are currently in Lithuania as part of NATO’s enhanced Forward Presence Battalion Battle Group. The French contingent of the multinational battalion consists of nearly 300 troops. They have brought their own combat, supply and administrative equipment to Lithuania. The canal linking the port of Klaipeda with the River Minija and eventually with the River Nemunas was hand dug between 1863 and 1873. It was named after Kaiser Wilhelm I of Germany.

Largest ever national military exercise kicked off

Thunder Strike 2018, the largest national exercise in the history of the Lithuanian Armed Forces, was kicked off on Friday, June 1. The Lithuanian Armed Forces will train, independently and jointly with NATO allies, to carry out a wide range of armed defence operations during the two-week drills, the Defence Ministry said. Thunder Strike is one of several military exercises to be held in Lithuania and other countries in the Baltic Sea region in June. Thunder Strike will involve up to 9,000 military servicemen and officers of the interior security system. The Ministry says that drills in Lithuania will involve up to 13,000 troops.

US decision on tariffs upsets Lithuania

Lithuanian officials say that the US decision to impose tariffs on EU steel and aluminium imports is very disappointing, but does not mean a trade war. According to Deputy Foreign Minister Albinas Zananavi

ius, Lithuania is «very disappointed», because the intensive talks between the European Commission and the United States, and efforts by other European countries to persuade them not to apply these measures against the EU failed. A 25 per cent tariff on steel imports and a 10 per cent tariff on aluminium imports from the EU, Canada and Mexico will take effect on Friday.

Prosecutors want to see the ECHR ruling first

Lithuanian prosecutors say they will decide on further steps in their ongoing pre-trial investigation after examining in detail the European Court of Human Rights’ ruling that the country hosted a secret CIA detention facility. The Prosecutor General’s Office said in a press release on Thursday, May 31, that they actively cooperated with the ECHR in its hearing of Abu Zubaydah’s complaint against Lithuania and provided the court with information related with its pre-trial investigation.

The Prosecutor General’s Office has not named any suspects in its pre-trial investigation regarding illegal transportation of people across the national border and abuse of office, which has been underway for more than four years now.

South Africa’s NEPI Rockcastle to buy Vilnius’ Ozas mall

South Africa’s commercial property investor and developer NEPI Rockcastle is reportedly buying the Ozas shopping complex in Vilnius from Germany’s ECE Projektmanagement. Latvia-based consultancy CBRE Baltics is providing services to the parties to the transaction.

Ruling party leaders wants new probes

The leaders of the ruling Lithuanian Farmers and Greens Union (LFGU) on Thursday, May 31, called for new investigations into businesses’ influence on politics. The calls come after the parliament’s Committee on National Security and Defence (CNSD) completed on Wednesday, May 30, its probe into business and interest groups’ influence on political processes and decision-makers. Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis, who was appointed to his post by LFGU, says that further investigations should disclose the circumstances surrounding possibly non-transparent funding of political parties.

PM backs establishment of intelligence ombudsman

Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis says that he backs the parliamentary Committee on National Security and Defence’s (CNSD) proposal to establish the institution of intelligence ombudsman to help ensure better control of security services. CNSD on Wednesday, May 30, approved the findings of its investigation into businesses’ unlawful influence on political processes. The committee says, among other things, that Russia’s nuclear energy giant Rosatom and MG Baltic, a local business group, posed a threat to Lithuania’s national security by acting non-transparently and exerting unlawful influence on political processes.

Ex-SIS head becomes chief of Centre of Register

Saulius Urbanavičius, former head of Lithuania’s Special Investigation Service, has won the competition for the position of head of the Centre of Registers. According to the Ministry of Transport and Communications, Urbanavičius will assume the position upon receipt of law enforcement institutions’ conclusions. The position of the Centre of Registers’ director has been vacant over a year after its long-standing director Kęstutis Sabaliauskas resigned last February.

Lithuania will try to get more EU money

Lithuania’s government will try to negotiate more of EU cohesion support for regional development after the European Commission suggested cutting such support by 13 per cent in the new budget, Vice Minister of Finance Miglė Tuskienė says. In her words, Lithuania will try to negotiate with other EU member states and the European Parliament for the support to be cut less. Earlier on Tuesday, May 28, the EC proposed allocating 6.359 billion euros to Lithuania’s regional development in the European Union’s budget from 2021, down 12.9 per cent from 7.3 billion euros in the 2014-2020 budget.


Leave a reply

Corruption watchdog requests criminal prosecution of Bank of Latvia head

Latvia’s Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau has sent materials of a criminal case to the prosecutor’s office with a request to commence criminal prosecution of Bank of Latvia governor Ilmārs Rimšēvičs and businessman Māris Martinsons.

Riga City Council votes to add Vidzeme market to Riga Central Market’s capital

Riga City Council’s City Property Development Committee has voted in favour of adding Vidzeme Market to AS Riga Central Market’s capital. Opposition members voted against this during the meeting.

Police dismantle criminal group specialising in storage and transportation of excise goods

Officers of Latvia’s State Revenue Service discovered a suspicious shipment during a routine inspection of a vehicle at Riga Passenger Port. With help from State Police, officers found more than 2.3 million illegal cigarettes and 960 litres of spirit, as confirmed by police.

airBaltic receives its ninth Bombardier CS300 aircraft

On 17 June, Latvia’s airBaltic airline received its ninth Bombardier CS300 aircraft. The airline plans to expand its existing aircraft fleet with 14 CS300 aircraft before the end of the year.

Employment agency invites employers to apply for new job support programme

Employers will be able to apply for participation in a programme of the European Social Fund to help create subsidized jobs for unemployed people. Eighteen offices of Latvia’s State Employment Agency will be offering registration until 27 June.

Programme: government continues working on MPC plan’s cancellation

The disproportionate mandatory procurement component costs have become one of the biggest political scandals in Latvia since autumn last year. Attempts to put an end to the MPC system are continuing alongside the search of those responsible for the dysfunctional system. The government’s work group say it is impossible to completely cancel the system, as reported by Nekā Personīga programme.

De Facto: ABLV Bank’s self-liquidation – controlled or not so much?

«Controlled self-liquidation» – this is the undefined procedure Finance and Capital Market Commission has picked for ABLV Bank. This decision came after three months of document assessment, discussions with politicians and active media campaigns, as noted by De Facto journalists.

Latvia police investigate link between murdered insolvency administrator and missing businessman

Latvia’s State Police have begun an investigation of a possible link between the murdered insolvency administrator Mārtiņš Bunkus and the missing businessman Andris Bojārs, as confirmed by police representative Ilze Jurēvica.

Hundreds of migrants rejected in Italy allowed to leave ships in Spain

Migrants taken on rescue ships in the Mediterranean Sea and turned away by Italy and Malta have arrived in Spain's port of Valencia as three ships arrived in the harbour, including the Aquarius, which rescued the 630 migrants the week before.

Monday expected to be exceptionally hot in Latvia

Cool masses of air will flow into Latvia at the beginning of the week. Wind speed will increase as well. Several rain-cloud zones will pass through the country. Monday is expected to be the hottest day of this week in Latvia, as air temperature will likely reach +23° C… +26° C in most of the country. South-east regions of Latvia may even experience air temperature of +29° C.

Week in Lithuania. Lithuanian Railways joins European train system Interrail

Lithuanian state railway company Lietuvos Geležinkeliai has joined Interrail, a European train system that allows passengers to buy cheaper tickets for train travel across Europe.

Zolitūde tragedy lawyer criticises Latvian laws as favourable to insolvency administrators, not business owners

Outspoken Latvian lawyer, Aldis Gobzems, who defends in civil trials the victims of the Zolitūde supermarket collapse, where 54 people died and dozens suffered injuries, has joined the KPV LV party for the parliamentary election and is pointing to perceived political support to a few successful insolvency administrators.

Eurozone simulation with monthly billions to be quit in 2018

The European Central Bank has stated it would quit end its massive programme to stimulate the eurozone economy by buying bonds for 30 billion euros each month in December.

Human traffickers in Hungary sent to prison for 71 people dead in meat truck

For the deaths of 71 migrants, who suffocated in a sealed meat truck in Hungary in August 2015, a Hungarian court has sentenced four men to 25-year jail terms after finding them guilty of people-smuggling.

Lithuanian employers bristle against minimum wage raise to 450 euro

The disparities of the socio-economic development of the regions are very high in Lithuania, so raising the minimum wage from 400 euros now to 450 euros as suggested by the Lithuanian Government would cripple many small and medium-sized business owners in the less prosperous regions and the municipalities, Lithuanian economists caution. The minimum wage was raised in Lithuania by 20 per cent to 400 euros last year.

No-confidence vote on Latvian Justice Minister postponed to June 20

In the Latvian parliament, two motions asking for the resignation of Latvian Justice Minister Dzintars Rasnačs have been submitted and the vote is expected to take place on June 20.

Judge urges to stop testing politicians for cooperation with Soviet KGB

As Latvian politicians running in elections have to acknowledge that they have not worked for the Soviet State Security Committee during the Soviet occupation of the country, courts have since 1995 been looking into cases of possible cooperation and now, due to the lack of evidence, politicians should drop the evaluation of possible cooperation with the KGB, suggested a judge at the Riga Regional Court.

State budget income up 11% in Latvia this year

In the Latvian state budget, a total of 3.8 billion euros have been paid in the first five months of 2018, which is by 11% more than in the respective period last year, the Latvian State Revenue Service stated.

Volkswagen fined billion euros for diesel exhaust scheme

German car maker Volkswagen has been fined one billion euros by German prosecutors for its diesel emissions scandal and the car firm's management has stated it did not plan to appeal against the fine.

U.S.: Sanctions against North Korea to remain until complete denuclearisation

The U.S. has warned North Korea that it would not see any economic sanctions lifted until it has demonstrated «complete denuclearisation», according to U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

Popular restaurant chain denies alleged tampering with cash registers

Criminal police in Latvia has conducted searches at the popular Riga restaurant chain Vairāk Saules on suspicion of alleged tampering with its cash registers.

Pigs in first swine fever-hit farm culled

As to the first case of domestic pigs in Latvia being infected with the African swine fever virus in 2018, Latvian veterinary authorities have culled 165 pigs in the affected farm in central Latvia.

Bank of Latvia head appeals against decision to remove his access to state secrets

The Bank of Latvia President, Ilmārs Rimšēvičs, who is suspected of accepting a bribe, has appealed to the Prosecutor General, Ēriks Kalnmeiers, against the decision by the Latvian Constitution Protection Bureau to remove his permit to access state secrets.

Charging electric car to cost 15 cents per minute in Latvia

As Latvia builds its network of 150 quick charging stations for electric vehicles, the Latvian government has approved the cost of the service at 15 euro cents per minute with the value added tax.

Bank watchdog allows ABLV Bank to perform voluntary liquidation

Latvian Financial and Capital Market Commission (FCMC) has decided at a board meeting to allow ABLV Bank to start its voluntary liquidation process.

Have you been offered a bribe for particular choice in election?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Polls Archive



Category feed: Feed: