Latviski English По-русски
Friday 23.03.2018 | Name days: Mirdza, Žanete, Žanna

Week in Lithuania. Klaipėda port seen as outpacing Baltic rivals

(No Ratings Yet)

Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RU
Klaipėda Seaport in Lithuania has registered record cargo volume levels in the first quarter of 2016, despite the fact that cargo volume in many ports in the eastern part of the Baltic Sea is dropping significantly.

«We have seen record growth levels of cargo handling in March, up 15 per cent in comparison with the same period last year,» said Arvydas Vaitkus, director general of the Klaipeda State Seaport Authority.

U.S.-Russia incident seen as communication chance for Lithuania

The incident of Russian fighter jets approaching an American warship in the Baltic Sea prompted Lithuanian analysts to call on pushing for more military support for Lithuania from NATO allies.

«This is a communication opportunity for us, but it remains to be seen if we can use it,» political analyst Deividas Šlekys of Vilnius University’s Institute of International Relations and Political Science told.

International conference in Vilnius

The Foreign Ministry of Lithuania has hosted a seminar on Information Society and Media in Vilnius to mark the twentieth anniversary of the European Commission’s Technical Assistance and Information Exchange (TAIEX) instrument. Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs Andrius Krivas opened the seminar which gathered representatives from the Western Balkans, Turkey and the Eastern Partnership countries.

Websites of Lithuanian state institutions shut down by hackers

Four Lithuanian state institutions, including Lithuanian Parliament (Seimas) and Foreign Ministry, have been hacked by unidentified cyber hackers over the past several days. Rimtautas Černiauskas, director of Lithuania’s Cyber Security Centre, revealed the websites of the Lithuanian Parliament, the President’s Office, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Ministry of Justice, had incurred the attacks.

«Our specialists said it was a DDoS attack,» the foreign minister’s spokesman Kęstutis Vaškelevičius told BNS. DDoS attacks involve a large number of inquiries from various Internet points, thus interrupting operations of the website due to excessive visitor flows.

Humanitarian aid to Ukraine from Lithuania

The Foreign Affairs Ministry has allocated 50 thousand euro as humanitarian aid to Ukraine. The funds will be transferred to the World Health Organisation for rendering integrated and health and nutrition services in emergencies to the conflict-affected people in Ukraine and the United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) for children’s mine risk education there. The Humanitarian Response Plan 2016 for Ukraine by the United Nations and the Government of Ukraine humanitarian organisations is calling for slightly over 250 million euro for urgent humanitarian support and assistance.Since the beginning of the aggression against Ukraine, Lithuania has allocated for the task more than 1.1 million euro from the state reserves.

Scandinavian language specialists to be trained in Kaunas

In a development that will further boost Kaunas’ rapidly developing shared services sector, a bachelor’s programme in Scandinavian culture and languages will be launched in September at Kaunas-based Vytautas Magnus University (VMU). Approximately 50 students will be enrolled in the programme this year, with first year students able to study either Swedish or Norwegian.

Taxmen and financial crime investigators to probe Panama Papers revelations

A special body, set up jointly by the State Tax Inspectorate (VMI) and the Financial Crime Investigation Service (FNTT), will investigate Lithuanian individuals and companies named in the Panama Papers.

Construction sector’s revenue tumbles

Lithuanian construction sector’s revenue dropped by 3.5 percent in 2015 – from 2014 to 2.5 billion euros, a result of the lack of large-scale public projects. Mitnija, one of the country’s leading construction companies, last year posted a 29 per cent decline in revenue.

Foreign Minister welcomes Crimean Tatars

Linas Linkevičius, the Foreign minister, has welcomed participants of the meeting of the Executive Board of the World Crimean Tatar Congress, which was taking in Vilnius this year. Linkevičius stressed that Lithuania condemned the illegal annexation of Crimea and that they would keep on raising the issue with international organizations and during meetings at an international level.«Crimean Tatars have become the victims of an artificial international conflict. Crimean Tatars, who are historically linked to Lithuania, are a modern European people, and their rights should be respected and defended,» Linkevičius said.

New Interior minister appointed

President Dalia Grybauskaitė has appointed Tomas Žilinskas, the director of the Interior Ministry’s Public Security Policy Department, as the country’s new minister of the interior affairs. The head-of-state emphasized that with six months left until the general elections, it was important to have a minister who was not a member of a political party but rather a professional with experience of working in the system, the president’s spokeswoman Daiva Ulbinaitė told journalists on Wednesday, April 13.

Number of IT professionals trained in Lithuania to grow

Thanks to a 50 per cent increase in state financing for IT studies this year, the number of highly qualified IT professionals trained in Lithuania is set to grow. The new funding is part of a wider package for a range of study fields that has been recently approved by the government.

The decision to increase funding for IT was influenced by three main factors. First and foremost was consideration of future market needs. The success of Lithuanian IT start-ups in recent years and the growth of the IT sector in Lithuania were also important considerations for policymakers. Year on year growth in the interest foreign IT companies show in Lithuania as an investment location was also a decisive factor, according to Investuok Lietuvoje (Invest in Lithuania).

New Vilnius-Zurich route to be launched

Airline Germania is about to start its regular flights between Vilnius and Zurich. The inaugural flight is slated for June 2, but the airline’s management flew to Vilnius last week.

President met with Thai princess

Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, the princess of Thailand, who was on an official visit to Lithuania, visited President Dalia Grybauskaite and discussed how to consolidate bilateral economic, scientific and cultural ties, as well as collaboration between Lithuania and Thailand in the United Nations and other organizations.

Panama Papers shed light on Lithuania’s oil industry in the past

The Panama Papers can offer some insight into Lithuania’s oil industry at its crucial moment two decades ago as documents leaked from the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca reveal bank accounts in Switzerland of former and present heads of Lukoil Baltija and Mažeikių Nafta.

The Lithuanian online newspaper, which has access to the Panama Papers, reports that Ivanas Paleičikas, CEO of Lukoil Baltija, and two former directors of the then state-owned oil refinery Mažeikių Nafta (renamed Orlen Lietuva after being purchased by Poland’s PKN Orlen) Bronislovas Vainora and Gedeminas Kiesus were named beneficiaries of Swiss bank accounts opened on the same day by the same intermediary.

Decommissioning of Ignalina nuclear plant will be costlier than thought

The Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant (INPP) will need extra900 million euro for its ongoing decommissioning by 2020, said an INPP official. Audrius Kamienas, the director of the Activity Planning and Finance Department at the INPP, said the institution expects that after 2020 all Lithuanian institutions will make efforts to continue and secure financing from the EU and donors so that the decommissioning can be continued

Ukraine’s new PM welcomed

Lithuanian Foreign affairs minister Linas Linkevičius believes that the goals of Ukraine’s new Prime Minister, Volodymyr Groysman, are correct and should be given the opportunity to become reality. «There is a start, everyone will await for tasks now. His statements signal an adequate understanding of the situation – corruption, management of state-run companies, efficiency, compliance to IMF requirements and less populism. These are very correct statements – it is now time to translate them into reality. This is what everyone expects and awaits,» Linkevičius told.

U.S. gives Lithuania reassurances

The Lithuanian Minister of National Defence, Juozas Olekas, was assured on his visit to the USthat Congress will approve the 3.4 billion USD for the European Reassurance Initiative for 2017, the Lithuanian Ministry of National Defence said on Thursday, April 14. Olekas received these assurances during his meeting with Senator John McCain, chairman of the US Senate Committee on Armed Services, and Senator Jack Reed, his deputy.

Lithuanian national sentenced to 13 years for spying in Russia

A court in Russia’s Kaliningrad region has found Yevgeny Mataitis, a dual Lithuanian-Russian citizen, guilty of high treason and sentenced him to 13 years in prison, the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) said on Wednesday, April 13. Mataitis is the second Lithuanian citizen sentenced by a Russian court for spying in a month. Russia’s law-enforcement bodies say that Mataitis, a reserve naval officer, agreed to supply information to Lithuania’s military intelligence services about the Russian Armed Forces.

EP to vote on lifting Paksas’ immunity

The European Parliament will vote on Lithuanian prosecutors’ request to strip Rolandas Paksas, the Order and Justice party’s leader, of his immunity as an MEP. Lithuanian law enforcement bodies want to bring official suspicions against the politician in an influence peddling case. EP vice-president David-Maria Sassoli informed MEPs about the request from the Lithuanian Prosecutor General’s Office for the waiver of immunity during Wednesday’s plenary session.

Lidl opens first logistics centre in Lithuania

German-owned discount supermarket chain Lidl opened a logistics centre near Kaunas on Thursday, April 14. The chain is preparing to launch retail operations in Lithuania this year. «This distribution centre is the most modern buildings not only in Lithuania, but in the Baltic countries. This modern building is the most important step in opening our stores because this centre will handle all the goods and distribute them,» Lidl Lietuva CEO Radostin Roussev-Peine said at a news conference.

Lithuanian hoopster readies for NBA playoffs

Lithuanian hoops star Donatas Motiejūnas has helped the Houston Rockets to make it into this year’s playoffs with a 116-81 win against the Sacramento Kings. The Rockets clinched eighth place in the Western Conference and in the play-off will face the top-seeded Golden State Warriors.

Lithuania could become EU entry point for migrants

Lithuania’s new Interior minister Tomas Žilinskas believes Lithuania could become the new entry point for migrants coming to the European Union and the country’s authorities must prepare for the potentiality. «Following the entry into force of the readmission agreement between the European Union and Turkey, (migrant) flows may turn via the Black Sea, Ukraine to Poland and via Russia to the Baltic countries,» Tomas Žilinskas told.

Russian helicopters crossed into Lithuanian territory

Russian helicopters crossed into the Lithuanian territory from Kaliningrad on Tuesday, April 12. They were spotted visually, but not by aradar, the Lithuanian Ministry of National Defence has confirmed. The Ministry was notified about three helicopters possibly flying into the Lithuanian territory over the Lake Vištytis which lies on the border between Lithuania and Russia’s Kaliningrad. The helicopters turned around and flew back to Kaliningrad immediately, according to the ministry.
Ref: 020/

Leave a reply

Farmers in Latvia dissatisfied with resolution of electricity-related problems

Two months have passed since farmers in Latvia had received unjustifiably large electricity bills. Countless meetings and discussions have taken place in those two months. Unfortunately, no decisive measures have been undertaken to resolve the problem. Farmers are confused with decision-makers’ incisiveness in a matter important to the national economy, as noted by the Farmers’ Saeima.

Life after 25 May: is this the end for free publication of photo galleries from events?

Many of us like to check out photos from concerts, conferences or sport events on gallery portals and social networks to have a look at guests of those events. However, after 25 May, when General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into force, the situation will no longer be the same.

Saeima to establish legal framework for Baltic cooperation in disaster prevention

On Thursday, 22 March, Latvian Saeima supported a legislative draft, ratification of which will help create legal framework with other Baltic States in prevention of disasters, as reported by the parliament’s press-service.

Number of complaints with postal services on a rise in Latvia

Public Utilities Commission has compiled information about complaints submitted by residents in regards to postal services in 2017. The number of complaints has increased alongside opposing views about package terminals – the regulator has received 37 complaints in total.

Output of livestock products in Latvia increased in 2017

Compared to 2016, output of meat grew by 4.6 % and output of milk by 1.4 % in 2017. In 2017, in Latvia 91.2 thousand tonnes of meat were produced, which is 4.0 thousand tonnes or 4.6 % more than in 2016. The most significant increase was observed in the output of poultry (of 11.3 %) and pork (4.7 %).

Turkey's offensive in Syria condemned by NATO ally Germany

Angela Merkel, the head of the German federal government has stated that Turkey’s military offensive in the northern Syrian town of Afrin was unacceptable and she blamed Russia for simply watching, while attacks by Syrian government forces on besieged eastern Ghouta continue.

Finance minister still believes tax reform in Latvia has brought results

«The tax reform has given us the results we had expected, especially in regards to combating envelope wages,» said Latvia’s Finance Minister Dana Reizniece-Ozola in an interview to 900 seconds programme of LNT.

Planned hospital reorganisation in Lithuanian regions irks both mayors and patients

If the plan of the Lithuanian Ministry of Health to overhaul treatment services in the provinces does not hit a snag, the rural hospitals will be soon providing only essential care and nursing, the focus will be on out-patient care and treatment will be available only in larger county hospitals.

Ventspils beach high in popularity this week; Lembergs gets spotlight time as well

Ventspils ended up in the spotlight in an unusual way this week: seals washed up on the beach there. Animal Freedom emphasizes that human contact with baby seals would hurt them. Residents are asked to maintain at least 50 m distance from them. However, the suspended Mayor of Ventspils Aivars Lembergs decided to take photos with baby seals and publish them on his Facebook profile.

Ombudsman: problems in nursing homes and social care centres are associated with lack of funding

Problems in nursing homes and social care centres are largely associated with lack of funding, because it is not possible to perform high-quality work using currently available resources. This is the responsibility of ministries and the government, as ombudsman Juris Jansons mentioned in an interview to Latvijas Radio.

Estonian music authors receive record royalties for 2017

The organisation, which is tasked by collecting royalties for local and foreign music in Estonia, the Estonian Authors' Society, has received six million euros in royalties in 2017, which is its record level.

Facebook sorry for permitting exploitation of 50 million user data in politics

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has apologised for the social network failing to ensure enough privacy to its users that allowed for data on about 50 million of its users to abused by a political consultancy firm.

Zhdanok’s replacement to promote non-citizen matter in European Parliament

Miroslavs Mitrofanovs, who has taken Tatyana Zhdanok’s place in the European Parliament, plans to promote the matter of non-citizens in the institution.

Riga City Council committee supports increasing municipalities’ expenditures by 42.38 mln euro

Following an initiative from the Financial Department, the outlook for the municipality’s base budget revenue has been increased by EUR 1.66 million for 2018. The expenditures portion of the budget is planned to be increased by EUR 42.377 million, as reported by Riga City Council.

French ex-President named suspect in Libya funding case

In France, its ex-President Nicolas Sarkozy has been named as a suspect in the formal investigation for alleged illicit campaign financing, misappropriation of public funds of Libya and passive corruption.

Finance sector’s development council supports prohibition of shell companies

On Wednesday, 21 March, Latvian Prime Minister Māris Kučinskis’ managed Finance Sector’s Development Council supported initiative on prohibiting shell companies, as confirmed by the prime minister.

Level of producer prices in Latvia’s industry is up 3.4%

Compared to January, level of producer prices in the Latvian industry rose by 0.5 % in February 2018. Prices of products sold on the domestic market grew by 0.7 %, but prices of exported products went up by 0.3 %.

Minister: Latvia is far behind its neighbours in terms of digitization and e-skills

In terms of digitization and e-skills, Latvia is far behind its neighbouring countries and the rest of Europe, said Latvian Economy Minister Arvils Ašeradens in an interview to Latvijas Radio.

OECD: Latvian employees work longest hours in Baltics

In a comparison of Baltic countries per average annual hours worked, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development has found earlier this year that the average Latvian worker spends 1,910 hours at work, followed by the Lithuanian employee with 1,885 hours and the average Estonian worker with 1,855 hours.

12th Saeima failed to complete half of its pre-election promises in field of justice

In 2014, Delna – society for openness and Providus think tank received support from all parties represented in the 12th Saeima in regards to an action plan to help strengthen the rule of law in the country.

Russia carries out military drills in Gulf of Finland

Russian Defence Ministry has stated that in the Baltic Sea Gulf of Finland, which has Finland, Russia and Estonia in its coastline, the Russian military has performed drills for its tactical special operations units.

Prime minister doubts Anti-Money Laundering Service head’s competence

«The work performed by the service requires drastic changes. Whether or not it can be done by its current head [Viesturs Burkāns], I am not sure,» said Latvian Prime Minister Māris Kučinskis in an interview to LNT, commenting on the work performed by Latvian Anti-Money Laundering Service.

Vilnius chosen for office of game developer Lockwood Publishing from UK

UK's mobile game developer Lockwood Publishing has unveiled plans to open its first overseas office in Vilnius, pointing to the industry's talent in Lithuania and the wider region.

Association: municipalities should organize their work on their own

On 6 March, Latvian Association of Local and Regional Governments reviewed the letter sent to Riga City Council by Environment Protection and Regional Development Ministry, in which the institution ordered the municipality to review their internal order and lift restrictions on the length of debates and the number of questions deputies are allowed to ask.

Canada moves to increase gun control

Canada's federal federal government has proposed new gun control measures, but they could reduce support to the ruling Liberal Party in rural areas, where guns are widely owned and used.