bnn.lv Latviski   bnn-news.com English   bnn-news.ru По-русски
Friday 22.06.2018 | Name days: Ludmila, Laimdots, Laimiņš
LithuaniaLithuania

Week in Lithuania. Lithuania's unexpected vote on Jerusalem: against U.S. in solidarity with EU

FaceBook
Twitter
Draugiem
print
(No Ratings Yet)

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

Lithuania on Thursday, December 21, unexpectedly voted in favour of a UN resolution rejecting Washington’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, thus defying American warnings and showing solidarity with the EU’s major powers.

The 193-member UN General Assembly adopted the resolution in a vote of 128 to nine with 35 abstentions.

President Dalia Grybauskaitė’s chief foreign policy adviser, Nerijus Aleksiejūnas, said in a comment forwarded by the president’s spokeswoman that «Lithuania has consistently held that the issue of Jerusalem can only be resolved through negotiations».

Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevičius has decided not to comment on the reasons for the vote.

Lithuania voted in solidarity with most EU member states, including Germany, France and Britain. Five EU countries – Latvia, Poland, the Czech Republic, Croatia and Romania – abstained.

Lithuania’s vote is not in line with its earlier practice of being one of Israel’s strongest diplomatic supporters in the EU, mostly due to the history of Lithuanian Jews and Vilnius’ efforts to win favour with the United States.

MPs back decision to initiate EU-level discussions on time

The parliamentarians on Thursday, December 21, endorsed the decision taken by the government earlier this week, suggesting that Lithuania should be free to decide on the twice-yearly clock shift. The parliament’s resolution on application of the so-called daylight -saving time (DST) was supported by 76 of Lithuania’s 141 parliamentarians, while seven were against and seven abstained.

With the resolution, the MPs advised the government to open consultations with the European Commission on the possibility to revise the provisions of the directive 2000/84/EB to allow every member-state of the European Union to decide on the application of the daylight-saving time in its territory based on analyses of the impact of the time shift.

On Wednesday, December 20, the Lithuanian Cabinet announced that it was initiating EU-level discussions on the summer time directive.

Russian Kaspersky Lab software poses threat to Lithuania’s security

Russia-based Kaspersky Lab’s software products pose a potential threat to Lithuania’s national security, the country’s government has stated. The Cabinet formulated this position during its meeting on Wednesday, December 20.

Specialists of the National Cyber Security Centre will provide consultations and other assistance to institutions in replacement of the software, said Rytis Rainys, deputy director of the Cyber Security and Telecommunications Service. In light of the government’s decision, Lithuania will replace the legal acts regulating public procurement in the field of defence and security.

Banks need to raise 50-60 mn euro to meet buffer requirement

Lithuanian commercial banks will need to raise an estimated 50 million to 60 million euros to meet a 0.5-percent capital buffer requirement imposed by the central bank as the property market is heating up, the president of the Lithuanian Banks Association (LBA) said on Thursday, December 21. According to Mantas Zalatorius, the LBA head, the counter-cyclical capital buffer of around 50-60 million euros is not a stressful amount for a bank.

Lithuania receives another 16 Syrian refugees

Lithuania on Tuesday, December 19, relocated another 16 Syrian refugees under the European Union (EU) program, the Migration Department said. Three migrant families arrived in Lithuania from refugee camps in Turkey. Over two years ago, Lithuania committed itself to receiving 1,105 refugees from countries, such as Syria, Iraq and Eritrea. Although the country has received 447 persons by now, many of them already left for wealthier western European states.

Lithuania to try to recover record anti-trust fine from Gazprom abroad

Lithuania will turn to some foreign countries in an effort to recover the amount of a record-high anti-trust fine of around 42 million euros, including interest, from Russia’s gas giant Gazprom. The Lithuanian government decided on Wednesday, December 20, turn to some foreign countries and evaluate the assets Gazprom holds there, Energy Minister Žygimantas Vaičiūnas said.

The Competition Council slapped Gazprom with a 35.651-million-euro fine, the largest anti-trust fine ever in the country, in October 2014. The competition authority stated in June 2014 that Gazprom’s refusal to negotiate with Lietuvos Energijos Gamyba (Lithuanian Energy Production), formerly known as Lietuvos Energija (Lithuanian Energy), on a natural gas exchange deal in 2013-2015 prevented the Lithuanian company from purchasing cheaper gas from another supplier.

Paksas, Vainauskas, Zabulis deny influence peddling charges

MEP Rolandas Paksas, Lietuvos Rytas media group CEO Gedvydas Vainauskas and businessman Antanas Zabulis plead not guilty on charges of influence peddling but will provide testimony to court. Vainauskas told journalists he had been doing investigative journalism and does not agree with the charges, adding he wanted to know Paksas’ response about the situation. In his words, an article would have appeared, had the law-enforcement not interfered.

Prosecutors suspect that Paksas, as the-then leader of the Order and Justice party, agreed to accept a 15,000-euro bribe from Vainauskas in late August of 2015 and pledged to use his public status, circle of acquaintances and other supposed influence upon state institutions and officials to influence them.

According to information from the Special Investigation Service (STT), there has been no evidence of the money reaching Paksas. However, a deal and a pledge are enough to qualify the criminal deed under the Penal Code, STT said.

Fence on Lithuania-Kaliningrad border completed

A security fence along the Lithuanian border with the Russian Kaliningrad region was completed on Wednesday, December 20, after over six months of construction. The fence was built in stretches of the Lithuania-Russia state border that runs on dry land, with the exception of a few stretches next to small rivers.

The total length of the fence is over 40 km. Border guards have already installed technical surveillance systems along the 109-kilometer-long river section of the border with Russia.The aim of the fence is to curb smuggling and keep illegal migrants out of the country.

LG to electrify Vilnius–Klaipeda route

Lietuvos Geležinkeliai (Lithuanian Railways, LG), the state-run railway company, intends to electrify the route from Vilnius to Klaipeda within four years. The company’s CEO Mantas Bartuška said the work could cost 250-300 million euros, which is considerably less than planned before.

In his words, a contractor competition should be called shortly, with the work to be completed in 2021 -2022. Electrification of other stretches will be considered in the future, said Bartuška. The company currently owns about 10 electric passenger locomotives, planning to purchase electric freight locomotives it currently doesn’t have.

Ref: 020/111.111.111.5384


Leave a reply

SRS uncovers numerous violations more than half of inspected companies

State Revenue Service’s Tax Control Office performed a total of 305 thematic inspections of employers in Latvia in Q1 2018. Authorities recorded violations in 171 inspections, according to information from SRS.

Third level pension plan deposit volumes reach new record value

Residents’ interest for pension savings remains high. The volume of deposits made to private pension funds in the first three months of 2018 has reached a new historic peak: a total of EUR 16.5 million has been paid to 3rd level pension accounts, which is 11.6% more when compared to the same period of 2017, as reported by Finance and Capital Market Commission.

Petrol station network in Latvia caught performing fraudulent activities with diesel fuel

State Revenue Service’s Tax and Customs Police have uncovered and put an end to a fraudulent scheme with diesel fuel performed by some network of petrol stations in Latvia, as confirmed by the service.

Kaimiņš: I believe CPCB is performing a political order

In the evening of Thursday, 21 June, Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau released three people previously detained as part of a criminal process regarding possible illegal funding of KPV LV party – Saeima deputy Artuss Kaimiņš, his colleague Atis Zakatistovs, and businessman Viesturs Tamužs.

Latvia’s parliament conceptually supports new sanction regulations

On Thursday, 21 June, Saeima supported in the final reading amendments to the Law on International Sanctions and National Sanctions of the Republic of Latvia that are meant to improve sanction regime regulations to ensure efficient application of national and international sanctions, as reported by Saeima press-service.

Storm in Tallinn floods streets, cuts Croatia-Argentina match short on TV

A rain storm has hit northern Estonia on Thursday, flooding some streets in the capital Tallinn, damaged buildings and badly affected the broadcast of an interesting World Cup game.

American banks tested for financial stress show positive results

The U.S. has performed banking stress tests and found that the 35 largest banks operating in the country have enough funds on hand to sail safely through a severe financial crisis.

Saeima fires judge for coming to work in a drunken state

On Thursday, 21 June, Latvia’s parliament supported the proposal to dismiss Rezekne Court judge Arvis Garais from his post. 71 deputies voted in favour, no one abstained and no one voted against.

UK to have three requirements to EU citizens willing to remain in UK

For citizens of the European Union willing to continue living in the UK after the country leaves the bloc, they will have to submit applications and answer three key questions over the internet, according to the country's interior minister.

Weather in Latvia to be rainy and cool during Ligo; next week’s weather to be dry and hot

Weather at the end of the week in Latvia will be dictated by a cyclone. Because of that, there will be instances of rain on Ligo. Weather is expected to improve next week, however, according to Latvia’s State Environment, Geology and Meteorology Centre.

Lithuania’s blood plasma corruption scandal extends to Latvia

The former head of Lithuania‘s National Blood Centre, suspected of corruption and involvement in unlicenced activity, received more bad news this week from Latvia, where investigators of the Lithuanian Special Investigation Service had questioned the Latvian Health minister, Anda Čakša.

Administrative burden to be reduced for foreign students and researchers

The administrative burden will be reduced for foreign students and researchers, as well as all education and research institutions hosting them. This is provided by the amendments to the Immigration Law approved by the Saeima in the third reading on Thursday, 21 June.

Latvian Economy Minister endures no-confidence vote

Saeima declined opposition deputies’ request for dismissal of Economy Minister Arvils Ašeradens.

Swedbank economist becomes new member of Bank of Latvia Council

On Thursday, 21 June, Latvia’s Saeima approved Mārtiņš Kazāks in his new post as member of Bank of Latvia Council, as confirmed by Saeima’s press-service.

Pope Francis’ visit to Latvia will be a national holiday

Latvia’s parliament has approved in the final reading a law that makes 24 September – the day Pope Francis plans to visit Latvia – a national holiday.

ICT specialist numbers in Latvia are below Europe’s average level

In Latvia, information and communication technology specialists form only 2.2% of all employed people in the country, which is considerably below the average level in the European Union – 3.7%. Romania and Greece are the only two EU member states in which the number of ICT specialists is below Latvia’s, according to European Commission’s DESI index.

Hungary adopts prison sentence for helping migrants

Hungarian National Assembly has passed a set of laws criminalising with prison terms some help provided to illegal immigrants by non-governmental organisations.

Harmony plans turning to Constitutional Court to prevent transition to Latvian language in schools

«Why should this reform stay unrealized? It is because schools are not prepared for cardinal changes coming from dozens of other reforms that have already shocked the country’s entire general education system,» says chairman of National Minority School Parents Forum and member of Harmony’s work group in Konstantīns Čekušins.

Deputies detained in KPV LV criminal case not declared suspects yet

Saeima deputy Artuss Kaimiņš and businessman Viesturs Tamužs detained in the criminal process regarding possibly illegal funding of KPV LV party have not yet been declared suspects. Both are currently in police custody. It is likely Kaimiņš will be released later today, 21 June.

Production of mines and grenades planned in Estonia

As the Estonian parliament has adopted new rules on military arms and ammunition production in the country, local defence firm Eesti Arsenal has voiced its plan to build a factory in Estonia to make military explosives.

Total tax debts in Latvia reached EUR 1.224 billion in June

At the beginning of June, total tax debts in Latvia, including topical, halted debts and extended repayment terms were equal to EUR 1.233 billion, which is 0.6% less compared to May, as reported by State Revenue Service.

Switch off internet nationwide during exams – Algerian approach

In an attempt to prevent cheating during secondary school exams, the north African nation Algeria, has turned off internet in its whole territory.

Control Service proposes kicking out shell companies as intensely as offshore companies

Shell companies in Latvia should be combated with the same intensity once shown to offshore companies, says chief of Anti-Money Laundering Service Ilze Znotiņa.

EU imposes tariffs on blue jeans, motorcycles and other U.S. export goods

The European Union will introduce retaliatory tariffs against U.S. exports on Friday, EU Trade Commissioner has stated a top official has stated in the bloc's reaction to Washington imposing steep duties on steel and aluminium earlier in June.

Latvia’s Saeima proposes improving job-combining rules for state officials

On Wednesday, 20 June, Latvian parliament’s Public Administration and Local Government Committee decided to submit for review amendments to the Law on Prevention of Conflict of Interest in Activities of Public Officials.