bnn.lv Latviski   bnn-news.com English   bnn-news.ru По-русски
Tuesday 21.11.2017 | Name days: Andis, Zeltīte
LithuaniaLithuania

Week in Lithuania. Lithuanian Foreign Minister: Baltic countries fulfil their obligations to NATO

FaceBook
Twitter
Draugiem
print
(No Ratings Yet)

Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUFollowing the controversial US’s Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s remarks on the defence of the Baltics, Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevičius issued a statement that the Baltic countries are meeting their obligations to NATO and views Donald Trump’s remarks that he would not automatically defend the NATO allies if Russia attacked them as election rhetoric.

The Republican presidential candidate has told The New York Times that he would decide whether to protect the Baltic countries against Russian aggression based on whether the nations «have fulfilled their obligations to us.»

«The Baltic countries give no grounds to doubt the fulfillment of their obligations to the Alliance. Likewise, we have no reason to doubt that our allies will meet their obligations to the Alliance, » Linkevičius told Žinių Radijas Thursday, July 21.

He noted that Lithuania has been increasing its defense spending at a rapid rate.

«The election campaign is a period based on which it is difficult to judge and draw conclusions, or even to comment on something. And when it is a country with a long tradition (like the US is), its policy is predictable and, therefore, I would definitely not expect any radical turns, any radical changes, » the minister said.

Firm to do study for 2nd interconnection of LitPol Link searched

In preparation for synchronization of the electricity networks of the Baltic States and continental Europe, Lithuania’s electricity transmission system operator Litgrid has announced a tender for a study of the second interconnection with Poland, LitPol Link. The link is projected to stretch from a new substation in Marijampolė to the Lithuanian-Polish border. A separate study in Poland will be conducted by the Polish transmission system operator, PSE. The feasibility study carried out by Sweden’s consultancy Gothia Power in 2013 had identified the second link between Lithuania and Poland as one of the preconditions for synchronization. The first 500-megawatt LitPol Link interconnection was launched in early 2016. The second interconnection is reported to be of the same capacity.

Lithuania bans entry to 30 per cent more foreigners

The number of foreigners who were refused entry in Lithuania grew considerably in the first half of 2016, as compared with the same period last year, the Migration Department said in an overview of the main migration figures of the January-June period. According to the press release, 2,091 foreigners were banned from entering the country in the first six months of this year, which indicates an increase by 36 percent year-on-year.

«Increasingly many people aim to enter Lithuania from Russia and Belarus – the main flows (of those who have been banned) come from these countries. They are simply persons who do not have visas to enter Lithuania or permits, as well as those who cannot validate their presence in Lithuania or clearly specify reasons why they want to come. Some of them are people who are not allowed to enter for security reasons,» Interior Minister Tomas Žilinskas said.

The Migration Department said there had been no impact from the record-high number of asylum seekers entering the European Union (EU) last year – the number of asylum applications in Lithuania remains virtually unchanged (113 applications in the first half of 2016, up by merely 0.9 percent from the same period last year).

Ukraine’s ex-minister joins Lithuanian Conservatives

Aivaras Abromavičius, a former Ukrainian economics minister, has agreed to join the government team of the Homeland Union–Lithuanian Christian Democrats (TS-LKD) if the conservative party wins enough seats in the Seimas in next October’s general elections to form the Cabinet.

«Aivaras Abromavičius’ successful and globally-appreciated experience in reforming the Ukrainian economy under conditions of crisis and war is especially valuable. Therefore, we are glad that Abromavičius has agreed to use it not only in Ukraine, but also in Lithuania as a member of TS-LKD’s future-to-be government team,» Gabrielius Landsbergis, the party’s leader, said in a press release.

Landsbergis said that they have not yet discussed what post Abromavičius could be given.

Lithuania to send military instructors to Iraq

Lithuania is planning to contribute the first group of six military instructors to the US-led international operation Inherent Resolve in Iraq in early 2017, the National Defense Ministry said. The Lithuanian troops will train Iraqi security forces to fight the Islamic State group as part of the Danish contingent. National Defense Minister Juozas Olekas and his Danish counterpart, Peter Christensen, have agreed on the planned joint participation in the US-led operation in Iraq, the ministry said Olekas presented Lithuania’s plans at a meeting of defense and foreign ministers of the Global Coalition to Counter-ISIL in Washington. Latvia and Estonia have already sent their military instructors to Iraq.

Prosecutor has questions to other MPs

The prosecutor is charge of a political corruption case involving Labor Party MP Vytautas Gapšys plans to ask other members of the Lithuanian parliament to answer certain questions «in the near future”.

«The Prosecutor General’s Office does have questions that members of the current Seimas could provide answers to and I think we will try to ask them to answer these questions in the near future,» Justas Laucius told reporters after Wednesday’s meeting of a special commission set up by the Seimas to look into the prosecutor’s request to strip Gapšys of his parliamentary immunity. He declined to name the MPs or their political parties.

Gapšys said that the prosecutor did not provide any evidence to prove that he had promised to secure votes in favor of certain decisions in exchange for money and that the Seimas commission would ask both the prosecutors and the Labor Party to provide additional information. The commission has until Sept. 15 to make its recommendation to the Seimas as to whether or not to strip Gapšys of his immunity. The prosecutors say that they suspect that Gapšys accepted a 25,000-euro bribe for himself and other persons in exchange for adopting two political decisions that were favorable and financially beneficial to MG Baltic.

Vilnius discusses airport area development project

Vilnius is considering providing 150,000 euros for Vilnius Airport City, a project to develop around 150 hectares of land next to Vilnius Airport in an effort to attract international services, science and research centers, hotels and production and logistics companies to the area. The City Council agreed on Wednesday, July 20, to discuss a cooperation agreement with Vilnius Airport, with a final decision to be made later. «The aim of the project is to create the conditions for international services and business centers, logistic and production companies, hotels, science and research centers to open on the land adjacent to the airport,» Vilnius Deputy Mayor Linas Kvederavičius said.

Government nods to Vilnius CHP plant construction

The Lithuanian government decided on Wednesday, July 20, to ignore Vilnius’ local authority and start drawing up a detailed territorial plan that is necessary for the state energy group Lietuvos Energija (Lithuanian Energy) to launch the construction of a new biomass and waste-fired cogeneration plant in the capital city. According to the government, Lietuvos Energija back in December 2015 asked Vilnius’ local authority to adjust the city’s general plan or grant an exception to allow the implementation of the project, which has the status of a project of national importance. However, the City Council of Vilnius did not take the decision as it wanted Lietuvos Energija to purchase Vilnius’ closed Combined Heat and Power Plant No. 3 from Vilniaus Energija (Vilnius Energy), a local subsidiary of France’s Veolia.

Lietuvos Energija is developing the 345-million-euro Vilnius CHP plant project on its own, but it does not rule out bringing in a partner at a later stage. Around 50 percent of the project cost will be financed through a loan from the European Investment Bank (EIB).

A consortium led by Germany’s Steinmueller Babcock Environment, which also includes Poland’s construction group Budimex and Lithuania’s Kauno Dujotieko Statyba, will construct the plant’s waste-fired unit under a 178.29-million-euro contract and Poland’s Rafako will build its biomass unit a 149.65-million-euro contract.

President: Lithuanians couldn’t get hold of diplomats

Lithuanian citizens could hardly get a hold of the country’s consuls working in the embassy during the disturbances in Turkey last week, President Dalia Grybauskaitė says. «Consular actions should be adequate to a specific situation, this involves more efficient response to calls and questions from our citizens. One of the examples is the attempted coup in Turkey – getting a hold of our diplomatic mission was a difficult to do», Grybauskaitė told journalists after the annual meeting with the country’s ambassadors in Vilnius on Wednesday, July 20. More than 2,000 Lithuanian citizens were in Turkey during the attempted coup. During the developments, Lithuania’s Ambassador to Turkey Audrius Bruzga was in Lithuania. He had returned to Vilnius to attend the annual ambassadorial meeting.

Kaunas mayor undergoes heart surgery

Kaunas Mayor Visvaldas Matijošaitis underwent a successful cardiovascular surgery at a clinic of Lithuania’s second-largest city Kaunas on Tuesday, July 19. The 4.5-hour surgery was conducted by a team headed by Rimantas Benetis, the chief of the Cardiology Clinic, the clinic said. Matijošaitis, 59, was in and out of hospital for the past month after being admitted to hospital with high pressure in early June.

Furniture maker freezes investment after Brexit vote

A Lithuanian furniture maker has been forced to freeze plans of investment after the United Kingdom, its biggest export market, voted to leave the European Union. Ukmergės Baldai, based in Ukmergė, north Lithuania, sends over 80 per cent of its production to the UK, where it is sold at Next stores, vz.lt reports.

Initiative to ban electricity from Belarus to go to Seimas

The Lithuanian parliament will discuss a citizens’ legislative initiative to bar market access for electricity from a nuclear power plant under construction in Belarus, just 50 kilometres from Vilnius. The campaign, headed by the conservative Homeland Union-Lithuanian Christian Democrats, has collected enough signatures (the required number is 50,000), forcing the Seimas, Lithuanian parliament, consider the bill. Laura Matjošaitytė, deputy chairwoman of the Central Electoral Commission, has confirmed that the petition has enough signatures.

Croatia to contribute troops to multinational battalion

Croatia will send soldiers to a German-led multinational battalion that will be deployed to Lithuania next year, the country’s president said in Vilnius on Thursday, July 21. «We have decided to send a group of soldiers who would cooperate with the Germans and could be deployed here in Lithuania,» Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic said in a joint conference with her Lithuanian counterpart, Dalia Grybauskaitė. The Benelux countries, Norway and France are also expected to contribute troops to the 1,000-strong battalion in Lithuania, which will be headed by Germany.

Government draws up a plan for curbing emigration

Lithuania’s cabinet of ministers has endorsed a plan to address massive emigration which has been a drain on the country’s population and labour force. The plan, discussed by cabinet ministers on Wednesday, July 20, encompasses the period until 2023 and aims at removing social, economic and other push factors encouraging Lithuanians to leave, mostly for richer European Union countries where they can live and work without restriction. Among other things, the plan envisages raising people’s income to the level where it can ensure a decent standard of living for employees and their families. The government’s plan also proposes raising the minimum wage and making sure that only unskilled workers are paid the minimum. Government institutions would have to present quarterly reports about their progress implementing the plan. Last year, Lithuania experienced the biggest population contraction among EU member states. Lithuania’s population continues to decline, and it reached 2,921,920 at the end of last year, according to Statistics Lithuania. Emigration has increased, with 36,600 leaving in 2014 and 44,500 leaving in 2015. Reimigration has fallen from 19,500 in 2014 to 18,400 in 2015. Immigration fell from 4,800 in 2014 to 3,700 in 2015.


Leave a reply

Study: taxes for business in Latvia – the most attractive among Baltic States

Latvia’s tax system is the most attractive among Baltic States and 13th most attractive among 190 countries of the world, according to the latest study performed by the World Bank and PricewaterhouseCoopers on tax systems around the world.

Turkish journalist punished with prison term for tweet

A court in Turkey has sentenced on Tuesday, November 21, a journalist from opposition newspaper Cumhuriyet to three years behind bars over accusations of spreading terrorist propaganda in relation to a post on Twitter, which had been briefly on the microblogging site this spring.

Latvia – 35th country in the world ICT development-wise

This year Latvia reached 35th place in the world in terms of development of information and communication technologies, as mentioned in the latest report by UN International Telecommunication Union.

Instant payment infrastructure comes online in Europe

On Tuesday, 21 November, instant payment infrastructure will be introduced across Europe. On top of that, European banks’ founded EBA Clearing will also introduce its RT1 instant payment system. The European-level solution has also been coordinated with the instant payment processing infrastructure prepared by the Bank of Latvia in August 2017, as reported by the bank.

Police dismantle criminal group that caused damage worth seven million euros to the state

Latvian State Revenue Service’s Finance Police dismantled a criminal group in November 2017. A total of 34 searches were performed and two people were found suspect. The criminal group performed tax avoidance and money laundering operations, causing damages worth nearly seven million euros to the state, BNN was informed by SRS.

Zariņš: deputies who vote for the state budget without amendments will have breached their vows

It is unacceptable for the Saeima coalition to follow the Cabinet of Ministers and like the Cabinet of Ministers breach laws during the budget approval process, says Saeima member Ivars Zariņš, adding that deputies who vote for the budget without amendments will thereby have to breach the vow they had previously made to the Latvian nation.

Estonia’s ruling Centre Party shows door to 31 competing members

The leadership of Estonia's Center Party has accepted the proposals of the party's local branches on fellow members, who ran in the Estonian municipal elections this autumn from a separate list, and expelled 31 members from the political party.

Pabriks: state interests should be held higher than party interests

Latvia cannot be allowed to drown in provincialism. It is in the country’s interest to maintain a course towards European and NATO values. In a situation when the number of centric and European-oriented parties is large, it is becoming harder and harder, because it leads to political fragmentation, and the main goal of it is reaching the 5% barrier during elections, not ensuring growth and development for Latvia, says MEP Artis Pabriks.

Reacting to e-commerce growth, Omniva rushes to expand its parcel locker network

Estonian state-owned postal company Eesti Post, which operates the Omniva brand, stated that it will broaden its network of parcel lockers expand its current parcel machines up until Christmas.

Programme: introduction of ‘honest’ taxi counters is stuck

Taxi drivers that had to replace their counters as far back as 15 October, continue delaying the process, as reported by De Factor with reference to State Revenue Service.

Ministry considers reorganizing Latvian Environmental Protection Fund’s administration

After reviewing information from the State Audit, Latvian Environmental Protection and Regional Development Ministry may consider the possibility of reforming the administration of the Latvian Environmental Protection Fund.

Uber to buy 24 000 self-driving Volvo XC90s

U.S. ride-sharing technology firm Uber has agreed with Chinese-owned Swedish carmaker Volvo on the purchase of up to 24,000 self-driving cars.

Snow expected in Latvia this week

Weather in Latvia will be cloudy at the beginning of the week and, although the sun may appear every now and then precipitation, precipitation is expected in most of the country. It will begin with rain and gradually move up to wet snow and snow, as reported by State Environment, Geology and Meteorology Centre.

Lengthy German coalition talks collapse

The German political parties that entered the country’s federal parliament after elections in September, still cannot reach an agreement on making a coalition and a majority government, but German Chancellor Angela Merkel has evaluated that new elections would be better than a minority government.

airBaltic carried more than 4,780 in flights between Riga and Liepaja

In the first six months since airBaltic has started performing regular domestic flights between Riga and Liapaja more than 4,780 passengers have been carried on this route.

Week in Lithuania. Lithuanian parliament passes Magnitsky act

Members of the European Parliament have passed a resolution requesting for the application of the so-called «nuclear option» for Poland, Article 7 of the EU Treaty, because of the threat to the rule of law in the biggest Eastern European country.

BNN summary of the week: medicinal cannabis in Lithuania, cargo anti-record, and Lemberg’s dwindling influence in UGF

BNN offers a summary of this week’s topical news in a variety of categories: Fight; Growth; Truth; Future and Opinion.

NAF: Russia’s attitude remains unfriendly towards Latvia

So far Russia’s demonstrated attitude has remained unfriendly towards Latvia, said Commander of Latvian Armed Forces Leonīds Kalniņš in an interview to LNT.

Lembergs’ turn to testify before parliamentary committee has come

Aivars Lembergs, who is accused of serious crimes and is suspended from performing duties as chairman of Ventspils City Council, has been invited to come to a meeting of the Saeima’s Investigative Committee and answer questions associated with so-called oligarchs case.

How Latvian communities around the world plan to celebrate Latvia’s birthday?

«Celebration of independence of the Republic of Latvia is an important tradition that allows members of Latvia’s diaspora to maintain ties with their homeland – this year’s event will be even more expansive and inclusive than ever before. This is because events associated with the country’s hundredth birthday will be organized all around the world,» says manager of World Federation of Free Latvians office in Latvia Jānis Andersons.

European Parliament triggers punitive procedure against Poland

Members of the European Parliament have passed a resolution requesting for the application of the so-called «nuclear option» for Poland, Article 7 of the EU Treaty, because of the threat to the rule of law in the biggest Eastern European country.

Wage rules violations most often associated with envelope wages

To promote public awareness and improve commercial environment, honest competition and honest compliance with taxes, Latvia’s State Revenue Service intends to expand its database with new information about taxpayers, BNN was told by SRS.

Management of Unity’s Saeima faction to change in December

«Political consultations with all of Unity’s partner parties that are represented in the Saeima’s faction have concluded. An agreement has been reached to perform management change before the end of Saeima’s autumn session – around 21 December,» says Unity’s chairman Arvils Ašeradens.

EP prepared to commence talks with EU governments on reforming asylum system

The European Parliament is prepared to commence talks about reforming Dublin Regulation to ensure every member state is able to resettle a portion of asylum seekers.

Estonia to pour into Finnish-Estonian cultural fund 700 000 euros

Estonian cabinet of ministers has decided to attribute 700,000 euros to the Finno-Estonian Cultural Fund, an organisation working since 2015 aimed at fostering cooperation between the two states in culture, creative economy and training both for individuals and organizations.

Newest comments