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Monday 23.04.2018 | Name days: Jurģis, Juris, Georgs
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Week in Lithuania. Lithuanian President signs Paris climate change agreement in New York

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUAt the United Nations headquarters in New York, Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaitė has signed the Paris climate change agreement.

«The effect of climate change is evident: it causes floods in some regions and the expansion of deserts, droughts and even hunger in others. This is also one of the causes of migration. The agreement on climate change is an important step that can hold the speed of warming. The whole world suffers from the consequences, some countries more painfully while others – less; however, we all need to deal with this,» the President said.

Lithuania also feels the consequences of climate change –over fifty years, average air temperature in winter has risen by 1.2°C and the number of days when temperature reaches +30°C has almost quadrupled.

According to the statement by the President, Lithuania not only supports the Paris agreement and will contribute responsibly to its implementation but it is also one of the success stories for the world.

«Over a twenty five-year period, greenhouse gas emissions have more than halved in Lithuania while GDP has increased by 30 percent during that period. Our country is already producing almost a quarter of energy from renewable energy resources and is introducing less-polluting technologies,» the Lithuanian head-of-state said.

Germany will help strengthen Lithuania’s security

President Dalia Grybauskaitė on a state visit to Germany discussed with German Chancellor Angela Merkel relevant bilateral, EU and NATO issues. The meeting placed special emphasis on the threat posed by Russia to the security of Europe and on NATO’s defense and deterrence measures to counter it, as well as on EU actions to tackle the migration crisis in the EU.

«Provocations that show signs of hybrid warfare against NATO ships and planes in the Baltic Sea, Russia’s aggressive and unpredictable behavior, hostile propaganda which incites hatred and is against our societies, as well as cyber-attacks – they all destroy peace and security in Europe. We will work together with Germany to strengthen NATO’s collective defense measures for the Baltic States in order to prevent any possible aggression,» the President said.

This year 600 German service personnel and several hundred units of military equipment will arrive in Lithuania.

Lithuanian-French strategic partnership discussed

Lithuanian Foreign Affairs minister Lithuania Linas Linkevičius met with the French counterpart Jean-Marc Ayrault, while participating in the EU’s Foreign Affairs Council earlier the week. In the meeting, Linkevičius stressed that Lithuania especially appreciated its good bilateral relationship with the country’s strategic partner – France – and was interested in further strengthening cooperation, especially in the fields of security and defence, the development of economic relations and energy.

The French Foreign minister briefed Linkevičius about his next day’s visit to Moscow and the ongoing talks on Ukraine in the Normandy Four format.

Calls on EU to strengthen relations with Eastern partner countries

Lithuanian Foreign Affairs minister Linas Linkevičius took part last Monday, April 18, in the EU’s Foreign Affairs Council meeting in Luxembourg. Foreign Ministers discussed issues related to the Eastern Partnership, migration and Libya.

Linkevičius noted that maintaining a constant focus on Eastern partner countries and strengthening ties were important for stability of the whole region and its economic development. He urged to finalize the ratification process of the Association Agreements with Moldova and Georgia as soon as possible and to introduce visa-free regimes with Ukraine and Georgia.

«We must finalize the ratification process of the Association Agreements, including Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Areas (DCFTAs), with Moldova and Georgia as soon as possible with a view to having the above-mentioned agreements entering into force already this summer,» said the minister.

Lithuanian tennis star qualifies for Rio Olympics

Lithuania’s top-ranking tennis player Ričardas Berankis has secured a ticket to Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games.

New Labour Code being debated in Seimas

The Lithuanian Seimas defined different types of employment contracts and a new regulation of these contracts as part of continuing debates on a new Labour Code on Tuesday, April 19.

Lithuanian in Israel detained

Lithuanian citizen Gabrielė Tervidytė has been detained in Tel Aviv, Israel, as a threat to national security, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs told on Thursday, April 21.

US State Department names human rights problems in Lithuania

Children’s rights and non-discrimination of minorities are the weakest points in Lithuania’s human rights record, according to a report by the United States Department of State.

Lithuanian Basketball Federation cornered up

The Lithuanian Basketball Federation (LKF) announced it sees no alternative to the International Basketball Federation (FIBA), LKF president Arvydas Sabonis said after the federation decided to suspend clubs playing in the Eurocup tournament organized by Euroleague from participation in official basketball matches.

Lithuania mulls options to stop Astravyets nuclear plant

A study presented at the Ministry of Energy on Thursday, April 21, outlines possibilities how Lithuania could respond to the construction of the Astravyets Nuclear Power Plant in Belarus.

Vilnius to sweep away illegal structures in Roma settlement

Vilnius authorities are to tear down illegally erected structures in Vilnius Roma settlement alongside measures to integrate members of the Roma community, Vilnius Deputy Mayor Gintautas Paluckas said, adding that the demolition will start as soon as a family occupying the building moves out.

Iraqi family not to appeal unfavorable ruling

An Iraqi family relocated to Lithuania under the EU’s refugee relocation program has decided not to appeal a Vilnius court ruling refusing to grant it refugee status.

Syrian refugee to hold exhibition

Majd Kara, a Syrian refugee who came to Lithuania last month under the EU relocation program, announced she is staging an exhibition of his paintings in Vilnius.

Kino Pavasaris winners announced

Kino Pavasaris, an international film festival in Vilnius, has ended with the announcement of winners of the festival. Among notable winners from around the world was the first-ever victory of a Lithuanian film at the festival.

Proposal to allow English-language company names in Lithuania

A member of the Lithuanian Seimas’ Liberal group has submitted a proposal calling for the liberalisation of language and naming rules for the formation of new companies, which would allow more companies to choose names with words from English or other widely used foreign languages.

Lithuania drops in media freedom index

In 2016, Lithuania was ranked 35th in this year’s World Press Freedom Index published by the non-governmental organization Reporters Without Borders. Lithuania has moved down from the previous standing.

Life insurance market enlivens

Life insurance market in Lithuania has bounced back to the levels before the 2008 global downturn, the Bank of Lithuania says.

Germany to join Vilnius-based NATO energy security centre

Germany has plans to join the NATO Energy Security Center of Excellence (ENSEC COE), based in Vilnius, the Lithuanian Ministry of National Defence said on Thursday, April 21.

Grave robbers dig up WWI and WWII German graves in Lithuania

Grave robbers dug up two burial sites in Lithuania in search of military memorabilia from the two world wars, Lzinios.lt reported.

VSD proposal on «disloyal individuals»

The Lithuanian State Security Department (VSD) has proposed restricting access to guns of individuals who are seen as posing a threat to national security.

MP: statement about Russians landing in Lithuania was «hypothetical»

MP Artūras Paulauskas said his statements several weeks ago about a possible landing of Russian forces on the Lithuanian coast were «hypothetical».

Russia uses meeting with NATO for its agenda

As NATO and Russian officials met for the first time in two years in Brussels on Wednesday, April 20, Moscow used the occasion to oppose NATO deployments in the Baltic States.

Two Lithuanian footballers suspended

Two Lithuanian football players have reportedly been caught doping. Tests detected Meldonium in their urine, a substance that the World Anti-Doping Agency banned from use by athletes as of January 1.

First humans came to Lithuania 30,000 years earlier than thought

It has long been thought that the first inhabitants came to the territory of present-day Lithuania 14,000 years ago, but a new discovery has pushed back the date at least 30,000 years more.

French PM to visit Lithuania in autumn

French Prime Minister Manuel Valls is expected to pay a visit to Lithuania in September, Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevičius said after meeting with his French counterpart on Monday, April 18.


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Week in Lithuania. Economists, trade unions cautious about tax, pension reform plans

Lithuanian economists and trade union officials say that the government's planned tax and pension system reform unveiled on Monday, April 23, will lead to a rise in wages, but will not help drastically curb emigration.

BNN summary of the week: prime minister without solutions; birth rates down; organic food rules

BNN offers a summary of this week’s topical news in a variety of categories: Change; Growth; Business; Assessment; Fight; Future.

Economy Ministry: producer prices will affect dynamics of raw material prices

Producer prices in industry will grow in 2018 similarly as they had in 2017. Producer price level is largely affected by fluctuations of raw material prices in the world, as noted by Latvia’s Economy Ministry.

PUC: Gaso’s separation from Latvijas Gāze was legal

After examining documents submitted by the transmission system’s operator, the Public Utilities Commission concluded that activities performed by AS Gaso as part of reorganization of Latvijas Gāze were sufficient to ensure compliance with requirements for independence, as reported by PUC representatives.

Industrial producer prices in Latvia up 3.5%

Compared to February, level of producer prices in the Latvian industry rose by 0.2 % in March 2018. Prices of products sold on the domestic market grew by 0.1 %, but prices of exported products went up by 0.4 %.

Municipality: after meeting in summer, British Steel refused to buy KVV Liepājas metalurgs

After the meeting that took place at the end of August 2017, British Steel, which had previously voiced an interest in KVV Liepājas metalurgs, refused to purchase the bankrupt company, says Liepaja City Council chairman’s advisor for public relations matters Andrejs Rjabcevs.

SRS determines Latvian officials with the largest salaries

Thanks to real estate transactions Prison Administration Chief Ilona Spure and Healthcare Minster Anda Čakša had the largest income among state officials in 2017. The holder of the largest wage among state officials remains the governor of the Bank of Latvia Ilmārs Rimšēvičs, according to information compiled by the State Revenue Service.

Total tax debts in Latvia – EUR 1.255 billion

At the beginning of April total tax debts in Latvia, including outstanding, halted and payment extensions, was EUR 1.255 billion, which is 3.2% lower than the previous month.

Eight-year-long Latvian-Russian state border demarcation process concludes

Latvian-Russian state border demarcation documents have come to force. 21 April 2018 marked the conclusion of the two countries’ joint border demarcation process that lasted eight years, as reported by Latvia’s Foreign Affairs Ministry’s press-centre.

Prosecutor general turns to Constitutional Court against MPC regulations

Latvia’s Prosecutor General Ēriks Kalnmeiers has submitted a case to the Constitutional Court about the non-compliance of the mandatory procurement component with the country’s Constitution.

Unity may become New Unity; Kariņš may become prime minister candidate

Unity may start in upcoming Saeima elections with a new name – New Unity. The party may pick MEP Krišjānis Kariņš as its prime minister candidate, as reported by Panorāma programme of LTV.

France to fine for naming veggie foods in meat terms

In France, vegetable-based products such as soya steaks or vegetarian sausages marketed as meat substitutes are to be banned in France for misleading consumers as it will be prohibited for food producers to use any meat terms to label products that do not contain meat.

Breach intensity on a rise near Latvia’s state border

Two groups of Vietnamese citizens were caught in an illegal attempt to cross Latvia’s border and multiple cigarette-smuggling attempts were thwarted by authorities in April, as reported by Latvia’s State Border Guard.

Latvia downgraded in openness of civic space rating

Citing Latvian laws as showing less respect fundamental freedoms since 2017, CIVICUS, the international organisation promoting and monitoring civil society and citizen participation in democracies, has downgraded the rating of the openness of the civic space in Latvia from «Open» to «Narrowed».

Authorities to check Riga City Council member Frolovs’ possibly fictive employment in Getliņi Eko

Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau has commenced an inspection following Riga City Council deputy Juta Strīķe. In it, she detailed concerns about the possible fictive employment of city council deputy Vladimirs Frolovs in Getliņi Eko.

Jekabpils Council divides a pie, not duties; will the management change?

Disputes have commenced amidst the ranks of members of Jekabpils City Council – coalition member Kristīne Ozola from the National Alliance says behaviour of the city council’s management made her change her mind in regards to supporting the ruling coalition.

U.S. urges Moscow to address election, chemical weapons' and Ukraine issues

The United States government has asked the Kremlin to act on U.S. concerns on election meddling, the Salisbury chemical attack in UK, as well as the military developments in Ukraine and Syria.

Latvijas Krājbanka’s administrator recovered EUR 114,800 in March

The administrator of the liquidated Latvijas Krājbanka EUR 114,823 in March, which is 16.9% less than a month ago, according to the report published in Latvian Herald.

Basque militants ETA apologise to killed and injured readying for dissolution

ETA, the Basque military organisation that has fought for the establishment of an independent country in northern Spain and south-western France for 50 years, has apologised for causing harm to victims of its campaign.

Every second resident in Latvia has a loan, and every third – a missed payment

Last year, the number of private person loans had increased nearly 10%, according to the Credit Information Bureau’s data exchange system. Currently this institution’s data archive contains entries for 899 thousand assets in private persons’ contracts. 290 thousand private persons have missed some of their payments.

State Secretary: Latvia and China share good economic cooperation perspectives

To present topical issues of Latvian-Chinese economic cooperation to businessmen, as well as contribute to formation of new business contacts, officials have launched the Latvia-Ningbo Economic & Trade Cooperation Symposium, as reported by Foreign Affairs Ministry.

Wet summer boosted air travel via Tallinn Airport

In Estonian passenger aviation, a considerable 19% growth has been observed by the Tallinn Airport in 2017, which has explained the increase in passenger numbers partly with unusually bad weather conditions.

ABLV Bank urges FinCEN to withdraw «exaggerated accusations»

Lawyers of ABLV Bank, which is currently in the process of self-liquidating, urge US Department of Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network to withdraw its published proposal, which details how ABLV Bank’s management had allegedly used bribes to influence Latvian officials and breach sanctions against North Korea.

Stoltenberg: NATO has no plans to boost military presence in Baltic States

NATO does not plan to increase its presence in Baltic States, which have requested additional aid against Russia’s potential aggression, as announced by the alliance’s Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.

Mass evacuation in Berlin to defuse 500 kg bomb

In Berlin, after an unexploded bomb weighing 500 kg has been discovered, part of the German capital is being evacuated on Friday, April 20, in order to defuse the World War II weapon.

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