bnn.lv Latviski   bnn-news.com English   bnn-news.ru По-русски
Ceturtdiena 19.10.2017 | Name days: Drosma, Drosmis, Elīna
LithuaniaLithuania

Week in Lithuania. Putin in fury over blacklisting Russian Constitutional Court judges

FaceBook
Twitter
Draugiem
print
(+1 rating, 1 votes)

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

Lithuania has ban entry to judges of the Russian Constitutional Court over decisions that legalized the annexation of Crimea. The Lithuanian decision drew an indignant reaction from Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The Russian judges intended to the World Congress of Constitutional Law in Vilnius in March of 2017, however, the Migration Department in November decided to list the Russian Constitutional Court judges as persona non grata, as proposed by the Foreign Ministry. The information about the Lithuanian move was announced during Russian Constitutional Court chairman Valery Zorkin‘s meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

According to Interfax news agency, Zorkin notified Putin of the diplomatic update about the refused entry. In his words, Lithuania had let him know that «judges of the Constitutional Court constitute a threat to the security of the Republic of Lithuania.»

The Russian President’s response was: «What is the reason behind the stupid decision?» The court chairman said that the reason was the Constitutional Court‘s ruling in support of the Crimea annexation, which the Western world views as violation of Ukraine‘s territorial integrity.

Hosting German-led battalion to cost 5.8 million euros

It will cost Lithuania around 5.8 million euros to put in place the infrastructure to host NATO‘s German-led multinational battalion, with work on infrastructure renovation and expansion in Rukla and Linkaičiai planned to be completed early next year, said Lithuania‘s Chief of Defence Lieutenant General Jonas Vytautas Žukas.

The chief of defence on Thursday, December 8, visited Rukla to inspect how preparations for hosting allied troops are going. The deployment of the battalion is expected to begin next year. The Benelux countries, Norway and France are also expected to contribute troops to the German-led unit.

Lithuanian Peasants & Greens in debt

The Lithuanian Peasant and Green Union (LPGU) has a campaign debt of almost a million euros after the October parliamentary elections, in which the party scored a resounding victory, the daily Lietuvos Rytas reported on Friday, December 9, based on data from the Central Electoral Commission.

According to the paper, the Peasants and Greens spent 1.24 million euros on advertising and other election expenses, more four times the amount, at a mere 270,000 euros, they had raised from their supporters and other sources.

The Social Democrats spent as much as almost 1.5 million in their battle to stay in power, but the party declared a debt of less than 15,000 euros.The election campaign cost the conservative Homeland Union–Lithuanian Christian Democrats 1.241 million euros, slightly more than it had raised (1.1 million euros).

The Liberal Movement spent nearly 927,000 euros on the election, but it did not run into debt. Meanwhile, the Labor Party, which spent a similar amount of money, has a debt of 182,000 euros. The Order and Justice Party spent 513,000 euros, compared with almost 400,000 euros raised for the elections. The Electoral Action of Poles in Lithuania – Christian Families Alliance (EAPL-CFA) says that it spent 371,000 euros and is not in debt.

Police searching for suspected spy

Vilnius police is searching for a suspected spy, the Vilnius County Central Police Commissariat said. Vladimir Sokolov, 50, is suspected of seizing, buying and otherwise collecting information that constitutes a Lithuanian state secret or any other information that may be interesting to foreign intelligence.

Under Lithuanian laws, the punishment for the crime is between three and 15 years in prison. According to information available to the police, the man is suspected of spying in an organized group.

Lithuanian army‘s new patrol ship arrives

The P15 patrol vessel purchased by Lithuania‘s Navy from the Danish Armed Forces arrived in the Lithuanian port city of Klaipėda on Wednesday, December 7. The new vessel will be part of the Patrol Ship Division of the Lithuanian Navy, conducting patrol tasks in Lithuania’s territorial seas and exclusive economic zone, the Defence Ministry said.

Its tasks will also include detention and convoy of violator ships, search-and-rescue operations, as well as other tasks. After service in the Danish Navy, the P15 vessel will replace the outdated Norwegian-built Storm-class ship P32 Selis in Lithuania.

President: Government programme based on good intentions

The new Lithuanian government’s program is based on good intentions, and the implementation will depend on more than just cooperation among politicians but also on economics and external factors, President Dalia Grybauskaitė says. In her words, any document – a state strategy or the government’s program – is first of all built on good intentions.

Lithuanian PM-designate nods to candidate

Lithuania‘s Prime Minister-Designate Saulius Skvernelis has proposed Milda Vainiūtė for the country‘s new justice minister. President Dalia Grybauskaitė is yet to approve the candidature. Vainiūtė is professor at the Mykolas Romeris University who has served as legal adviser to President Valdas Adamkus and as adviser at the President’s Office during the first term of President Dalia Grybauskaitė. Julius Pagojus, a Social Democrat, was appointed justice minister last week, but he stepped down amid criticism over last year’s incident in which he was caught by the police drunk-driving.

More volunteers come forward to defend Lithuania

Some 359 young people have expressed willingness to serve in mandatory initial military service in Lithuania, which is double from the same period last year. The most active regions include youth of the Kaunas, Klaipėda and Alytus regions, with applications to serve as volunteers also filed by 18 young females. This year, 93 females serve in military as volunteers.

The conscription for 2017 mandatory initial military service is scheduled to start on Jan. 4 with compilation of recruit lists. Lithuania‘s parliament reintroduced the conscription scheme in spring of 2015, recruiting 3,000 young people in 2015 and 2016.

Small shops in danger amid looming alcohol ban

Small-scale entrepreneurs say they would go bankrupt, if alcohol was moved out of food stores to specialized shops, as proposed by Lithuania‘s new ruling Peasant and Green Union. It is estimated 700 stores, including 500 that do not have technical capacities for a separate specialized store. Artūras Mackevičius, board member of the Association of Small- and Medium-Sized Businesses of the Kaunas Region, says that specialized alcohol stores were only possible in cities and only for the largest retail chains. In his words, small-scale businesses will not have enough money, as, according to their calculations, opening a specialized may cost between 30,000 and 100,000 euros.

Former head of Georgia‘s anti-terrorism center released

Zurab Maisuradze, a former head of Georgia‘s anti-terrorism center who was last week detained by Lithuania’s authorities, on Wednesday, December 7, was released on bail. Tomas Krušna, chief prosecutor of the Criminal Prosecution Department at the Lithuanian Prosecutor General‘s Office, said that the Georgian national had been questioned by the prosecutors. As a condition of his release on bail, the Georgian had to surrender his passport and must report to police at certain intervals.

Prosecutors want Real IRA defendant imprisoned

The Lithuanian Prosecutor General‘s Office has asked a Vilnius court so send Michael Campbell, an Irish citizen who has been cleared of charges of preparing to supply weapons from Lithuania to the Real Irish Republican Army. Criminal persecution in the case started nearly nine years ago. Campbell was detained in Lithuania in January of 2008.

A Vilnius court that initially heard the case sentenced him to 12 years in prison in 2011 for assistance to a terrorist group, unlawful arms possession and attempted smuggling. In 2013, the Lithuanian Court of Appeals cleared him of all charges, ruling that Campbell had been provoked by intelligence agents. The Lithuanian Supreme Court has ordered that the Court of Appeals should review the case. On Monday, December 5, the court heard argumentation from the prosecutor and lawyers.

Finance minister designate: 2017 budget is risky

The 2017 budget draft drafted by Lithuania’s earlier administration is risky, says Finance Minister-Designate Vilius Šapoka, adding that the situation was complicated by the new government‘s aim to raise old-age pensions by 40 euros per month next year.«The aim to raise (pensions) additionally and achieve 40 euros (starting next July) complicates the situation even further,» said the minister-designate. The Lithuanian parliament is due to hold the second hearing of the 2017 budget next week. The new ruling coalition has said it would not make major changes to the budget, however, intended to postpone the enforcement of the new Labour Code and the new social model. The pensions should be raised by a total of 40 euros – by 15 euros starting January and by another 25 euros starting July.

Analysts on Lithuanian government‘s program

Economists and analysts describe the new Lithuanian government’s program as cautious and vague and are concerned about the ruling coalition’s new proposals that may have a negative fiscal effect. Marius Dubnikovas, chairman of the Tax Commission at the Lithuanian Business Confederation, thinks that the tax section of the program is too general and lacks specificity. In his words, the state social insurance fund Sodra’s reform will likely be carried out, but plans to reform the pension fund system are described in very vague terms. Gitanas Nausėda, another prominent economist, thinks that the government will be cautious in its work, but notes that the program has shortcomings when it comes to Lithuania’s business environment.

Second death from Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease

Lithuania has registered this year‘s second death from sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD), the Center for Communicable Diseases and AIDS said. The latest fatality was a 65-year-old woman. Like in earlier cases, it is unclear how she got infected with this rate illness. Lithuania recorded two sporadic CJD cases last year and one case in 2005, 2007 and 2013 each.CJD is a rare and fatal neurodegenerative condition which is classified as a transmissible spongiform encephalopathy. It is caused by an infectious agent called a prion. Nearly 12,000 CJD cases were registered in 25 European countries, Australia, Canada and Israel between 1993 and 2013.

Lithuanian LG chief resigns, praises his decision

Stasys Dailydka who resigned from the post of CEO of state-controlled Lietuvos Geležinkeliai (Lithuanian Railways, or LG) says it was the best decision he had made in life. He said he was stepping down after many years in office, as he predicts he will not secure political support from the new transport and communication, as well as the government and the parliament.

Ref: 020/111.111.111.4517


Leave a reply

Swedish Foreign Minister: harassment exists at highest political level

The Foreign Affairs Minister of Sweden, Margot Wallström, has commended the current sexual assault and harassment awareness campaign in social media and urged to fellow politicians to address the problem.

Latvenergo recognized as Latvia’s most valuable company for tenth time

Latvenergo has been recognized as Latvia’s most valuable company in 2017. Its value grew 34% in comparison with 2016, according to the TOP 101 list of Latvia’s most valuable companies compiled by Prudentia and Nasdaq Riga.

Number of births and number of deaths decline in Latvia

During the first nine months of this year 15,723 babies were born in Latvia, which is 1,113 children fewer than in the corresponding period of the last year.

CC applies binding conditions for the sale of MTG Broadcasting AB

Latvian Competition Council has decided to permit Bite Lietuva to purchase MTG Broadcasting AB group’s businesses in Latvia. CC has applied several binding conditions to prevent a possible impact on competition on the television services and advertisement market.

Eesti Energia warns: Limiting CO2 emissions on capacity could endanger energy supply

Estonian energy giant Eesti Energia has evaluated that a plan under discussion in the European Union to introduce a carbon dioxide release limit for capacity mechanisms to qualify for subsidies could adversely affect the security of supply in Estonia and the Baltic states.

Solidarity tax norm recognized as non-compliant with Latvia’s Constitution

On Thursday, 19 October, the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Latvia declared the Solidarity tax norm as non-compliant with the country’s Constitution.

Survey: Riga residents go to the doctor’s the most often

34% of residents undergo regular health checks, according to Mana Aptieka & Apotheka health index. In addition, women are twice as serious about health checks as men.

LG cozies up with idea of rebuilding railway tracks to Reņģe, Latvia

Lithuania‘s Lietuvos Geležinkeliai has sent a mixed message as to what it intends to do next following an EC fine of nearly 28 million against it over the dismantling a 19-km railway stretch with the Latvian village of Rengė.

Čigāne: European Union’s social pillar is very important to Latvia

On Wednesday, 18 October, Saeima’s European Affairs Committee approved Latvia’s national position on the introduction of EU Pillar of Social Rights.

40% of all car problems are relate to lighting, battery and security systems

It has been determined that 41% of all car problems are related to lighting devices, 39% of problems are related to malfunctioning batteries, and 44% of problems are related to security systems.

Xi Jinping: Chinese socialism has entered new era

China's ruling Communist Party's five-year congress has been opened with the country's President Xi Jinping outlining a general plan for the future development of China.

Public transport in Latvia procurement may be at risk

Considering that continued and unhindered provision of public transport services on ten routes may become at risk from 1 January 2018 onward, Public Transport Council made a decision to ask the Road Directorate to sign a new contract to ensure services are available in multiple Latvian cities, as confirmed by Road Directorate.

Iraqi forces retake disputed territories from Kurdish forces

Three weeks after the Iraqi Kurdistan independence referendum, forces of the Iraqi central government have taken control of the territories in the country, which had been seized by Kurdish fighters after victories over the terrorist group «Islamic State».

Sale of MTG’s business in Baltics to Providence concludes successfully

Wednesday, 18 October, marked the successful conclusion of the sale of Baltic assets owned by Swedish media concern Modern Times Group to Providence Equity Partners. From now on companies previously owned by MTG in Baltics will function as a single organization named All Media Baltics, as confirmed by the company’s manager Pierre Danon.

Estonian port company makes 29% more revenue in January-September

Estonian state port company Port of Tallinn has made the revenue in the amount of 99.1 million euros in the first nine months of 2017, which is a 29% increase compared to January-September in 2016.

42 gambling halls to be closed down in Riga in next five years

On Wednesday, 18 October, Riga City Council supported plans to close another 33 gambling halls in the city. With that, a total of 42 gambling halls will be liquidated in the next five year.

Latvia has the highest index of female CEOs among EU member states

The highest index of female CEOs among European Union member states belongs to Latvia – 47%. In total, only 33% of CEOs in EU were female last year, according to data from the Central Statistical Bureau of Latvia.

Survey: more and more people take notice of benefits provided by EU membership

65% of Latvian residents believe the country’s membership in the European Union has brought tangible benefits. A similar opinion was voiced by 64% of residents of all EU member states in the Eurobarometer study performed by the European Parliament.

17 persons in need of international aid are relocated to Latvia from Turkey

On Tuesday, 17 October, seventeen individuals, including nine children, in need of international protection were relocated to Latvia from Turkey as part of EU resettlement programme, as confirmed by Latvian Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs.

BATL: to avoid crisis in transit sector, government and Transport Ministry must act

Latvian Prime Minister Māris Kučinskis’ led Latvian Ports, Transit and Logistics Council also supports Saeima’s National Economy Committee’s decision on the need for Transport Ministry to develop a long-term vision for the development of the country’s transit industry.

Psychologist: six-year-old children are not ready for school

«It is wrong to believe that the sooner a child starts going to school, the better their academic results will be. Reforms are performed aggressively, without asking pedagogues or other specialists for their opinion. We lack a comprehensive analysis of the current situation that would be based on studies, not international ratings,» says certified clinical psychologist and psychotherapist Jolanta Lamstere.

Klaipeda transport ticketing system to be installed by Estonian Ridango

In the Lithuanian port city of Klaipeda, Estonian firm Ridango has been selected for installing its technology on public transport.

Policeman in Malta posts he's happy about killing of journalist Galizia

In Malta, where an investigative journalist has been killed this week, a police sergeant has posted on Facebook he felt happy about her death and has been suspended from office a day after.

Exchange indexes reach new records; oil prices increase as well

Dow Jones Industrial Average and Standard & Poor’s 500 index reached new record-high values on Tuesday, 17 October. US dollar value before euro and Japanese yen increased.

Anti-corruption protesters in Ukraine push for reforms

Three protesters and a policeman have been injured in Kyiv, Ukraine, as a crowd of anti-corruption demonstrators voiced their demands for reforms aimed at tackling corruption in the country.