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Wednesday 24.05.2017 | Name days: Marlēna, Ilvija, Ziedone
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Week in Lithuania. King of Sweden visits Lithuania, takes part in Swedish Business Awards Ceremony

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King of Sweden Carl XVI Gustav has welcomed successful cooperation between Lithuania and Sweden in communications during a three-day state visit in Lithuania.

King Carl XVI Gustav of Sweden along with Lithuanian Minister of Transport and Communications Rimantas Sinkevičius visited Swedish capital company TEO LT. The King of Sweden and the minister exchanged views on developments in the field of communications, discussed the successful cooperation between Lithuania and Sweden, Lithuania‘s Ministry of Transport and Communications said. During the visit, the activity and prospects of TEO LT, part of TeliaSonera Group (Sweden), in Lithuania were presented to the King of Sweden. Sweden is the largest foreign investor in Lithuania. Business investments of Sweden amount to more than a quarter of foreign direct investments in Lithuania.

Swedish Business Awards go for modern ideas and innovative people

Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaitė and King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden, who was on a state visit in Lithuania, attended the Swedish Business Awards Ceremony on Thursday, October 8. Sweden is the largest foreign investor in Lithuania. The Awards, which celebrate their tenth anniversary, aim at strengthening Lithuanian and Swedish business ties and highlighting business responsibility towards society and nature. The Award for Sustainable Development was presented to the Ernestena group of companies for developing innovative and nature-friendly bio-fuel technologies. The Young Business Person of the Year went to Austėja Landsbergienė, the founder of the pre-school day care centre Vaikystės Sodas for a novel and inspiring model of developing business. The Awards Ceremony was attended by a large business delegation – which had arrived together with the Swedish royal couple – representing 23 Swedish companies. They were heads of Ericsson, SAAB, Skandia, Ikea Group, Stena Line, Icomera, and other companies dealing with defence, pharmaceutical industry, finance, forestry, and waste management.

Foreign Direct Imvestment to Lithuania triples

The flow of foreign direct investment (FDI) in the second quarter to Lithuania amounted to 65.23 million euro, or 3.5 times more than in the same period a year ago. In the second quarter, foreign investment mostly grew from Poland: Lithuania received Polish FDI worth 254.1 million euro, also from Germany (75.8 million euro) and Spain (28.7 million euro).

Lithuanian theater dignitary Galina Dauguvietytė passes away

Lithuania‘s legendary actress, play director, screenwriter and author Galina Dauguvietytė died in Vilnius on Thursday, October 8. She was 89 years old. Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaitė and Seimas Speaker Loreta Graužinienė have offered their condolences over Dauguvietytė‘s death. According to the President, Dauguvietytė was an important public person in Lithuania, who formed the best television traditions in the country.

President: Conscription might be necessary in future

A decent army reserve is very important for Lithuania, therefore conscription must remain in effect even after five years when the military draft programme, introduced this year, expires, believes President Dalia Grybauskaitė.«A well-trained army reserve will remain important for Lithuania even after five years, therefore it might be necessary to extend draft for compulsory initial military service,» the president told BNS, a Lithuanian news agency, on Thursday, October 8. The Lithuanian parliament reintroduced military conscription this year in response to tensions in Eastern Europe. Between 3,000 and 3,500 young men will be drafted for nine-month military service each year for the next five years. Meanwhile, Defence Minister Juozas Olekas has been vague on the issue. He previously advocated a purely professional army. At the moment the Lithuanian army consists of 8,000 professional troops, 4,500 volunteers and 1,100 draftees as well as a staff of 2,500 civilians.

Lithuania gets first installment of EIB loan

Lithuania received the first part of a loan from the European Investment Bank (EIB), 300 million euro. Lithuania will pay 1.51 percent annual interest which has been fixed for the duration of the loan, i.e., 25 years. In May Lithuania and the EIB signed an agreement over 1.3 billion euro loan in order to secure co-financing for the 2014-2020 European Union (EU) fund investment programmes and 2014-2020 Rural Development programme. Lithuania will use the funds to co-finance 2014-2020 EU projects in the areas of small and medium-sized enterprises, energy, environmental protection, climate change, transport and networks infrastructure, employment, social security, education, public administration, technical assistance and rural development.

Lithuanian Interior minister: EU‘s return policy should be more ambitious

Lithuania‘s Interior Minister Saulius Skvernelis attended the European Union‘s (EU) Justice and Home Affairs Council in Luxembourg. Responding to a recent refugee crisis, ministers of the EU member states have negotiated this this week issues relating external border control and on the future of return policies as well as on the implementation of the decision to relocate 40,000 migrants from Italy and Greece. «The border-free Schengen Area with fast movement through its external borders is one of the biggest achievements of the EU which must be preserved. The EU‘s internal borders will be secure and open insofar as its external borders are protected,» Skvernelis said while presenting Lithuania‘s position on the future of the EU’s external borders. Ministers of the EU member states in Luxembourg discussed the action plan prepared by the European Commission concerning return policies. It includes approximately 40 immediate and medium-term measures promoting voluntary return, improving information sharing, coordinating return operations and creating an integrated return management system.

London Lithuanians’ charity ball to raise funds for suicide prevention

Lithuanian expatriates in the United Kingdom look forward to organizing a charity ball focusing on large suicide rate in Lithuania, a sore issue in the Baltic nation. According to official statistics, almost one thousand people in Lithuania took their own lives last year. The charity ball is organized by the Lithuanian Chamber of Commerce in the UK (LCCUK) this November. All proceeds from the event will go to Youth Line (Jaunimo linija), an emotional support helpline for people who need help. LLCCUK invites everyone who cares about social problems in Lithuania and wish to contribute to their solution to the event in the Dorchester Hotel, London, on November 6. Jaunimo Linija is a non-governmental organization established in 1991. Its volunteers provide emotional support via a helpline and email.

UK announces permanentdeployment of troops to Baltic States

In a NATO Defence Ministerial meeting in Brussels on Thursday, October 8, UK Defence Secretary Michael Fallon announced that the UK would deploy a persistent military presence to the Baltic States. The UK will periodically deploy company-sized military units to the Baltic States, building on existing deployments wherever possible. Russian Parliament‘s (Duma) International Affairs Committee head Alexey Pushkovcalled NATO‘s latest measures to prop up the defence of the Baltic States from threats supposedly coming from Russia «theatre of absurd.» The Kremlin‘s spokesman said Russia will take «reciprocal steps.»

Lithuania‘s Minister of National Defence Juozas Olekas says that the UK‘s decision to send army units to the Baltic states and Poland is a reaction to Russia‘s actions in the region, therefore Moscow‘s statements about reciprocal steps are misleading. Juozas Olekas.«I think that such statements do not match reality, because it‘s not them (Russians) reacting to NATO‘s actions, but us reacting to theirs: militarization in the Kaliningrad Oblast, mobilization of equipment are the actions that forced us to respond, not vice versa,» Minister Olekas told BNS on Thursday, October 8.

EC vice-president: Lithuania should step up e-health services

Vice President of the European Commission and Commissioner for the Digital Single Market Andrus Ansip encourages Lithuania to improve the accessibility of electronic health services for citizens, especially as regards electronic prescriptions. The European commissioner pointed out that in Lithuania only 0.45 percent of all prescriptions were issued electronically in 2013. Lithuania began developing its e-prescription system back in 2012. The service was scheduled for launch in November 2014 but the deadline was pushed back to the summer of 2015. E-prescription system was introduced to doctors and the public in June 2015. Around 170 public hospitals and 4,000 pharmacies are expected to join the system during the first stage of development, i.e., by November 2015.

Lithuanian MEP: Nord Stream- 2 violates EU law

MEP Gabrielius Landsbergis addressed Maroš Šefčovič, Vice President of the European Commission in charge of the Energy Union, and Margrethe Vestager, European Commissioner for competition, saying that the planned Nord Stream 2 project contravenes primary energy security objectives of the European Union (EU) and the Third Energy Package. According to the MEP, German Chancellor Angela Merkel expressed an indifferent position at the European Parliament on Wednesday, October 7, stating that this is just a commercial project and the government does not intend to get involved. Landsbergis says such position is short-sighted, goes against the stance of the Baltic States, Poland and Ukraine and does not meet the EU‘s spirit of solidarity.

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