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Wednesday 24.05.2017 | Name days: Marlēna, Ilvija, Ziedone
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Week in Lithuania. Lithuania plans to buy German Boxer

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RULithuania thinks about buying Boxer armoured combat vehicles from Germany and the proposal will be submitted to the country’s State Defence Council.

«Boxer armoured vehicles have been chosen. We will propose to the State Defence Council to sign the deal,» Captain Mindaugas Neimontas, the spokesman of the Lithuanian Army, told.

Meanwhile President Dalia Grybauskaitė’s representatives said she would not call a meeting of the council for individual contracts.

«The Council approved the guidelines for the acquisition of weaponry and equipment in April. A meeting of the Council regarding specific contracts will not be held,» the Press Service of the President issued statement.

Juozas Olekas, the country’s Defence minister, says the Ministry will seek acquisition of the vehicles as soon as possible.

Lithuania suspects possible major cyber attack

Lithuania’s major online news outlets had their operations disturbed late Thursday night. Experts suspect preparations for a major cyber attack against Lithuania. For some time, users were not able to access the websites of the biggest online news portals. However, access was soon restored. According to experts interviewed by Delfi.lt, the disturbance might have been part of preparations for a major cyber attack against Lithuania. The assault, they add, might happen in the near future.

Flanders Investment & Trade to open representative office in Lithuanian capital

Investment & Trade (FIT) will open its representative office for the Baltic States in Vilnius in 2016. The government of Flanders has adopted the decision with an aim to engage with a dynamic Baltic region more actively, Lithuania’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs reports.

«This is an extraordinary gesture of the Belgian region that is economically most advanced and it is an obvious proof of economic attractiveness and recognition of regional significance of Vilnius,» underlined Gediminas Varvuolis, the Lithuanian ambassador in Belgium.

The cooperation agreement between the governments of Lithuania and Flanders was signed in 1996. Every three years, new cooperation programmes which cover economic, research and technologies, culture and education, transportation, agriculture and many other topics are drafted based on the afore-mentioned agreement. The cooperation programme for 2013-2015 was signed in 2012.

Mediafon sets up holding company

Telecommunications and IT Company, operating in 4 continents with strong presence in the Baltics, sets up a holding company to further boost profits, Arūnas Babrauskas, the CEO at Mediafon and Member of the Board said Thursday, July 9.

«Mediafon has demonstrated strong growth for more than a decade. Notwithstanding other business activities, there are two major, rather different areas of our business today – specialized carrier-level IT solutions with related professional services and voice traffic transit services. In order to manage and develop them more efficiently and expand our business even further, we decided to establish a holding company,» CEO and Member of the Board Babrauskas is quoted in a press release.

According to Babrauskas, two subsidiary companies also will be established – Mediafon Carrier Services and Mediafon Datapro. Mediafon Carrier Services will continue to provide wholesale voice traffic transit services to customers in Europe, CIS, Asia and Middle East countries and beyond.

Lithuanian foreign minister on Kremlin’s entanglement in Donbas

Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevičius says that Russia is not interested in escalating the armed conflict in Eastern Ukraine, but the Kremlin finds it difficult to withdraw from the conflict without losing face on the international arena and inside the country.

«I believe that Russia is not interested in further escalating the situation both in Donetsk and Luhansk. The genie is out of the bottle and those well-armed groups continue to rampage. I do not know if they continue to obey to the will of their inspirers,» the Lithuanian minister told on Thursday, July 9.

Lithuania readies for Mediterranean Sea refugees

Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaitė says accepting several hundred refugees is not only a challenge but also an opportunity to solve the problem of short workforce supply. Lithuania will probably have to accept more than 250 refugees, a number the Lithuanian government has endorsed earlier, but fewer than 710, as the European Commission proposed earlier.

«I think we’ll be capable and that it will be good experience as we’ll learn to deal with things and prepare infrastructure. The lack of workforce shows that we really need people,» the president told on Thursday, June 9.

Some economists, however, disagree with the head-of-state, saying several hundred refugees will be a strain to local economy.

Foreigners who will come to Lithuanian under the EU program would be accommodated at the Refugees Reception Centre in Rukla and nongovernment organizations would later take care of their settlement in other Lithuanian municipalities. Refugees would be taught Lithuanian and registered at the Lithuanian Labour Exchange. Lithuania is said to be paid 6,000 euro for every refugee.

Karolis Zibas, of the Lithuanian Institute for Ethnic Studies, says Lithuania would not face the problem of immigrant «ghettos» as very few of them would actually stay in Lithuania, choosing instead richer West European countries.

Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevičius says that Lithuania is not seeking particular quotas or figures as regards the migrant issue, however, it wants the criteria according to which refugees are distributed among the member-states to be transparent and correspondent to the country’s actual possibilities of taking in people.

Last week, with the help of Caritas and the Catholic Church, three Christian families from Iraq, who suffered religious persecution in their homeland, were accepted in Lithuania. Last year, Lithuania took in 40 Christians from Syria.

NATO military aid expected to come next year

Allied high readiness elements might come to Lithuania next year for training and certification of a NATO headquarters being established in Lithuania, its Deputy Commander Lieutenant Colonel Mindaugas Petkevičius says.

« A training event with the headquarters’ certification are scheduled for 2016, and also probably the arrival of high readiness elements,» he told journalists at the headquarters of the Joint Staff of the Lithuanian Armed Forces in Vilnius, which will also house the new NATO headquarters. High readiness elements are NATO rapid response forces that can be redeployed to an operation location within a week and part of them – high readiness forces – can be redeployed within two days.

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