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Wednesday 21.08.2019 | Name days: Linda, Janīna

Lithuania’s political and economic diary. Lithuania exerts in defense of Russia-detained fishing vessel

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUCharges against captain of fishing vessel detained in Russia

The Lithuanian fishing vessel Jūros Vilkas (Sea Wolf) detained in Russia has been placed under arrest, with administrative charges brought against its captain, Lithuanian diplomats said. Lawyers have requested that the ship be released on a bail.

The decision on bail is said to be announced next week.

«The pre-trial investigation authorities decided today to put the vessel under arrest, administrative charges were brought against the captain. Lawyers have submitted a plea for the ship to be released on a bail. The decision on the bail and its size will be made by court next week,» the Lithuanian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Rasa Jakilaitienė told.

In her words, lawyers of the fisheries company have already arrived in Murmansk, a consul was taking care of the three Lithuanian citizens aboard the ship before their arrival.

Lithuania maintains the fishing vessel Jūros Vilkas (Sea Wolf) was last week unlawfully detained in international waters, while Russia claims the Lithuanian ship was engaged in unlawful fisheries in Russia’s economic zone.

In the crew of 28 people there are three Lithuanian citizens including the captain.

Lithuania’s Agriculture Minister Virginija Baltraitienė earlier on Thursday asked the European Commission to represent the interests of the arrested ship in the case.

«Lithuania seeks to defend the legitimate interests of the fisheries company and citizens by getting help of the European Commission, which represents the European union in the North East Atlantic Fisheries Commission,» the minister said in a press release.

Lithuanian parliament votes down conservatives bill on ethnic minorities

Lithuania’s parliament on Thursday voted down the draft of the Ethnic Minority Law, proposed by the conservatives, which, if in effect, would have banned bilingual street and location signs.

In the initial vote, the draft changes to the Law for the Protection of Rights and Freedoms of Persons of Ethnic Minorities and Communities were supported by 40 parliamentarians, eight were against and 43 abstained.

The parliament had earlier given its initial go-ahead to the bill initiated by the then ruling Electoral Action of Poles in Lithuania (LLRA) party, but with changes.

The LLRA-proposed bill allowed the use of ethnic minority languages in state agencies and organizations in areas with dense non-Lithuanian speaking populations, along with bilingual signs. However, in the discussion of the draft in July, parliament crossed out the provision on bilingual signs.

Adoption of the law was initially planned in the autumn session, but after the LLRA left the ruling bloc in July, Parliamentary Speaker Loreta Graužinienė said in her presentation of the tasks for the plenary that the bill was not a priority.

Lithuanian Seimas speaker invites Polish counterpart to visit Lithuania

Along with her congratulations to the new Polish Parliament Speaker Radoslaw Sikorski, Lithuanian Seimas Speaker Loreta Graužinienė has invited him to pay a visit to Lithuania on March 11, 2015 and commemorate together the 25th anniversary of the restoration of the Lithuanian state.

Seimas speaker wished Sikorski all the best in his work as the leader of the Sejm of Poland.

Former Polish Minister of Foreign Affairs Sikorski has been recently appointed as the speaker of the country’s parliament.

Šiauliai cancels suspicious investment deal near NATO Air base

The Russian citizen-led company pledged to build a laboratory for trains running on «string tracks” on the land and invest at least 60 million litas (17.4m euro) into the pursuit. Rail Skyway Systems Ltd, the company, even has made an investment security deposit of 1 million litas, but that just has not been enough to get started working.

Šiauliai City Council on Thursday decided to cancel the controversial agreement on an investment project that would have been carried out near a NATO Air base.

«After the Lithuanian president a week ago put forward legislative amendments providing that investment in strategic economic sectors and in places near strategic facilities may be permitted only after looking into whether activities of the potential investor pose no threat to national security, and after the prime minister received law-enforcement bodies’ findings on Rail Skyway Systems Ltd, it has been decided to cancel the Šiauliai Industrial Park’s investment agreement with Rail Skyway Systems Ltd,» the City Council said in its resolution.

The resolution was adopted with 15 votes in favor, no votes against and six abstentions.

Under the agreement signed earlier this month, Rail Skyway Systems Ltd was to be granted a 99-year lease on a plot of land close to the airport. The company pledged to build a laboratory for trains running on «string tracks” on the land and invest at least 60 million litas (EUR 17.4m) by the end of 2018.

According to data of the Centre of Registers from March, Rail Skyway Systems is owned by Anatoly Yunicky, its CEO, and Nadezhda Kosareva. Both shareholders gave the same address in Moscow as their place of residence.

Lithuanian foreign minister: Ukraine’s compromise on EU agreement is a mistake

The European Union’s decision to give Ukraine more time to fully implement a trade pact to assuage Russian pressure is a potentially dangerous step that leaves the gates open for Moscow to press for major changes to the deal, Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevičius told The Wall Street Journal.

Linkevičius has highlighted what was until now private unease within the bloc over the September 12 compromise. That deal saw the EU give Ukraine until the end of 2015 to implement key parts of the bilateral trade and political pact. In return, Russia agreed not to retaliate against Kiev for ratifying the agreement.

Russia, which has fiercely opposed the EU-Ukraine pact, has since pressed further demands on Brussels and Kiev, including seeking changes to the substance of the accord. The EU has insisted it won’t make any changes to the agreement text, which has already been signed and ratified by the two sides and a number of European capitals.

Linkevičius said Lithuania, which is among the most critical of Russia within the 28-nation bloc, was taken by surprise by the EU decision and learned about it from the press.

«It was I believe tactically and strategically not a very right step, » the minister said.

EU officials have said they offered the compromise to relieve pressure on Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, who feared Russian trade – and possibly military – retaliation. The deal was struck as the Ukrainian leader was negotiating with Moscow a broader cease fire to quell Kiev’s fight with pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine.

Lithuania’s UN delegation calls for focus on human rights in Ukraine

Lithuania’s delegation led by Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Neris Germanas participated in the events of the 27th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva on 22-24 September. During the visit, particular attention was given to the human rights and humanitarian situation in Ukraine, Lithuania’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.

«Lithuania remains concerned about gross violations of human rights and international humanitarian law, the growing rate of hatred, discrimination and propaganda in eastern Ukraine. The international community must take all possible measures to hold those responsible for the violations of international law to account,» said Germanas.

Situation in Ukraine and the measures to ensure the recovery and stability of the country’s economy were discussed in the meeting with Nicholas Davis, the Director for Europe at the World Economic Forum (WEF). The deputy minister also suggested the WEF to invite Lithuanian artists to participate in its cultural programmes.


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  1. Linda says:

    Perhaps we should all arrest illegal boats in international waters which stray close to our economic zones. On second thoughts, there would be more Russian ships impounded in foreign harbours not to mention the submarines that break country frontiers and then sink – must be quite a few in Stockholm harbour.

New members to Freeport of Riga Authority elected, despite criticism

The Riga City Council elected to the Board of the Freeport of Riga Authority, mayor Oļegs Burovs and councilman Sandris Bergmanis, despite heavy criticism of the latter for incompetence and lack of vision.

Italy loses government, coalition of right-wing, anti-establishment parties collapses

Italy has lost its government with Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte announcing resignation after the right-wing League party pushed for no-confidence motion to its own government.

Kaljulaid opposed to Estonian minister after police chief scandal

Alleging that Estonian Interior Minister Mart Helme has violated the law by trying to sack top police chief, Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid has stated that the minister has no place in the government.

Planned Latvian economic cases’ court conceptually backed by government

The plan by the Latvian Ministry of Justice to establish a court of economic cases has on Tuesday, August 20, been supported by the Latvian Cabinet of Ministers.

Riga deputy mayor posts go to Harmony and independent politician

In the Riga City Council, deputy mayors have been elected with one post going to Anna Vladova from Harmony and the other – to Vadims Baraņņiks from the group of independent councilmen.

Latvia charges energy company executives for attempted fraud

Two board members of Latvian power company SIA Rīgas enerģija have been charged in a criminal case for an attempt to acquire with deceit the rights to supply electricity as part of the mandatory procurement component programme.

Consumer protection: 34% of Latvians admit post-vacation financial difficulties

During vacation, 77% of Latvians spend more money than planned, but 34% admit having trouble making ends meet after vacation, according to a poll by the Latvian Consumer Protection Centre.

Firms like Riga transport company to be banned from working with losses, minister says

As the European Union’s statisticians have classified the Riga municipal transport company Rīgas satiksme in the debt of the national budget, it is planned in Latvia to prohibit such companies from working with losses, Latvian Finance Minister Jānis Reirs has told LNT 900 sekundes programme.

Minor dies in large fire in Latvia

An underage person has been found dead in a large fire in the Latvian region of Vidzeme, the Latvian Fire and Rescue Service has said. Person wascsaved from burning house in Liepāja.

UK aims to end free entry of EU citizens on October 31

UK to stop free migration from European Union member states to the country right after the likely no-deal Brexit on October 31, the British government has stated.

Riga city elects new mayor – Oļegs Burovs – and restores decade-old coalition

The Riga City Council has elected Oļegs Burovs as the new mayor, ending two months of political discussions and restoring the coalition that has ruled in the Latvian capital for ten years.

EU: Rīgas satiksme cuts Latvian budget fiscal room in 2020 by 72 mln EUR

The Riga city company Rīgas satiksme should, according to European Union criteria, be in included in the general government sector, thus it would cut the fiscal space of the 2020 Latvian state budget by 72 million euros, Finance Ministry stated.

Latvijas Krājbanka’s administrator recovered 542 thousand euros in July

The administrator of the insolvent Latvian bank Latvijas Krājbanka recovered 524 444 euros in July, which is by 75% more than a month earlier, according to the official gazette Latvijas Vēstnesis.

Latvian post-reform administrative centres to have 2 000 - 630 000 populations

After the planned administrative reform of Latvia, the population size of the administrative centres of the new municipalities is expected to vary from 2 000 to 632 000 people, according to a conceptual report by the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development.

A week of warm, but changing weather forecast for Latvia

Weather in Latvia this week is expected to be summer-like and warm, with rain expected on Thursday and Friday, according to the Latvian Environment, Geology and Meteorology Centre.

Kabul wedding terror attack committed by Islamic State, the group says

Responsibility for the terror attack in Afghanistan, where explosives killed 63 people. has been claimed by the Afghan branch of the Islamic State terrorist group.

British Gibraltar releases seized Iran oil tanker

An Iranian oil tanker detained by Gibraltar, part of the United Kingdom, has sailed away from port after being allowed to do so despite Washington’s call to detain it again.

BNN summary of the week: Latvia’s biggest budget; PNB Bank halts operations; Latvia sad with Latvia

Some positive news surfaced in Latvia this week – Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš announced that the country’s next budget will be the largest one yet and will exceed EUR 10 billion. In spite of this, however, financial difficulties have been observed – PNB Bank has ended up in a tight spot. The bank’s shortage of funds has forced Finance and Capital Market Commission to halt all of the bank’s financial operations.

Week in Lithuania: PM Skvernelis undergoes surgery, Nausėda meets Merkel, rebukes Latvia

Last week, President Gitanas Nausėda rejected the government’s candidate for EU judge, hints of big changes at Šiaulių Bankas ahead

Independent Deputies Faction joins forces with Honour to Serve Riga

Riga City Council’s Independent Deputies Faction has signed a cooperation agreement with Honour to Serve Riga political party, pledging support for the party’s mayoral candidate Oļegs Burovs, as LETA was told by the faction’s leader Valērijs Petrovs on Monday, 18 August.

Saeima’s MPC investigation committee requests information on every issued license

The parliamentary committee formed to investigate the mandatory procurement component has requested access to information regarding every issued MPC license and decision made by officials in regards to this field, says the committee’s representative Ilze Vanaga.

Latvian athlete receives two-year disqualification

Former Latvian long jumper Ineta Radeviča has received a two-year disqualification, as confirmed by International Association of Athletics Federation’s Athletics Integrity Unit.

Minister: state budget funds will not be used to compensate PNB Bank’s clients

The Deposit Guarantee Fund is sufficient to pay compensations to affected PNB Bank clients. This means not a cent from Latvia’s state budget will be used, said Latvia’s Finance Minister Jānis Reirs in a telephone conversation with public broadcaster LTV programme Rīta Panorāma on Friday, 16 August.

Estonia to invest 22 million in construction of a new TV house

Estonian government has set aside EUR 22 million for the construction of a new public television building, as reported by Estonian public media ERR.

Another one falls – Latvian FCMC halts PNB Bank’s operations

Operations of PNB Bank [formerly Norvik Banka] have been halted in Latvia, as confirmed by Finance and Capital Market Commission.