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Wednesday 15.08.2018 | Name days: Dzelde, Zenta, Zelda
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Week in Lithuania. Init fined for broadcasting Russian TV channel RTR Planeta

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RULithuania’s Radio and Television Commission (LRTK) on Wednesday, April 25, imposed a fine of 150,000 euros on the cable operator Init for defying its ban on retransmitting RTR Planeta and other versions of the Russian-language channel. LRTK in February imposed a one-year suspension on RTR Planeta for distributing content inciting to war and hatred. TV service providers had until February 23 to stop RTR Planeta retransmissions in Lithuania. However, Init on March 1 was still rebroadcasting Rossiya RTR, one of the version of the channel. The Law on the Provision of Information to the Public allows LRTK to impose a fine of up to 3 per cent of a rebroadcaster’s total annual revenue or a fine of up to 100,000 euros if it is difficult or impossible to calculate its total revenue.

Minister calls Nord Stream 2 a threat to EU solidarity

Lithuanian Energy Minister Žygimantas Vaičiūnas on Thursday, April 26, reiterated that Nord Stream 2, an underwater gas pipeline to be built in the Baltic Sea, will make the European Union even more energy-dependent and will let Russia strengthen its influence on the European energy sector. The Lithuanian minister said so after signing with his Ukrainian counterpart a joint statement on threats posed by the Nord Stream 2 project.

Čili pizza chain plans expansion in Riga

Lithuanian pizzeria operator Čili Pica announced it is set to embark on a drive to expand its new Čili Take Away chain with plans to more than treble the number of outlets this year. The company expects to have 10 to 15 Čili Take Away outlets in Lithuania and Latvia at the end of the year. Čili Pica CEO Donatas Vaitašius says that the company plans to open its first Čili Take Away in Riga shortly, with up to five outlets to be set up in Latvia by the end of 2018. Investments in each outlet will amount to around 100,000 euros.  Čili Pica last year posted 16 million euros in revenue, a rise of 2 per cent compared with 2016, and is targeting a further 10 per cent growth in revenue this year.

Lithuania hands note to Belarus

Lithuania has asked Belarus to provide it, as soon as possible, with detailed information about an incident that occurred on the Astravyets Nuclear Power Plant site on February 17.  Belarus’ ambassador to Lithuania, Aleksandr Korol, was on Thursday, April 26, summoned to the Foreign Ministry and handed a diplomatic note over the incident. In the note, Lithuania asks Belarus to thoroughly investigate the causes of the fire and to immediately provide detailed information about the incident and the actions taken. The Astravyets Nuclear Power Plant’s press service has confirmed this week that an incident took place.

Regional Jewish community to be formed in Vilnius

A new regional Jewish community is being founded in Vilnius, to be led by long-standing president of Lithuanian sports club Makabi, Semionas Finkelšteinas. Representatives of the new association informed about its establishment on Thursday, April 26, further raising tension among Jewish organizations. Simonas Gurevičius, head of Vilnius Jewish Community, says not all willing were able to attend the founding meeting, and believes the new community is being established to support Faina Kukliansky, head of the Lithuanian Jewish Community.

President signs law on EU-Canada trade agreement

President Dalia Grybauskaitė on Thursday, April 26, signed a law on the ratification of the trade agreement between the European Union and Canada. Currently around 150 Lithuanian companies export to Canada, with as many as 80 percent of being small or medium”, according to a statement issued by the presidential office. The EU-Canada trade agreement will eliminate 99 percent of duties and other trade barriers, promote investments, open the Canadian service and public procurement markets to businesses from Lithuania and other EU states and will contribute to the creation of jobs and growth in Lithuania.

Seimas starts discussions on legalising home births

The Seimas of Lithuania (Parliament) is starting discussions on legalising home births. On Thursday, April 26, the parliament gave its initial backing to amendments initiated by the Ministry of Health and they will now go to the parliamentary Committee on Health Affairs for further consideration. The amendments will allow nurses and obstetricians to deliver babies at home if there’s no threat to the health of the baby and mother. In the cases of risky births, the birth will have to take place in hospital. The Ministry of Health says this area has not been properly regulated so far.

Vilnius mayor wants to take advantage of pope visit

Vilnius Mayor Remigijus Šimašius hopes to make use of Pope Francis’ upcoming visit in September to promote the Lithuanian capital and attract more tourists. The mayor on Thursday discussed details of the visit with Vilnius Archbishop Gintaras Grušas. According to Šimašius, Vilnius authorities plan to organise any maintenance work in the city in a way that will not disturb the visit, and major focus will be put on the media accompanying the pope. Around 200 journalists from around the world will come to Vilnius with the pope, the municipality said.

UEFA: Lithuania is last in terms of football infrastructure

Lithuania comes in last in Europe in terms of football infrastructure, Aleksander Ceferin, president of UEFA, the European association football governing body, says. He noted, however, following his Wednesday meeting with Lithuanian Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis and Tomas Danilevičius, president of the Lithuanian Football federation (LFF), that Lithuania is an important UEFA member.

Furniture maker Vilniaus Baldai to build a new plant

Vilniaus Baldai (Vilnius Furniture), one of Lithuania’s leading furniture manufacturers, is set to invest 50 million euros in a new factory and create 100 new jobs within the next three years as it plans to increase production after signing a long-term contract with Sweden’s furniture retail giant Ikea. Vilniaus Baldai says it plans to build new production and warehousing facilities on a land plot to be purchased outside of Vilnius.

Lithuanian beef export to Morocco gets green light

Lithuanian companies have received the green light to export beef to Morocco. Lithuania’s State Food and Veterinary Service has received confirmation from Moroccan officials that a veterinary certificate has been approved.


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