bnn.lv Latviski   bnn-news.com English   bnn-news.ru По-русски
Wednesday 20.03.2019 | Name days: Made, Irbe
LithuaniaLithuania

Week in Lithuania. Intelligence still uses suspected CIA prison building

FaceBook
Twitter
Draugiem
print
(No Ratings Yet)

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

A photo taken on November 19, 2009 shows a training center of the Lithuanian State Security Department, the country’s domestic intelligence agency, in Antavilis near Vilnius

The Lithuanian State Security Department, or VSD, continues to use a building near Vilnius that allegedly housed a secret American Central Intelligence Agency’s detention facility for its training centre.

According to the Centre of Registers, VSD in April transferred the building in Antaviliai, a village close to Vilnius, to the centralized public property manager Turto Bankas ahead of its planned sale. However, Aurelija Katkuvienė, the department’s spokeswoman, says that the premises continue to be used by intelligence agency for training purposes. Lithuanian officials do not admit that the country hosted a CIA prison.

Lithuania may accept Palestinian representation

After Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad al Malki said recently that the Palestinians would like to have embassy in Vilnius within the next six months, adding that the issue will be discussed with Lithuanian Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis during his visit to Palestine in June, Lithuania replied it will consider accepting it.

According to Rasa Jakilaitienė, spokeswoman Foreign Minister Linas Linkevičius, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas expressed intentions to open a representative office in Vilnius during his visit to the Lithuanian capital back in 2013, but Palestine has taken no steps so far.

Since Lithuania has not recognised the state of Palestine, the Palestinian representation would officially be of a lower rank than an embassy and would probably be called Palestine’s office for relations with Lithuania.

Prime Minister Skvernelis is scheduled to visit Israel and Palestine on June 18 to 20. Some 136 countries have recognized the state of Palestine.

Klaipeda pays tribute to French POWs

Klaipeda paid tribute on Friday, June 1, to French prisoners of war who built the city’s Wilhelm Canal almost 150 years ago. The ceremony was attended, among others, by members of the French Navy Honour Guard who are currently in Lithuania as part of NATO’s enhanced Forward Presence Battalion Battle Group. The French contingent of the multinational battalion consists of nearly 300 troops. They have brought their own combat, supply and administrative equipment to Lithuania. The canal linking the port of Klaipeda with the River Minija and eventually with the River Nemunas was hand dug between 1863 and 1873. It was named after Kaiser Wilhelm I of Germany.

Largest ever national military exercise kicked off

Thunder Strike 2018, the largest national exercise in the history of the Lithuanian Armed Forces, was kicked off on Friday, June 1. The Lithuanian Armed Forces will train, independently and jointly with NATO allies, to carry out a wide range of armed defence operations during the two-week drills, the Defence Ministry said. Thunder Strike is one of several military exercises to be held in Lithuania and other countries in the Baltic Sea region in June. Thunder Strike will involve up to 9,000 military servicemen and officers of the interior security system. The Ministry says that drills in Lithuania will involve up to 13,000 troops.

US decision on tariffs upsets Lithuania

Lithuanian officials say that the US decision to impose tariffs on EU steel and aluminium imports is very disappointing, but does not mean a trade war. According to Deputy Foreign Minister Albinas Zananavi

ius, Lithuania is «very disappointed», because the intensive talks between the European Commission and the United States, and efforts by other European countries to persuade them not to apply these measures against the EU failed. A 25 per cent tariff on steel imports and a 10 per cent tariff on aluminium imports from the EU, Canada and Mexico will take effect on Friday.

Prosecutors want to see the ECHR ruling first

Lithuanian prosecutors say they will decide on further steps in their ongoing pre-trial investigation after examining in detail the European Court of Human Rights’ ruling that the country hosted a secret CIA detention facility. The Prosecutor General’s Office said in a press release on Thursday, May 31, that they actively cooperated with the ECHR in its hearing of Abu Zubaydah’s complaint against Lithuania and provided the court with information related with its pre-trial investigation.

The Prosecutor General’s Office has not named any suspects in its pre-trial investigation regarding illegal transportation of people across the national border and abuse of office, which has been underway for more than four years now.

South Africa’s NEPI Rockcastle to buy Vilnius’ Ozas mall

South Africa’s commercial property investor and developer NEPI Rockcastle is reportedly buying the Ozas shopping complex in Vilnius from Germany’s ECE Projektmanagement. Latvia-based consultancy CBRE Baltics is providing services to the parties to the transaction.

Ruling party leaders wants new probes

The leaders of the ruling Lithuanian Farmers and Greens Union (LFGU) on Thursday, May 31, called for new investigations into businesses’ influence on politics. The calls come after the parliament’s Committee on National Security and Defence (CNSD) completed on Wednesday, May 30, its probe into business and interest groups’ influence on political processes and decision-makers. Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis, who was appointed to his post by LFGU, says that further investigations should disclose the circumstances surrounding possibly non-transparent funding of political parties.

PM backs establishment of intelligence ombudsman

Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis says that he backs the parliamentary Committee on National Security and Defence’s (CNSD) proposal to establish the institution of intelligence ombudsman to help ensure better control of security services. CNSD on Wednesday, May 30, approved the findings of its investigation into businesses’ unlawful influence on political processes. The committee says, among other things, that Russia’s nuclear energy giant Rosatom and MG Baltic, a local business group, posed a threat to Lithuania’s national security by acting non-transparently and exerting unlawful influence on political processes.

Ex-SIS head becomes chief of Centre of Register

Saulius Urbanavičius, former head of Lithuania’s Special Investigation Service, has won the competition for the position of head of the Centre of Registers. According to the Ministry of Transport and Communications, Urbanavičius will assume the position upon receipt of law enforcement institutions’ conclusions. The position of the Centre of Registers’ director has been vacant over a year after its long-standing director Kęstutis Sabaliauskas resigned last February.

Lithuania will try to get more EU money

Lithuania’s government will try to negotiate more of EU cohesion support for regional development after the European Commission suggested cutting such support by 13 per cent in the new budget, Vice Minister of Finance Miglė Tuskienė says. In her words, Lithuania will try to negotiate with other EU member states and the European Parliament for the support to be cut less. Earlier on Tuesday, May 28, the EC proposed allocating 6.359 billion euros to Lithuania’s regional development in the European Union’s budget from 2021, down 12.9 per cent from 7.3 billion euros in the 2014-2020 budget.


Leave a reply

Latvian minister: we should work with convicts, not isolate them

People who are currently isolated from society in prisons should not be kept isolated – they should be allowed to re-socialize, said Latvian Justice Minister Jānis Bordāns at a press-conference about the study on former inmates’ abilities to re-socialize.

Brexit extension: Theresa May won’t as for more than 50 days

British Prime Minister Theresa May wants only a short Brexit term extension that will not exceed 50 days, as reported by The Guardian.

Business Index: 56.7% of businessmen in Latvia believe government hurt businesses

When asked about the influence Latvia’s government has on the country’s entrepreneurship, 56.6% of interviewed businessmen said the government interferes with the sector, whereas only 7.3% said the government provides assistance, according to results of Turība University’s Business Index.

Moody’s affirms Latvian energy company Latvenergo’s credit rating at Baa2

International credit rating agency Moody’s has affirmed the credit rating of Latvian energy company AS Latvenergo at Baa2 with a stable future outlook, as stated in Latvienergo’s announcement.

Teachers’ protest in Riga gathers 2,000 people

The protest act organized by Latvian teachers outside the Saeima building in Riga gathered approximately 2,000 people, according to Latvian public media.

Latvian Competition Council looks into scandalous «nano-water» case

The Competition Council in Latvia has acquired information regarding the so-called nano-water case, suggesting that municipal public transport company SIA Rīgas satiksme had taken part in a cartel agreement, coordinating an offer of one of the contenders and informing the company in advance of the happenings to ensure their victory in the procurement.

Latvian minister: EU cannot move away from multi-sided trade rules

The European Union cannot afford moving away from multi-sided trade rules, said Latvian Foreign Affairs Minister Edgars Rinkēvičs, participating in a meeting of the General Affairs Council in Brussels.

Latvian Prime Minister says MPC abolishment on 31 March may cost EUR 1 billion

If the mandatory procurement component system is abolished on 31 March, this could cost the country around EUR 1 billion, said Latvian Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš in an interview to LTV programme Rīta Panorāma.

Latvian politicians fail to find a way to increase wages for teachers yet again

A day before teachers’ planned protest act Latvian politicians failed to convince Latvian Trade Union of Education and Science Employees about the options to find money to increase wages of teachers this year. With that, teachers intend to go through with the plan to hold a protest on Wednesday, 20 March.

Latvia’s 2020 budget draft sent to the parliament for first viewing

On Tuesday, 19 March, Latvian Saeima’s Budget and Finance Committee conceptually supported this year’s state budget project and decided to submit it to the parliament for its first viewing. The committee decided to submit 14 additional legislative drafts associated with the budget, as reported by Saeima’s press-service.

Minister: Latvia needs representatives in EP the country can be proud of

«Latvian voters should keep in mind that Latvia is represented by only eight members in the European Parliament. It is vital to find candidates we would not be ashamed of. There is no other recipe – if you want to affect the composition of the European Parliament, it is important to remember that results from votes. Nothing will change if we stand on the sidelines,» said Latvian Culture Minister and MEP candidate Dace Melbārde in an interview to BNN.

Rigvir medication distribution in Latvia halted temporarily

Bio-technology company Rigvir has decided to halt distribution of Rigvir medication in Latvia temporarily, as confirmed by Rigvir Group CEO Kristīne Jučkoviča.

Finance commission’s head says Latvia has too many banks for its small market

It is clear there are too many banks for Latvia’s domestic market, said chairman of Finance and Capital Market Commission Pēteris Putniņš in an interview to LTV programme Rīta Panorāma on Tuesday, 19 March.

Latvian residents become more optimistic about government’s work

In one month’s time Latvian residents’ opinion of Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš’s government has improved, according to data from SKDS study.

Dutch authorities arrest Utrecht tram shooter

According to Dutch authorities, the man who opened fire in a tram in Utrecht, killing three and injuring five, has been arrested.

Parliament: Latvian universities should be among 500 best in the world

Latvia’s leading universities have a clear vision for the future. It is topical for continued development of the country’s education and science sector.

Latvian minister to request police investigation in public transport company

Latvia’s Environment Protection and Regional Development Ministry has finished its analysis of the audit performed in municipal public transport company SIA Rīgas satiksme. Soon the ministry plans to ask law enforcement institutions to provide their opinion on whether or not there had been fictive employment or other violations committed by the company, as reported by TV3 news.

Latvian prime minister urges sorting the system, not raising taxes

A number of sectors require reforms to avoid raising taxes to increase revenue, said Latvian Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš during a meeting of Saeima’s Budget and Finance Committee on Monday, 18 March.

Stoltenberg calls NATO the most successful alliance in world history

NATO is the strongest, most successful alliance in history, wrote NATO’s Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in an article dedicated to the expansion of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

Heavy rainfall in Indonesia causes floods and landslides; death toll reaches 77

Approximately 77 people have been killed in mountain villages hit by floods and landslides caused by intense rainfall in Indonesia’s Papua Province, according to the latest information reported by Indonesian authorities.

Number of job vacancies in Latvia up 33.4% in 2018

In 2018, there were 22.7 thousand job vacancies in Latvia, which is 5.7 thousand vacancies or 33.4 % more than in 2017.

Swedbank: more than 1,400 Latvian families purchased property in regions last year

In 2018, Swedbank had issued more than 1,400 loans for property purchases within 50 km radius around Riga. This is an average of six loans issued every work day, as reported by Swedbank representative Jānis Krops.

Minister: Latvia may require radical image change because of finance sector’s problems

Considering the problems in the country’s finance sector, it will be necessary to work on radically changing the country’s image, says Latvian Foreign Affairs Minister Edgars Rinkēvičs.

Riga Mayor’s wife suspected of dubious employed in public water supply company

For eight years Riga Mayor Nils Ušakovs’ office manager Iveta Strautiņa-Ušakova worked as a consultant for municipal water supply company Rīgas Ūdens, as reported by LTV investigative journalism programme De Facto.

Latvian Centre Party to take part in European Parliament elections

A list of candidates compiled by Centre Party from Latvia has been submitted for European Parliament elections. The list is composed of fifteen candidates. This makes it the fifth list of candidates to be submitted for EP elections in Latvia so far, as reported by Central Election Commission.