bnn.lv Latviski   bnn-news.com English   bnn-news.ru По-русски
Sunday 19.08.2018 | Name days: Melānija, Imanta
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

Eurostat: Latvia had inflation rate higher than average in EU and Eurozone

In July, Latvia’s inflation rate was higher than the average in Europe and Eurozone, according to data published by Eurostat.

Presence of Latvian milk reduces, whereas presence of imported milk increases in Latvia

The proportion of milk produced in Latvia is starting to lose to imported milk, as concluded by Central Union of Latvian Dairy Farmers chairman Jānis Šolks.

Seven previously convicted candidates crossed from Saeima election lists

On Friday, 17 August, the Central Election Commission decided to cross out seven previously convicted deputy candidates. The decision regarding one more candidate has been postponed until the next meeting, as confirmed by the commission.

Aspiring prosecutors «drop out» in tests – half of contenders fail second stage of tests

Approximately half of aspiring prosecutor candidates has failed the second portion of tests for general and judicial knowledge.

Riga International Airport concludes first half-year with turnover increase of 13%

Riga International Airport concluded the first half-year of 2018 with turnover increase of 13% when compared to the same period of 2017, according to the airport’s unaudited and shortened account for the six-month period before 30 June 2018.

New tender announced for post of SRS director; first requirement – spotless reputation

Latvia’s State Chancellery has announced an open personnel selection process for the post of director of State Revenue Service. Application submission process will last until 14 September.

CEC to decide on four candidates’ possible relation to KGB

Latvia’s Central Election Commission has received results of investigations of all 13th Saeima election candidates from Interior Affairs Ministry’s Information Centre and Latvian Centre for the Documentation of the Consequences of Totalitarianism.

Concord will have to include bread distribution costs in kebab café in its pre-election expenditures

Political party Concord will have to include in its 13th Saeima pre-election campaign expenditures the money spent by one of its candidates on distributing bread to pensioners free of charge in a kebab café in Bolderāja, as reported by TV3 news.

Weekends expected to be warm and at times hot in Latvia

On Friday, 17 August, the sky will partially cloudy again in Latvia, but no major precipitation is expected. Fog may form is certain regions at night thanks to slow wind speed. Maximum air temperature is expected to be around +22° C… +26° C. Night-time air temperature will stay at +11° C… +16° C, as reported by State Environment, Geology and Meteorology Centre.

Latvia’s State Audit requests additional funding to invest in workers

State Audit has requested additional funds in next year’s budget to invest in employees, as head of the institution Elita Krūmiņa mentioned in an interview to Latvijas Radio.

Nearly half of children born in Latvia in 2017 were delivered by mothers with higher education

20,828 children were born in Latvia in 2017. Almost half of them were born to mothers having higher education. Out of the total number of newborn children mothers, 7,229 or 34.7 % had acquired upper secondary general or vocational education and 2,775 or 13.3 % had basic education or lower.

«Steel Magnolia» named Lithuania's most influential politician for fourth consecutive year

Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaitė, dubbed as «Steel Magnolia» by foreign press, remains the most influential politician in the country for the fourth consecutive year. In two separate polls, one by the popular ratings magazine Reitingai and the other by pollster Spinter Tyrimai, she appeared on top, being followed by Saulius Skvernelis, Prime Minister, Ramūnas Karbauskis, the leader of the ruling Lithuanian Farmers and Greens Union (LFGU), Valdas Adamkus, ex-president, and Vytautas Landsbergis, Lithuania's first post-independence leader.

Ex-director: Rundale Castle Museum should be managed with the same ideals as before

In the years to come Rundale Castle Museum should be managed with the same ideals as before, says the soon ex-director of the museum Imants Lancmanis, who intends to retire at the end of this year.

Star Rating determines the best schools in Latvia

According to the 2018 Star Rating, Riga State Gymnasium No.1 remains in the lead among Latvia’s schools. Daugavpils Russian Secondary School – Lyceum is second, and Riga State Gymnasium No.2 is third.

ABLV Bank assets worth EUR 21.052 million were recovered in July

Liquidators of ABLV Bank have recovered assets worth EUR 21.052 million in July. This includes EUR 11.602 million recovered from issued loans, EUR 7.644 million from recovered/sold securities, EUR 1,792 million from loans provided to credit institutions, and EUR 14,000 from sales of real estate and other types of property, according to the account published in Latvian Herald.

Concerns over Turkish crisis cause world stock market decline

Stock prices around the world took a massive dive on Wednesday, 15 August, as concerns over Turkish crisis’ possible influence and investors’ attempts to get rid of risky assets surfaced again.

Election commission receives word some candidates’ possible non-compliance with the law

Latvia’s Central Election Commission has received information regarding possible non-compliance of multiple deputy candidates with requirements of the Saeima Election Law, says CEC chairman Arnis Cimdars.

African swine fever found in domestic pigs in Saldus; inspectors investigate illness in Unguri

African swine fever has been found in domestic pigs in Saldus Country’s Zaņa Parish. The infection was found in four domestic pigs. It cannot be excluded that ASF may have entered SIA Druvas Unguri farm’s pig enclosure along with sawdust or cars, as reported by Food and Veterinary Service Public Relations Office manager Ilze Meistere.

Lithuania lays symbolic rail on restored Mažeiķi–Reņģe railway line

Lithuania’s Lietuvos geležinkeliai railway company’s director general Mantas Bartuška and Polish oil concern Orlen manager Daniel Obatjek laid a symbolic rail on the restored railway route connecting Orlen Lithuania owned Mažeiķi oil processing plant in Lithuania and Reņģi in Latvia this Tuesday, 14 August.

Unemployment level in Latvia down to 7.7% in Q2 2018

In Q2 2018 Latvian unemployment rate constituted 7.7 %. Compared to the previous quarter, unemployment rate fell by 0.5 percentage points, while over the year it dropped by 1.2 percentage points.

Saeima approves stricter requirements for fast loans

On Tuesday, 14 August, Saeima’s Economic Committee supported in the second reading amendments to the Consumer Rights Protection Law. The legislative draft states that total loan costs that exceed 0.07% a day from the loan amount are unacceptable and non-compliant with good practice, as reported by Saeima press-service.

Noord Natie develops a new business niche – attracts cruise ships for Ventspils

The first of the cruise ships attracted from SIA Noord Natie Ventspils Terminals will arrive at Ventspils port this week. NNVT stresses that development of cruise business as a new product will help develop tourism in the city and region, as well as provide a contribution to economic development and raise recognition of NNVT terminal and the city.

Culture Ministry announces open contest for post of director of Rundale Castle Museum

Latvia’s Culture Ministry invites contenders to apply for participation in an open contest for the post of director of Rundale Castle Museum. Contenders can submit their applications before 14 September.

Lithuania’s Central Bank to assess information about Latvian VIA SMS Group

Lithuania’s Central Bank has promised to assess information regarding Latvian VIA SMS Group working in the country. This decision is a reaction to the statement made by Seimas National Security and Defence Committee member Arvydas Anušauskas that people associated with former Parex Banka owners work in that company.

Small wineries in Latvia will be allowed to use only local products

Members of Saeima’s Economic, Agricultural, Environmental and Regional Policy Committee supported amendments to the Handling of Alcoholic Beverages Law, stating that small breweries will be allowed to use products grown only in Latvia.

Newest comments