bnn.lv Latviski   bnn-news.com English   bnn-news.ru По-русски
Friday 22.02.2019 | Name days: Rigonda, Adrians, Ārija
LithuaniaLithuania

Week in Lithuania. Lithuania, Russia conclude marathon talks on diplomatic buildings

FaceBook
Twitter
Draugiem
print
(No Ratings Yet)

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

Lithuania and Russia have concluded lengthy negotiations on properties used by their diplomatic missions in Vilnius and Moscow, including a building in the Lithuanian capital’s Turniškės neighbourhood close to former President Valdas Adamkus’ residence, a Lithuanian newspaper reported.

The Foreign Ministry confirmed that the talks, which had lasted for several decades, were over, but gave no details.

Unofficial sources say that the Russian embassy will take over the ownership of its embassy building in Latvių Street, in the Žvėrynas neighbourhood, in exchange for the Lithuanian embassy building, an adjacent guest house and the Jurgis Baltrušaitis home in Moscow. As part of the deal, Russian diplomats will leave the property in Turniskės and will be allocated a plot of land in Valakampiai, another prestigious neighbourhood of Vilnius, for building a new residence for the ambassador.

The Foreign Ministry would not disclose the contents on the draft agreement, which is yet to be approved by certain Lithuanian and Russian authorities, but it confirms that an agreement on the use of the Turniškės property by the Russian embassy will become void after the new inter-governmental deal is signed.

Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevičius has promised to comment on the details of the deal as soon as the necessary documents are signed.

Lithuania’s LFGU leader unhappy with LRT responses

Ramūnas Karbauskis, the leader of the ruling Lithuanian Farmers and Greens Union (LFGU), says he is not satisfied with the answers provided by the national radio and television company LRT to the answers from MPs, planning to take additional steps to obtain the information. In Karbauskis’ words, a decision will be made next week whether LRT should be asked additional questions or the parliament should set up a commission of MPs authorized to work with classified information. The parliamentarians, who want answers from LRT, aim to find out whether the national radio and television is making efficient use of the money from the state budget and has no plans of interfering with the content, said Karbauskis, the chairman of the parliamentary Culture Committee.

Earlier this week, LRT provided answers to the questions asked by nearly half of Lithuania’s 141 parliamentarians who questioned the national broadcaster’s transparency. Some of the requested information was not provided due to confidentiality reasons, as it involved producer companies and LRT audit results.

NASA-related Israeli firm shows interest in Lithuania

Ricor Systems 2011 – A.C.S. Ltd., an Israeli scientific research company working with defence and space projects, has filed an application under the EU Smart FDI instrument and said it aimed to establish a unique perimeter monitoring and security device Halo in Lithuania. According to the project application, the project is estimated at 2.9 million euros, with 1.9 million euros requested from the European Union.

Christmas Tree lit in Cathedral Square in Vilnius

A Christmas Tree was lit in the Cathedral Square in Vilnius on Friday, December 1, kicking off a series of festive events in the Lithuanian capital. The municipality had urged people to arrive at the event by public transport to avoid traffic congestions. Another Christmas Tree was lit in the Town Hall Square on Saturday, December 2.

Prosecutors broaden suspicions against Liberal Movement

In the framework of the pre-trial investigation into corruption allegations involving the MG Baltic concern and a few political parties, Lithuania’s prosecutors broadened the suspicions against the Liberal Movement. The earlier suspicions were in connection to possible bribery and influence peddling by its former members Eligijus Masiulis and Šarūnas Gustainis for the party’s benefit, however, prosecutors last week stated that the Liberals may have benefited from the abuse of Gintaras Steponavičius who has suspended his party membership. The party’s lawyer Raimundas Jurka said that the Liberal Movement stood suspicions of bribery, influence peddling and abuse.

Six Lithuanian energy projects supported by EU

Six Lithuanian energy projects will be able to apply for financial assistance of the European Union (EU) after the European Commission last Friday published a list of EU projects of common interest (PCI). It includes two projects of the Gas Interconnector Poland-Lithuania ( GIPL ), project to expand capacities of the Lithuania-Latvia gas interconnection, electricity network synchronization with continental Europe project, the second LitPol Link interconnection in Lithuania, power line Vilnius-Neris and a project to boost capacities of the Kruonis Pumped Storage Plant. However, the list, which is usually updated every two years, does not include the Klaipeda LNG terminal and a gas storage facility in Syderiai.

Ministry terminates competition for tourism chief

Lithuania’s Economy Ministry has terminated the third competition for the top official of the Tourism Department, a move pledged by Virginijus Sinkevičius of the ruling Farmers and Greens Union before his appointment as economy minister. The minister explained that the competition should be terminated owing to the restructuring of the institution into a public establishment. The Economy Ministry is in search for a new chief of the Tourism Department after its former leader Justiga Kazlauskienė stepped down in February after it turned out that companies presenting Lithuania to foreigners were using photographs having nothing to do with Lithuania. The third competition involved five candidates.

At Lithuania’s initiative, Israeli PM gets historical invitation

At Lithuanian diplomats’ initiative, the EU’s foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, has invited Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for a historical visit to Brussels, EU officials said on Wednesday, November 29. Rasa Jakilaitienė, spokeswoman for the Lithuanian foreign minister, said earlier this week that the meeting between EU foreign ministers and Netanyahu had been initiated by Lithuanian. Lithuania has in the past decade become one of the strongest diplomatic supporters of Israel in the EU. Many other European countries take a tougher stance toward Israel over the expansion of settlements in the occupied West Bank.

Observers say that Vilnius’ pro- Israeli policy could be partly due to coordination of diplomatic positions with the United States and to the history of Lithuanian Jews. Also, Lithuania and Israel have recently stepped up their bilateral military and economic relations.

The Jerusalem Post has reported that it will be the first visit by an Israeli prime minister to the EU headquarters in Brussels in more than two decades.

Ref: 020/111.111.111.5284


Leave a reply

Unemployment in Latvia was 7.4% in 2018

72.8 thousand people were unemployed in 2018. Compared to 2017, number of unemployed persons dropped by 12.6 thousand or 14.8 %. Last year, Latvian unemployment rate constituted 7.4 %, which is 1.3 percentage points lower than in 2017.

Employment in Latvia reached 64.5% in 2018

909.4 thousand or 64.5 % of Latvia population aged 15–74 were employed in 2018. Compared to 2017, employment rate grew by 1.6 percentage points and number of employed persons by 14.6 thousand.

Anti-fraud activist Browder to submit criminal complaint over Swedbank

British investor and activist against Russia-related money laundering, Bill Browder, has voiced plans to submit a criminal complaint against Swedbank to Swedish authorities over its involvement in alleged money laundering transactions in the Baltics.

Latvian police assist German colleagues with «Russian Laundromat» case

German law enforcement institutions have finished investigating the ‘Russian Laundromat’ case. Latvian Economic Crime Enforcement Department assisted their German colleagues with the investigation, as reported by Latvian State Police.

Pilot's mistake found as cause of Estonia missile firing

The missile accidentally released over Estonia in 2018 was fired because of a mistake of the pilot of the Spanish NATO Baltic Air Policing aircraft, according to an investigation concluded by Estonia.

Grass-burning season in Latvia commences with six separate fires

On Thursday, 21 February, Latvian firefighters were called in to deal with the first grass fires this year. This first such fire this year was put out in Ugāle, where last year’s grass was burning on an area close to half a hectare.

UK backing down on demands to re-open Brexit agreement

London seemed to soften its stance in Brexit negotiations with the European Union from fruitless attempts to re-open the withdrawal agreement to securing new guarantees to reassure eurosceptic members of the British parliament over the time frame of the temporary Northern Ireland border rules.

Spanish train manufacturer appeals Latvian procurement outcome in court

Spanish train manufacturer Talgo has appealed the decision made by Latvian Procurement Monitoring Bureau on re-assessment of results of the procurement of electric trains, saying that PMB has made big mistakes and wrong conclusions, which resulted in an illegal decision, Talgo representatives say.

Mass rallies held in Slovakia on murder anniversary of Slovak journalist

Large rallies have been held in Slovakia on the first anniversary of the murder of investigative journalist Ján Kuciak and his fiancee that brought down the country's government, but still has not been solved.

Minister: PUC’s and Competition Council’s functions should be expanded

There is no need to merge Public Utilities Commission and Competition Council. It would be better to expand their respective functions, said Latvian Economy Minister Ralfs Nemiro.

Nights to become chilly in Latvia, whereas days will become warmer soon

The centre of an anticyclone is currently above Scandinavia. This anticyclone will start gradually moving south-west on Friday, 22 February. It will also dictate weather in Latvia – the sky will become clear but air will remain chilly, promises Latvian Environment, Geology and Meteorology Centre.

Lithuanian law enforcers bust high-profile judges and attorneys

In an unprecedented move yet, Lithuania’s law enforcers busted this week what it may be an organised, yet impenetrable until now ring of the country’s some A-tier judges and lawyers. Some of the big names have deliberated high-profile legal cases implicating some of Lithuania’s most heinous criminal gangs.

Latvian Saeima rejects proposal to reduce number of ministries

On Thursday, 21 February, the Saeima rejected a proposal from the opposition and several KPV LV deputies on reduction of ministries.

Latvian Saeima supports legislative draft on people’s rights after Brexit

Saeima has supported Foreign Affairs Committee’s legislative draft intended to ensure better legislative cooperation and protection of people’s rights during the transition period after the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union, as confirmed by the parliament’s press-service.

Study: Latvian residents worried the most about traffic accidents when travelling

When travelling abroad, Latvian residents are afraid the most of ending up in a traffic accident (56%), fall ill (54%) or become injured (53%), according to results of a study performed by If Insurance.

Producer price level in industry in Latvia grew 0.1% in January

Compared to December 2018, the level of producer prices in Latvian industry rose by 0.1 % in January 2019. Prices of products sold on the domestic market grew by 0.4 %, but prices of exported products reduced by 0.2 %.

Twitter introduces special political ad policy with EU election in mind

The world's leading microblogging site Twitter on Tuesday presented tools in the European Union to simplify identification of political campaign ads before the European Parliament elections in May.

Latvian Saeima supports in second reading sale of tobacco products using price lists

On Thursday, 21 February, the Saeima supported in the second reading amendments to the Law on the Handling of Tobacco Products. These changes state stores will no longer be allowed showcase tobacco products on shelves. Instead tobacco products will be sold using price lists, as reported by Saeima’s press-service.

Minister: there are several options for acquiring Gazprom’s shares in Conexus

There are several acquisition options for the shares Russian gas concern Gazprom owns in AS Conexus Baltic Grid, says Latvian Economy Minister Ralfs Nemiro.

Parliamentary election begins in Estonia with online voting

With Estonia's signature online voting the 2019 parliamentary election has begun on Thursday, offering a variety of advance voting options in the period until the real election day, March 3.

LIZDA: we only want what was promised to us before elections

«We only want what was promised to us before elections,» said Latvian Trade Union of Education and Science Employees chairperson Inga Vanaga in an interview to LTV on Thursday, 21 February, commenting the talks held with government representatives the previous day.

EU-British talks «constructive», while May's party shrinks in UK parliament

Following three British MPs leaving the ruling Conservative Party amid Brexit impasse, British head of government held more talks with the European Union that were constructive according to both Pirme Minister Theresea May and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker.

Selection term of CEC chairman’s candidate to be extended

Politicians of the ruling coalition in Latvia have agreed to extend the candidate selection process of the head of Central Election Commission by two weeks.

Donbas war could be ended with U.N. peacekeepers, Ukraine believes

A peacekeeping mission with the mandate of the U.N. to Eastern Ukraine could bring the Donbas war to an end, but first Secretary-General Antonio Guterres should send an assessment delegation to evaluate the possible options, stated Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko.

Swedbank: we do not have sufficient information to comment accusations

Swedbank does not have sufficient information to comment the accusations voice by Swedish media in regards to the bank’s possible involvement in money laundering schemes, said the bank’s governor Birgitte Bonnesen.