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Week in Lithuania. Lithuanian president calls for permanent Patriot deployment in Baltics

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

Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite on Thursday, July 20, called for a permanent deployment of Patriot long-range anti-aircraft and anti-missile systems to the Baltic region.

The United States this month for the first time deployed a Patriot system to Lithuania to take part in the drills. Meanwhile, Poland is planning to purchase Patriot systems from the U.S.

According to Grybauskaite, «NATO defence plans should include specific air defence measures to prevent possible military isolation of the Baltic states. If threats arise, NATO’s air policing mission must become an integral part of air defence». This means that the Alliance’s fighter jets on the air-policing mission would be able to carry out combat tasks in a crisis. Air defence is one of the Baltic region’s weakest defence spots as the countries invest the most money in their land forces.

Latvians on trial in Lithuania over undeclared cash

The Lithuanian Prosecutor General’s Office has handed to Vilnius court a criminal trial of three Latvian citizens charged with unlawful cash movement. The truck en route to Latvia with nearly 700,000 euros on board was detained by officers of the Customs Criminal Service on Aug. 15 of 2015 near Kaunas, Lithuania.

The driver, a Latvian citizen, told the officers that the truck was empty, however, a detailed examination of the vehicle revealed a few hundred thousand of euros in cash in the driver’s cabin. According to the press release, the notes packed in black plastic bags were hidden in various places of the cabin and the driver’s luggage, including a coffee machine, between food in the refrigerator and a pan. Charges were brought against three Latvian citizens.

EU commission clears mobile payments joint venture

The European Commission has given the green light for Lithuania’s three largest mobile operators to invest in a joint instant payment solution. The EU’s executive body said on Wednesday, July 19,  that it had approved the creation of a joint venture by Bite Lietuva, Tele2 and Telia Lietuva to provide mobile payment services to businesses and private individuals in Lithuania.

At the beginning of the year, Tele2, Omnitel (currently known as Telia Lietuva) and Bite Lietuva signed a protocol of intentions with the Central Bank of Lithuania on cooperation in the development of instant payments solution. The operators intend to create a platform that will enable fast and easy payment for goods and services. Instant payment will allow users to pay by mobile phones in stores and among themselves, with the money to be transferred within a few seconds round the clock.

Number of university applicants down

Just over 28,000 candidates this year filed applications to study at Lithuanian universities and universities of applied sciences, down from more than 29,700 applicants last year. The 2017 applicants include over 16,000 people who graduated from high school this year, the Lithuanian Higher Education Institutions’ Association for General Admission, or LAMA BPO, said. Nineteen universities and 21 universities of applied sciences participate in the general admission process this year.

Lithuania accepts 400th refugee under EU program

The number of refugees relocated to Lithuania under the EU’s resettlement program has reached 400, but most of them have already left the country. The Migration Department said that a Syrian family had come to Lithuania from Turkish refugee camps. Lithuania two years ago pledged to take in a total of 1,105 refugees from such countries as Syria, Iraq or Eritrea under the EU program.

Lithuania’s MPK dairy launches exports to China

Marijampoles Pieno Konservai (MPK) has sent the first shipment of 20 tons of evaporated milk to China, becoming the third Lithuanian dairy producer to launch exports to Asia’s biggest market. Another five containers with 100 tons of milk from MPK are currently on their way to China, with a total of 100 containers with some 2,000 tons of milk expected to be exported to the country by the end of the year. China last August approved a list of 16 Lithuanian dairy companies allowed to export their products to the huge Asian market.

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