bnn.lv Latviski   bnn-news.com English   bnn-news.ru По-русски
Wednesday 19.06.2019 | Name days: Nils, Viktors
LithuaniaLithuania

Week in Lithuania. PM Saulius Skvernelis announces his presidential bid

FaceBook
Twitter
Draugiem
print
(No Ratings Yet)

Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RULithuanian Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis on Thursday, January 17, on his visit to Rusnė in southwestern Lithuania announced his decision to run for president in May. Skvernelis is due to receive formal backing of the ruling Lithuanian Farmers and Greens Union (LFGU) next week.

Skvernelis, 48, has been leading the Lithuanian government since December, 2016, after previously serving as interior minister and police commissioner general. Public polls show economist Gitanas Nauseda, an independent presidential candidate, and former Finance Minister Ingrida Šimonytė, representing the opposition conservative Homeland Union – Lithuanian Christian Democrats, will be Skvernelis’ key rivals. On Thursday, Skvernelis called the two «successors appointed» by President Dalia Grybauskaite. Lithuania will hold the first round of voting in the presidential election on May 12, and the run-off, if necessary, will take place on May 26. Skvernelis said he will take a leave for the election campaign and has no plans to resign.

Government calls on expats in UK to return amid Brexit concerns

The Lithuanian government is calling on Lithuanians living in Britain to come back home amid mounting concerns over a no-deal Brexit. «I don’t want our discussions to be taken as a message that we fear a bigger flow…All people who decide to return to Lithuania, whether there are 100,000 or 200,000 of them, all welcome and we are ready» PM Saulius Skvernelis said at the Cabinet’s meeting on Wednesday, January 16. The number of Lithuanian returnees from the United Kingdom jumped by one-third in 2018 compared with 2017 to 7,600 people, according to official statistics.  Some 12,000 people last year left Lithuania to live in the UK, down from more than 21,000 who did so in 2017.

Lithuania allocates 130,000 euro to CIA prisoner

The Lithuanian government has transferred to a depository account 130,000 euros which the European Court of Human Rights ordered Lithuania to pay to a Saudi Arabian citizen in compensation for arbitrary detention at a secret American prison in Lithuania. Carrying out a pre-trial investigation, Lithuania’s law enforcement has also re-qualified the alleged crime to avoid a statute of limitations, and turned to the United States, asking for diplomatic assurances, Lithuania’s Justice Minister Elvinas Jankevičius said on Wednesday, January 16. Lithuania has made these steps to implement the Strasbourg court’s ruling. The ECHR ruled last year that Abu Zubaydah, currently at the Guantanamo Bay detention camp, was imprisoned in a secret CIA prison in Lithuania in 2005-2006.

Lithuania’s LFGU accepts questionable donations

The ruling Lithuanian Farmers and Greens Union has received the maximum allowed donations from natural persons who are interlinked through companies involved in the handling and transportation of Belarusian fertilizers, a probe by Lithuania’s national broadcaster LRT has revealed. The LRT Investigation Department’ probe shows the party led by Ramūnas Karbauskis has already collected 174,000 euros in donations for its election campaign. 130,000 euros out of it is the party’s own money, and the remaining 44,000 euros have been donated by persons interlinked through their business ties and involved in the handling and transportation of Belarusian fertilizers. Karbauskis told the LRT the names of the donors are not familiar to him, adding that the party does not choose donors, and everyone can donate.

EP gives more money for Ignalina NPP decommissioning

The European Parliament on Thursday, January 17, backed Lithuania’s request to allocate 780 million euros from the European Union new budget for the decommissioning of the Ignalina nuclear power plant. The European Commission previously suggested allocating 552 million euros. Member states are due to decide on the new budget only next year. On Thursday, 569 European lawmakers voted in favour of the proposal to allocate 780 million euros, 17 were against and 32 abstained.

Prosecutors complete probe into Snoras bank

Lithuanian prosecutors completed on Thursday, January 17, their pre-trial investigation in a case in which two former managers and shareholders of Lithuania’s bankrupt bank Snoras are suspected of large-scale misappropriation of assets. Raimondas Baranauskas and Vladimir Antonov are also suspected of large-scale embezzlement, criminal bankruptcy and asset laundering, the Prosecutor General’s Office said. Baranauskas and Antonov are to be tried in absentia as they are hiding in Russia, which has granted them asylum and refuses to provide legal assistance to Lithuania.

Kubilius presented as candidate for CoE Secretary General

Foreign Minister Linas Linkevičius presented on Wednesday, January 16, Andrius Kubilius to foreign ambassadors residing in Lithuania as the country’s candidate for the position of the Council of Europe’s secretary general. Other contenders for the post are Belgian Foreign Minister Didier Reynders, former Greek Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis and Croatian Foreign Minister Marija Pejcinovic Buric.

PM urges Poland to talk about pork imports

Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis urged Warsaw on Wednesday, January 16, to talk to Vilnius about its restrictions on Lithuanian pork imports, saying silence will not help solve the problems. Poland last month banned pig meat and pig imports from Lithuania’s zone two, where the disease is present in the wild boar population. The zone covers most of the country’s territory. The two countries’ agriculture ministers were expected to meet in Berlin on Friday, January 18. A final decision on lifting the ban is to be made by the Polish agriculture minister.

Lithuania publishes 2019 military conscription lists

The Lithuanian Armed Forces published this year’s military conscription lists on Wednesday, January 16. The lists, available online at sauktiniai.karys.lt, include the names of 31,068 men aged between 19 and 26 years.  Some 3,827 of them will be called up for a nine-month military service in more than 20 military units. A part of them will undergo two months of basic training at the Lithuanian Great Hetman Jonušas Radvila Training Regiment in Rukla before being sent to their designated units. Young men aged between 18 and 38 years who are not on the lists and women of this age range can volunteer for enlistment. Lithuania reintroduced military conscription in 2015 in response to Russia’s actions in Ukraine and the Baltic Sea region.

Government extends integration period

The government decided on Wednesday, January 16, to extend to five years, from the current three years, the integration period for socially vulnerable Lithuanians and their family members relocated to Lithuania from Eastern Ukraine and Crimea. Currently, relocated people with the status of vulnerable persons lose the right to social protection for two years after the three-year period expires, because other legal acts grant this right only to holders of long-term residence permits issued in the European Union.  A foreigner must live in Lithuania for at least five years to be eligible for such a permit. A total of 157 people have moved to Lithuania from crisis-affected regions of Ukraine since 2015.

Business tycoon passes away

Saulius Karosas, 60, an A-tier Lithuanian businessman and the key shareholder of Medicinos Bankas, passed away on Tuesday night, succumbing to cancer. Karosas was also involved in the transportation of energy resources all over the world. Medicinos Bankas was his main business in Lithuania as he owned 89.91 per cent of the bank, with 9.87 per cent belonging to Western Petroleum, a company established by the late businessman. Karosas was born in Lithuania’s second largest city of Kaunas and up until now resided in Switzerland.


Leave a reply

Nordea bank searched in Denmark over money laundering allegations

The Danish offices of the Scandinavian Nordea Bank have been searched by police as a probe in alleged money laundering is being conducted, Bloomberg reports.

Fire Service: Violations in new Ventspils music school prevented

In the newly-built Ventspils Musical High School and concert hall Latvija, which had problems with fire safety, the Latvian State and Fire Rescue Service has found in a repeated inspection that the violations have been fixed.

UN: 2.2 billion people globally still lack safe drinking water

A report by the United Nations Children’s Fund and the World Health Organisation has found in study that 1 in 3 people or 2.2 billion people around the world lack safely-managed drinking water, while 673 million people practice open defecation.

Key owner of pharmaceutical giant Olainfarm changes board member over distrust

In Olmafarm, the largest owner of the Latvian pharmaceutical giant Olainfarm, changes in the management board have taken place over no-confidence, according to a decision of the majority of the co-heirs of Olmafarm seen by LETA news agency.

Lithuanian experts: No way of stopping coming nuclear power plant of Belarus

Options that could stop the building of a nuclear power plant in Belarus have been exhausted, experts in neighbouring Lithuania have said to its public media.

Latvia pushing for joint stance of Baltic-Nordic MPs on security policy

Ahead of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Organisation of Security and Cooperation in Europe, it is key for the legislators of the eight Baltic-Nordic states to have a common position on security policy, said MP Inese Ikstena, head of the Latvian delegation.

Latvian coalition undertakes to rise teacher salaries over reform

Recognising that education reforms in Latvia have been initiated, the ruling coalition has pledged to pass the decision to allocate funds to rising teacher salaries, as indicated by Latvian Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš. Kariņš stated that the coalition parties have established that «reforms envisaged by Minister of Education Ilga Šupilinska have been initiated».

Latvian Enterprise Register: Companies not revealing true beneficiaries to be wound up

Once changes to the Latvian Law on the Prevention of Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing are signed by State President, the Enterprise Register will be tasked with winding up legal entities not revealing their true beneficiaries.

Latvian PM: If Estonia breaks deal on alcohol excise, we’re forced to respond

If Estonia has broken a deal with Latvia on alcohol excise tax, then Latvia is left to no choice, but to respond with a corresponding cut in excise, said Latvian Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš.

Never too late to marry – elderly marriages jump in Latvia

Over the year 2018 in Latvia, the total number of marriages fell by 0.7 %, the number of marriages concluded by elderly population grew 1.7 times, data from the Central Statistical Bureau of Latvia showed.

Eesti Energia suggests introducing customs tax to cheap Russian power

Estonian state energy firm Eesti Energia has proposed introducing a customs tax to electricity imported by Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania from Russia.

Social care centre in Latvia blamed for severe human rights violations

Latvian Ombudsman’s Office has found severe human rights violations in the social care centre Ezerkrasti and accused the institution of not complying with recommendations to it. Ezerkrasti is a branch of the state social care centre Riga, located outside the Latvian capital.

Unmarried couples’ law to be proposed in Latvia

In the Latvian Saeima, this week, a draft Law on Unmarried couples would be proposed by the party alliance Attīstībai/Par!.

Glass fibre maker Valmieras stikla šķiedra files for legal protection

Latvia-based glass fibre maker AS Valmieras stikla šķiedra has on Monday, June 17, announced filing for the start of legal protection proceedings aimed at ensuring sustainable continuation of group level operations.

Summer solstice week to be warm-to-hot in Latvia

As Latvia readies for the traditional summer solstice and Līgo festivities in the weekend, meteorologists expect the beginning of the week to be warm and sunny, whereas in the second half of the week, temperatures could rise and rain could set in.

Trees worth two hundred thousand euros disappear in Latvian border works

Developing the Latvia-Russia border, in eastern Latvia, a protected natural territory has been destroyed and timber worth over two hundred thousand euros has disappeared, reported Nekā Personīga programme of TV3 channel.

Latvian MPs request Supreme Court to evaluate Prosecutor General Kalnmeiers

Latvian legislators have asked the Latvian Supreme Court to evaluate consistency of the work of Prosecutor Ēriks Kalnmeiers with his post over inactivity in money laundering prevention and other shortcomings.

Gynaecologists in Germany fined advertising abortions

A court in Berlin has found two gynaecologists guilty of advertising how they carry out abortions in their clinic, fining them two thousand euros each. A pair of anti-abortion campaigners had reported the gynaecologists' website ad to German prosecutors.

Week in Lithuania: MP Gražulis in hot water, heat-related water supply disruptions in Kaunas

Last week, Lithuania marked the Day of Mourning and Hope, outgoing president Dalia Grybauskaite delivered her last annual address, president-elect Gitanas Nausėda spoke out against taxing owners of old polluting car, but MP Petras Gražulis suspected of bribery.

BNN summary of the week: Waiting for new Culture Minister; Misleading by Supreme Court chair; bank watchdog overhaul

In the past week in Latvia, changes were announced in the Financial and Capital Market Commission, which will have new a management and duties. A substitute has been proposed for Dace Melbārde as the Latvian Culture Minister after her election to the European Parliament. The conservatives have picked Nauris Puntulis, an opera singer and current Riga City councillor, for the post. The candidate gave an interview to BNN on his priorities in the post.

IN PICTURES: Victims of Communist genocide remembered in Latvia

At the Freedom Monument in Latvia on Friday, June 14, there was held a ceremony to honour the victims of the Communist genocide against the people of Latvia. The mass arrests of innocent people were committed on the night from June 13 to 14.

Moscow sees U.S. decision of another thousand troops to Poland as sensitive

The Russian government stated the Russian army was closely tracking U.S. plans to send an additional thousand of its troops Poland as a deputy minister criticised the move as probably «aggressive».

Europol: Risks of Russian money laundering still exist in Baltics

In the Baltic states, there still exist risks for the laundering of money from Russia, said official from European police agency Europol, Pedro Felicio, who works on anti-money laundering measures in the body. He added that the problem is amplified by «zero cooperation from the side of Russia».

Data: 47.3% Latvian restaurants had tax debt over last six months

47.3% of Latvian restaurants and cafes had a tax debt exceeding 150 euros in the past six months, yet the total taxes paid by the sector have surged by 19.87% on year, data by business database Lursoft showed.

Latvian parliament in no rush to discuss Jewish restitution payment of EUR 40 mln

The Latvian Saeima has postponed the discussion of a draft law to compensate the Latvian Jewish community in the amount of 40 million euros for property confiscated by totalitarian powers in the mid-20th century in the then occupied Latvia.