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Friday 18.01.2019 | Name days: Antis, Antons
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Week in Lithuania. Probe into suspected squandering at Lithuanian Post

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Lithuania’s Special Investigation Service, or STT, has launched a pre-trial investigation into suspected squandering of public funds at Lietuvos Paštas (Lithuanian Post). Transport and Communications Minister Rokas Masiulis says traces of an audacious scheme for profiting at the state’s expense have been detected at the state postal company.

According to STT spokeswoman Renata Endružytė, the anti-corruption agency had no suspects in the probe yet, but gave no further details on Thursday, January 3. The Transport and Communications Ministry alleges that Lietuvos Paštas’ former executives, whose names are not revealed, might have squandered around 3.7 million euros’ worth of the company’s funds between 2012 and 2016. According to the ministry, the former executives established a subsidiary named LP Mokėjimų Sprendimai (LP Payment Solutions), loaned its funds and set up a scheme for bypassing the management board’s control mechanisms in concluding transactions. Lietuvos Paštas was the sole shareholder of LP Mokėjimų Sprendimai.

Controversial media law amendments

The amendments on expanding the list of prohibited information, which have sparked concern among media experts, were initiated by the Radio and Television Commission of Lithuania, and the parliamentary Committee on Culture only registered them in its name, its chairman Ramūnas Karbauskis says. RTCL chairman Mantas Martišius underlined that the amendments are meant for swift response to national security threats and its formulations were taken from the strategy approved by the parliament. According to him, an EU directive stipulates that member states can impose sanctions on media outlets posing threat to public security, including ensuring national security and defence. He stressed the fact that the committee did not add a single word to the amendment bill, but copied the EU directive in it.

Vilnius-Kaunas road to be turned into highway

The Vilnius-Kaunas motorway will be turned into a highway over the next two years and will see the maximum speed increased from 110 to 130 km/h during summertime. The project is valued at around 65.6 million euros. Road safety measures as well as speed control and warning systems will be installed along the whole road from Vilnius to Kaunas. According to Vitalijus Andrejevas, head of the Lithuanian Road Administration, the maximum speed of 130 km/h will be allowed.

Authorities on gay marriage om residence permit cases

A lawmaker and the Migration Department’s director say they agree that same-sex marriages registered abroad can serve as a basis for foreign spouses to reside lawfully in Lithuania, but underline that this would not grant them any other rights. Valerijus Simulikas, chairman of the parliament’s Committee on Human Rights, and Evelina Gudzinskaitė, the department’s director, stated the position before the Constitutional Court on Thursday, January 3.The Constitutional Court is hearing a case referred to it by the Lithuanian Supreme Administrative Court, which examines an appeal filed by a foreigner, who married a Lithuanian citizen of the same sex in Denmark three years ago, against the Migration Department’s decision to refuse him a residence permit.

Litgrid to continue grid synchronisation-linked tender

Lithuania’s power transmission system operator Litgrid has been allowed to go ahead with a 27-million-euro international tender procedure for upgrading the Alytus transformer substation as part of preparations for synchronising the Baltic electricity grids with the continental European system via the LitPol Link interconnection between Lithuania and Poland.

Autoerdvė buys Honda dealership in Vilnius

Autoerdvė, a Vilnius-based car trading company operating since 1995, has bought the Honda dealership in Vilnius from Estonian-capital company Nippon Auto. The deal was registered with the Lithuanian Centre of Registers on Dec. 27, Gediminas Saudargas, Autoerdvė’s sole owner, confirmed it to BNS Lithuania, without disclosing the deal’s value. Autoerdvė actively pursued the right to officially represent Subaru in Lithuania in the past decade, competing against Japoniškų Markių Automobilių Centras (JMAC).

Klaipėdos Nafta gets new British board member

British Ian Bradshaw, having extensive experience in the oil and gas business, has joined the board of Lithuania’s Klaipėdos Nafta, the operator of LNG and oil terminals.On January 2, the company’s Supervisory Board appointed him as a fifth board member (independent) following a competition, picking Bradshaw from over 30 candidates.Bradshaw has been involved in high-value projects all over the world. He’s worked for more than 20 years on Shell’s international projects, served as business development executive at Shell International Exploration and Production among other stints.

Lithuania mulls tightening pork imports from Poland

Lithuania plans to take retaliatory measures if it fails to diplomatically reach an agreement with Poland on resuming Lithuanian pork imports, Agriculture Minister Giedrius Surplys said on Friday, January 4.He said the European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety Vytenis Andriukaitis told him on Friday that he had written a letter to the Polish agriculture minister and planned to call him on Monday if the situation remained unchanged.  In mid-December, Poland imposed a ban on importing pig meat and pigs from Lithuania’s Part II area, where African Swine Fever is present in wild boars.

Businessman to invest heavily into hotels in Vilnius, Riga

AviaAM Leasing, an aircraft leasing and management company indirectly owned by Lithuanian businessman Gediminas Žiemelis, announced plans to invest 20 million euros into the construction of two hotels in Lithuania and Latvia over the next two years.AviaAM Leasing’s subsidiary DG21 plans to invest 5 million euros into the construction of a luxurious guest house, Loop Svečių Namai, in Vilnius District. Moreover, DG21 also plans to build a four-star 200-room hotel in Riga over the next two years and invest 15 million euros. The hotel, currently being designed, will be opened near Riga Airport by 2021, the company said.

Lithuania’s Citadele Bankas becomes branch of Latvia’s Citadele Bank

Lithuania’s Citadele Bankas has become a branch of Latvia’s Citadele Bank as a result of a reorganization, the bank said in a statement to Nasdaq Riga.The bank’s representatives said that continuing the implementation of Citadele Group’s strategy to become the primary bank of choice in the Baltics, the reorganisation of Citadele Bankas has been completed as the bank continues its operations in Lithuania as the Lithuanian branch of Latvia’s Citadele.The decision to reorganise Lithuania’s Citadele Bankas by merging it with Latvia’s Citadele and setting up a Lithuanian branch was taken on July 5, 2018.


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