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Sunday 18.11.2018 | Name days: Doloresa, Aleksandrs

Week in Lithuania. Remains of legendary Lithuanian partisan commander found

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Adolfas Ramanauskas-Vanagas, a commander of Lithuanian anti-Soviet partisans

The remains of Adolfas Ramanauskas-Vanagas, a commander of Lithuanian partisans who fought against the Soviet occupation, have been found this week by archaeologists at the Orphans’ Cemetery in Antakalnis, Vilnius.

The remains’ authenticity has been confirmed through an anthropological analysis, the comparison of skull and personal photos and DNA tests.

Ramanauskas-Vanagas lead partisans in the southern region of Dzūkija. Together with other partisan commanders, he signed the Lithuanian Partisans Declaration of February 16, 1949.

According to Vilnius University’s Associate Professor Gintaitas Velius, the initial goal of the archaeological research was to find out if the remains of people sentenced to death and killed at the KGB prison in Vilnius were buried at the Orphans’ Cemetery in 1956-1969.

The remains of 27 people killed at the KGB and Lukiškės prisons have been found during the excavations, and they are being identified. The archaeological work will continue, aimed at finding the burial sites of other people who sacrificed their lives for Lithuania’s freedom.

Based on the research carried out by the Genocide and Resistance Research Centre of Lithuania, 206 people were executed in Vilnius in 1956-1969, including 76 people charged for political crimes and executed at the KGB prison. 130 people were sentenced to death by shooting for criminal offences and executed at Lukiškės Prison.

Seimas approves CNSD influence probe conclusions

The Seimas of Lithuania (Lithuanian legislature) on Tuesday, June 5, approved the conclusions of the parliamentary Committee on National Security and Defence’s probe into unlawful influence on political processes, in which Russia’s Rosatom and Lithuania’s MG Baltic business groups were named as threats. The conclusions were backed by 88 lawmakers and 18 MPs abstained. The CNSD spend over six months investigating some businessmen’s attempts to have unlawful influence on politicians, state enterprises as well as heads of institutions and their staff. Mechanisms of political parties’ funding were also probed, as well as Russian company Rosatom’s bid to engage in activities in sectors important for Lithuania’s national security.

Seimas to consider tobacco excise raising plan

Seimas of Lithuania (Lithuanian legislature) will consider the government’s proposal to introduce a three-year plan for raising excise duties for tobacco products and also subject e-liquids to an excise duty. According to Finance Minister Vilius Šapoka, the plan’s been drawn up taking into consideration the existing tendencies within the European Union and also neighbouring countries. A pack of cigarettes in Belarus costs much less than in Lithuania for some time already, therefore, increased excise duties would not have major impact on cigarette smuggling, the finance minister said. The Lithuanian government is proposing increasing the excise duty for cigarettes to 62.25 euros for 1,000 cigarettes, and set a minimum combined excise duty for 1,000 cigarettes at 102 euros.

Following such changes, the price of a pack of 20 cigarettes would grow around 11 euro cents on average (the price of the cheapest cigarettes would go up 0.15 euro). The price of a pack of ten cigarillos would increase around 0.12 euros, and the price of 30 grams of smoking tobacco would be up 0.3 euros.

Lithuania wants separate command for NATO’s eastern flank

Lithuanian Defence Minister Raimundas Karoblis has welcomed the agreement of NATO defence ministers to set up two new NATO commands in the U.S. and Europe, and has called for one more command for the alliance’s eastern flank. The minister also underlined that the establishment of another land force command centre at the alliance’s eastern border would help ensure greater efficiency of collective defence in the Baltic states and Poland.

Post releases postage stamp featuring Tatars

Lietuvos Paštas (Lithuanian Post) is released Friday, June 8, a special postage stamp featuring Lithuania’s Tatars. The Tatars, one of the oldest ethnic groups in Lithuania, last year marked 620 years since their arrival in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and will next year celebrate the 700th anniversary of their alliance with Grand Duke Gediminas.

Lithuania will support compromise proposals

Lithuania will support compromise proposals on haulers’ interests amid EU member states’s discussions on a review of drivers’ working conditions, Lithuanian Transport Minister Rokas Masiulis said. The minister presented Lithuania’s position on the Mobility Package at the EU Transport, Telecommunications and Energy Council’s meeting. Lithuania is mostly concerned about several provisions related to the openness of transport markets and workers’ social issues.

Crypt found near Pushkin’s museum in Vilnius

A crypt has been found at St. Varvara’s Chapel in Vilnius, which is part of the Markučiai Manor housing the Museum of Alexander Pushkin. According to the Lithuanian Department of Cultural heritage, a gap under tombs was found after a concrete slab, part of a path, was raised. A burial vault with two coffins is visible through the gap. The vault contains two coffins, with one of them considerably older. The vault itself is arched, and is about 2.25 meters in height, around 3 meters in width and 3–4 meters in length. Varvara Pushkina, the wife of Russian poet Puskkin’s son Grigory, came to live at Markuciai Manor in 1899, and the Museum of Alexander Pushkin was opened here in 1948, following her death and at her request. Grigory Pushkin (1835–1905), Varvara Pushkina (1855–1935), their governess Marie Pelichet (1826–1903) and Varvara Melnikova (1834–1910) are buried in the manor’s territory, too.

Second swine fever case recorded

Specialists from Lithuania’s State Food and Veterinary Service have recorded a second swine fever case on a small farm near the Latvian border. It’s the second case this year. Swine fever was detected on the farm with nine pigs in the town of Pašvitinys. All animals were put down. The town is situated around 20 kilometres from the Latvian border. Last year, swine fever was detected on 28 small farms.

Lithuania launches tender for GIPL construction work

Lithuania’s natural gas transmission system operator Amber Grid on Thursday launched an international tender for the construction of Gas Interconnector Poland-Lithuania (GIPL). The deadline for submitting bids is August 8, according to the competitive tender notice on the European and Lithuanian public procurement websites. Amber Grid and its Polish partner, Gaz-System, in late May signed a grid connection agreement, the final agreement needed for starting construction. The GIPL project would cost almost 560 million euros in total, including 136 million euros in Lithuania where 165 kilometres of the pipeline are to be located.

Vilnius hosts Women Political Leaders Summit

The annual Women Political Leaders (WPL) Summit took place at the Lithuanian parliament building in Vilnius on Thursday, June 7. The event, held under the auspices of Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaitė, brought together female politicians from more than 70 countries. The participants of the WPL Summit include Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic, Malta’s President Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca, Romanian Prime Minister Viorica Dancila, Chile’s former President Michelle Bachelet, New Zealand’s former Prime Minister Helen Clark, and Senegal’s former Prime Minister Aminata Toure.

Payment service fined

Lithuania’s payment service and electronic money company MisterTango on Wednesday, June 6, was slapped with a 30,400-euro fine for failing to comply with the money laundering and terrorist financing prevention requirements and for other irregularities. The Bank of Lithuania gave the company until September 28 to eliminate the irregularities and shortcomings identified during the central bank’s inspection.


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BNN summary of the week: government formation in Latvia, Brexit plans, and Latvia’s 100th birthday

If someone hoped to see Latvia compile a government before the national holiday, they are going to be disappointed – three parties have decided to exit government formation talks headed by New Conservative Party. NCP’s prime minister candidate Jānis Bordāns receive criticism for having too ambitious and expensive goals. NCP, on the other hand, says parties did not try to study the party’s offers.

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Latvian parties pick candidates to work in Saeima committees

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Latvian ministry plans to form Media Ethics Council and develop Latvian Media Ethics Code

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EP: Moldova and Georgia should continue initiated reforms

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