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Week in Lithuania. Vilnius holds funeral for partisan commander

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The top officials of Lithuania in the state funeral of partisan commander Adolfas Ramanauskas-Vanagas

Vilnius hosted a solemn state funeral for Adolfas Ramanauskas-Vanagas, a Lithuanian armed anti-Soviet resistance commander, on Friday, October 5.

The coffin covered with a Lithuanian tricolour was on Friday morning brought to Vilnius University Saint Johns’ Church and was met by members of the family, Lithuania’s Chief of Defence Lieutenant General Jonas Vytautas Žukas and sanctified by Vilnius Archbishop Gintaras Grusas. At noon, President Dalia Grybauskaitė, Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis and Speaker of the Seimas honoured the memory of the partisan leader, and members of the public paid final respects until the evening. The funeral will place at Antakalnis Cemetery on Saturday afternoon.

HU-LCD gets an extra seat in Seimas

Central Electoral Commission on Thursday, October 4, approved the results of the last weekend’s election in Zanavykai constituency to fill a vacant parliamentary seat and officially declared Irena Haase, representing the opposition conservative Homeland Union – Lithuanian Christian Democrats, as the winner.

Haase got 60.89 per cent of votes during the Sunday vote, and her rival, independent candidate Mindaugas Bastys received 35.47 per cent of votes.

Defence minister takes part in NATO meeting

EU Defence ministers, including Lithuania’s Raimundas Karoblis, met on Thursday, October 4, Brussels to discuss the Alliance’s deterrence and defence measures.

Special focus was given to the assessment of allies’ progress in increasing their defence spending, it said. NATO’s defence ministers also met with Federica Mogherini, the EU’s high representative for foreign affairs, and the Finnish and Swedish defence ministers to discuss closer NATO-EU cooperation.

City of Utena plans to set up new industrial park

The northeastern Lithuanian town of Utena is planning to establish a new industrial park in a bid to facilitate and accelerate the arrival of investors. Utena Mayor Alvydas Katinas says a feasibility study on the district’s economic development has also analysed a free economic zone (FEZ) as an option.

Lithuania will change clocks for last time

People in Lithuania will change their clocks for the last time next spring as the country will keep summertime permanently, Transport and Communications Minister Rokas Masiulis said on Wednesday, October 3.

Masiulis added that EU ministers would discuss the issue at an informal meeting by the end of the year. In September, the European Commission proposed to put an end to the practice of adjusting clocks twice a year in 2019.

Ban on using mobile phones in crosswalks

Pedestrians in Lithuania will be banned from using mobile phones in crosswalks and motorists will have to give way to pedestrians who are about to step into a crosswalk. The government approved on Wednesday, October 3, the respective amendments to the Road Traffic Rules.

The amended rules require pedestrians to avoid any distractions, including the use of an electronic mobile device, before entering the crosswalk and while crossing the street. Under the Lithuanian Code of Administrative Offences, pedestrians can be fined between 20 and 40 euros for such traffic rule violations. The fine may be reduced by half for first-time offenders.

Lithuania, Latvia sign agreement

The Lithuanian and Latvian health ministers signed on Wednesday, October 3, an agreement on emergency medical services (EMS) in the border area of the two neighbouring countries. Aurelijus Veryga of Lithuania and Anda Caksa of Latvia signed the agreement in the Latvian town of Bauska.

The agreement will make it possible to dispatch Lithuanian ambulances to locations on the Latvian side of the border within 20 kilometres on the other side, and vice versa.

Government to set up representation to OECD

The government on Wednesday, October 3, gave the final go-ahead for setting up the country’s permanent representation to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

Some 438,000 euros have been earmarked for the representation, which is to open in Paris on December 1, this year, with another 610,000 euros to be allocated next year and 645,000 euros in 2020 and 2021 each.

Probe finds LRT council has too many functions

The Lithuanian parliament’s ad hoc investigation commission scrutinizing the activities of the Lithuanian Radio and Television (LRT) says the public broadcaster’s council currently has too many functions and proposes to establish a board.

Opposition MPs refused to take part in the investigation. The findings are yet to be endorsed by the full Seimas and, if approved, will require amending laws to implement the proposed changes.

Lithuanian-Polish interparliamentary assembly planned

The Lithuanian-Polish interparliamentary assembly might gather as early as this year, Arvydas Nekrosius, head of the Lithuanian delegation, said on Tuesday, October 2. He and another four Lithuanian lawmakers met with representatives of the Polish Sejm and Senate in Warsaw on Monday and Tuesday this week.

In his words, ethnic minority, education, energy security, power grid synchronization and defence issues were discussed during the meetings. The last time the assembly met was on May 11, 2009.

Strasbourg court to decide on appeal against CIA prison ruling next week

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) is likely to decide next week whether or not to accept the Lithuanian government request to reconsider the court’s judgment that the country hosted a secret CIA prison more than a decade ago.

A panel of five judges will examine the government’s Grand Chamber referral request on Monday, October 8, with its decision to be made public on Tuesday, October 9, the Strasbourg-based court said. The ECHR ruled on May 31 that the CIA had operated a secret detention site for terror suspects in Lithuania, ordering the country to pay 130,000 euros in damages to Abu Zubaydah, a Saudi Arabia-born Palestinian, over his alleged unlawful imprisonment.

MG Baltic’s claim in non-material damage from MP

MG Baltic, one of Lithuania’s largest business group, is claiming 20,000 euros from Vytautas Bakas, chairman of the Seimas Committee on National Security and Defence (CNSD), in compensation for non-material damage to its reputation.

MG Baltic on Monday, October 1, revised its earlier lawsuit in which it had asked for certain statements by Bakas to be refuted as untrue and damaging the group’s business reputation, the group’s representatives said. According to MG Baltic, the contested statements are that there are signs of organized crime in the group’s activities and that the group caused around 500 million euros in damage to the state. The Vilnius City District Court back in June prohibited Vytautas Bakas from repeating these statements.


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Canary Islands hit by sand storm from Sahara; stops aviation

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Latvia’s president promulgates Law on Dissolution of Riga City Council

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S&P Global Rating upgrades Latvia’s credit rating to historically highest level

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Italy hit by lethal coronavirus cases puts 11 towns on lockdown

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