Archive for July, 2007
As BNS informed the Lithuanian state-run oil product terminal operator Klaipedos Nafta (Klaipeda Oil) is set to become a shareholder of Sarmatia, an international company that will conduct a feasibility study for the planned Odessa-Brody-Plock oil pipeline, in early August and may help develop the project in the future.The agency stated that the project would open the way for Caspian oil supplies to Eastern Europe, bypassing Russia. However, it is not clear yet if oil-rich Kazakhstan will join the project, the Verslo Zinios business daily reported.
Verslo Zinios stated that to Poland’s PERN Przyjazn and Ukraine’s Ukrtransnafta, partners from Azerbaijan and Georgia are expected to take stakes in Sarmatia.Howebver according to the daily the Kazakhstan‘s participation remains in question. That country’s leader did not take part in the summit in Krakow in May, where the political decision to extend the pipeline from Ukraine to the Polish port of Gdansk was taken.
Exactly 16 years ago, in 1991, July 31, the Medininkai massacre in Lithuania took place. This atrocity was conducted by the Soviet OMON (garrisoned at Riga) against the Lithuanian customs post at the Medininkai border crossing point near the Vilnius. It is thought that the attack took place at 4 am because one of the victims clock stopped at this hour.
Seven officers – were shot and killed. Customs Officer Tomas Šernas was severely wounded and became disabled, later to become a pastor. The unarmed officers were shot in the head, execution style. Those killed were buried in the Antakalnis Cemetery. The post was turned into a memorial.
Many of the men suspected by the Lithuanian government as being responsible for these incidents are now citizens of Russia. The Lithuanian government continues to demand that the persons suspected in these incidents should be interrogated and tried in Lithuania if necessary, while Russia refuses to legally cooperate motivating that such actions would violate their constitution. Hence, not only Lugavoy is protected by the Russian State.
President of Lithuania Adamkus regretted that Lithuania‘s justice and retribution cannot yet extend to the criminals hiding in the neighbouring countries in the East.“They are still using something that is not theirs — freedom. Yet today we know the names of the killers, know what they did then — sixteen years ago in Medininkai post at the break of dawn, know where they live now,” the president stressed.
As the only survivor Tomas Šernas told to a newspaper today: ’Perhaps it is not crucial if the guilty will ever be sentenced, I am not seeking revenge. I want us to understand what actually happened there. At the moment the case is regarded as the criminal offence – someone attacked somebody and killed.
All interpretation of the event is wrong. In reality a military formation in a cold blood massacred those who did not resist. This should be regarded as a war criminal activity. We should name the January 13 events to a military aggression and Medininkai tragedy to a massacre, a war criminal activity against a young state. If we will not pay enough attention to that now, we will loose very badly sometime in the future.’
An ex Minister of Foreign Affairs, Antanas Valionis has talled to BNS that Russia‘s president should remember that ratification of the Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty stalled because of Russia failing to pull out troops from Moldova and Georgia, member of parliament and .On 25 of July, in comment on the circumstance of Russia stepping down from the CFET, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin said, with a certain amount of irony, that according to the old wording of the treaty, the Baltic countries that have not yet ratified the modified version of the treat ought to be considered the Baltic military county of the former USSR and therefore he “might have to appoint a military commander there.”
The former Foreign Minister Valionis told to BNS “Putin’s tone could be more constructive as Lithuanians might suggest to return the cohorts of Duke Algirdas back to Moscow. In this case, he’s the beater and the screamer,” In his words Lithuania is prepared to negotiate ratification of the treaty and such proposals had been made on several occasions while he was the minister.
In the 14th century, led by Duke Algirdas the armies of the Great Duchy of Lithuania had besieged Moscow’s Kremlin three times but never assaulted it.
For decades environmentalists and economic planners have been telling the world to wean itself from using old-fashioned, polluting fossil fuel energy and make the shift to cleaner and more renewable alternatives. In the Baltics of 2007, the drive to reform is all the more urgent given the political imperative to reduce dependence on Russian energy supplies as well as the need to meet EU targets for using eco-friendly fuels.
Have a look at this week’s The Baltic Times special, which focuses on the use of alternative energy in the Baltic states, how far it’s developed and where it’s headed.
Legendary Swedish film director Ingmar Bergman has died at the age of 89. He died at his home on the island of Fårö. Eva Bergman said that her father had passed away “peacefully.” For many movie buffs, Bergman was the greatest of the authorial film-makers of the 1950s and 1960s, outranking even such figures as Federico Fellini, Luis Bunuel or Jean-Luc Godard.
Rest in Peace!
I would strongly recommend a brilliant article – biography on Bergman on the www.sweden.se
As the Lithuanian Statistics department announced Lithuania‘s gross domestic product grew by 8.1 percent in the first half of this year compared with a year. In the second quarter, GDP expanded by 8 percent year-on-year.“Domestic consumption, which continues to grow on the back of strong consumer expectations, accounts for a large part of GDP. Services export growth is also good enough. Industrial export figures, apart from difficulties at Mazeikiu Nafta (Mazeikiai Oil), are good too,” Rimantas Rudzkis, the chief analyst with DnB Nord Bankas, said, commenting on the report.The analyst predicted that the economy would grow at a similar rate in the second half of the year.
“The fundamental factors are unlikely to change very much. However, we cannot rule out the possibility of a slower growth, given the first reports about falling real estate prices from the neighbouring Latvian and Estonian markets,” he added.
Hansabankas Markets also raised its forecast for economic growth in Lithuania for this year to 8 percent from its previous estimate of 7 percent, and for 2008, to 7 percent from 6.5 percent.
“This year Lithuania’s economic growth will remain robust, underpinned by the growing consumption and a very fast expansion of sectors providing for domestic consumption needs,” said Tomas Andrejauskas, head of the Financial Markets Service at Lithuania’s Hansabankas.
“Unfortunately, as a result of intensive business expansion and emigration, there is a workforce shortage in many business areas already. That has created favourable conditions for excess growth of prices and wages,” he added to BNS.
As it was mentioned before the Economist Inelegance Unit is using old data for its reports. In the report published on the 26th of July the EIU experts expected that real GDP growth In Lithuania to slow from an estimated 7.3 percent in 2006 to 6.5 percent in 2007 and to 6.4 percent in 2008, as domestic demand growth moderates. However, very next day Lithuania’s statistical department published data stating that the Lithuania’s GDP in first half of the 2007 grew by 8,1 %. As the Lithuanian PM noted ‘Somehow Lithuanian statistics does not get into the foreign media’.
Also have a look at the article in the Baltic Times.
Accoriding to the Lithuanian daily Lietuvos Rytas, obstructed from carrying out his plans to cross the Baltic Sea by bad weather, Vidmantas Urbonas intends to return to the sea and finish the project.Urbonas intends to finish the swim from the spot where he was forced to stop by the elements in the nearest future, as soon as a more favourable weather forecast comes.
In future, he also intends to cross the English Channel as well, a thing he already attempted to do one year ago but was unable to finish the swim due to bad weather.
According to the sportsman the main objective of the race has been achieved. He wanted to draw attention to the Baltic Sea’s pollution and this was done due to a intensive media coverage of the race.
Edward Lucas published an article about Stalin’s rehabilitation in Russia and a camp for a recent Nashi or Putinjungend summer camp near Moscow.
Nashi has a Baltic connection. The term Nashi was coined by Nevzorov, the anchor of the Russian TV program 600 Seconds. In January 1991 Nevzorov produced a documentary and a controversial series of TV reports from Vilnius titled Ours (Nashi), about the actions of the Soviet spetsnaz during the January Events, when the Soviet military forces attempted to crush the declared independence of the Lithuania, in which Nevzorov was markedly sympathetic to Soviet actions. As a freelance journalist Jules Evans wrote, reporting from the Soviet Union:
“the journalist Aleksander Nevzorov appeared on TV, standing in front of the demonstrators in Lithuania holding a Kalashnikov. To the music of Richard Wagner (a German), Nevzorov declared the birth of a new Idea – ‘Nashi’. “Nashi is a circle of people – let it be enormous, colossal, multimillions – to whom one is related by common language, blood, and motherland.”
That is about Nashi. Lucas is also writes about the De – Stalinisation of the Russian history. The most striking aspect of distortion of Russia’s history is that this is happening not in the completely totalitarian state or in a ’sovereign democracy’ which is still rather soft, even though it is getting tougher. All of it is taking place in the state where there are plenty of alternative sources of information, at least for now.
The Russians are returning to the distorted history more or less on their own accord and will. During the Soviet days there was no alternative, no Internet, everything was under a strict control. People were forced to believe in great a Stalin who made one or two mistakes.
The Russian academics don’t protest, the elites are happy. Even the only Russia’s hope, rising middle class, is accepting all of these lies.
In 2001 in my last Russian history class at the University of Edinburgh our tutor, who was teaching the Russian History all his academic life, announced that we are his last class. He would not teach anything about Russia because he was extremely disappointed in developments in Russia. That was 2001 and the great historian already saw the direction Russia was taken. Maybe the policymakers should more listen to the historians. By understanding history you see the future clearer.