Posts filed under ‘Finland’
Lithuania’s President Dalia Grybauskaite announced on 5 February that she is going to meet the Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin in Finland next week.
According to her, the initiative for the meeting came from Kremlin. Grybauskaite said to the reporters today, “At Putin’s request, we agreed to such meeting.” The Lithuanian president and the Russian Prime Minister will participate on the meeting of the leaders of the countries surrounding the Baltic Sea.
Grybauskaite was asked if during the meeting she will raise a question to Putin about a statement made in 29 January by the Russia’s Foreign Ministry’s spokesperson in which he declared that Independent Lithuania did not exist in January 13 1991, when the Soviet military killed 14 civilians and injured hundreds injured. Grybauskaite answered, ‘I think that this statement is a misunderstanding.’ She added, ‘Why should I raise this question. I know that Lithuania did exist then. I don’t have any questions about this question.’
As the BNS informed Lithuanian Foreign Minister Vygaudas Usackas on 23 July will depart for Iceland, where he will voice Lithuania’s firm support to the country’s bid for EU accession and offer political and technical help for the impending preparations for joining the 27-strong bloc.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Rolandas Kacinskas said the minister will personally deliver a Seimas’ resolution, which was passed to express support to Iceland’s bid, and discuss how Lithuania can help Iceland amid its preparations.
“The meetings will focus on Iceland’s EU prospect amid the upcoming meeting of EU foreign ministers; Iceland’s application for EU membership will also be addressed. Lithuania is ready to provide political and technical support to Iceland,” Kacinskas on 23 July told BNS.
Usackas will depart for Reykjavik on 23 July evening, with core meetings scheduled on 24 July, including those with the Icelandic foreign minister and influential Members of Parliament.
The Seimas on Thursday adopted a resolution calling on parliaments and governments of EU member states to back Iceland’s EU bid by requesting that the European Commission (EC) by the end of 2009 offers its opinion on Iceland’s readiness for accession talks.
Usackas had earlier said that Lithuania will offer unconditional support to Iceland’s quest.
Political analysts say Iceland could join the bloc in three-four years time. The Nordic country’s EU prospects will be discussed early next week in the General Affairs and External Relations Council (GAERC) session.
As the BNS informed the Lithuanian parliament has urged European Union nations to support Iceland’s aspiration of joining the organization.
Some 106 parliamentarians voted in support, two were against and four more abstained in the Thursday’s ballot on the resolution, which “calls upon national parliaments and governments of all EU countries to support Iceland’s objective of joining the European Union, asking the European Commission (EC) to state its opinion by the end of 2009 on Iceland’s readiness to open membership negotiations.” The majority of those against were Euro-sceptical MPs.
The resolution also recalls and appreciates Iceland’s support to the Lithuanian nation and country when Iceland was the first Western democracy to recognize Lithuania’s restored independence in 1990.
The parliament also expressed “hope that Iceland would be ready to start the talks in early 2010,” declaring determination to share experience of its EU accession talks.
Lithuania’s Foreign Minister Vygaudas Usackas is flying to Reykjavik later on Friday in sign of support to Iceland.
The Baltic state’s diplomats say that EU nations have not yet reached common grounds on the Icelandic EU membership application: Nordic countries have advocated urgent accession, while some Southern European nations do not want Iceland to be an exception and suggest it should be admitted according to regular procedures. In this case, Iceland would be in the same group of EU aspirants with Albania.
Last week, Iceland submitted an official application to the EU’s presidency Sweden on accession to the organization.
In 1009 Lithuania’s name (Lituae) was first mentioned in the chronicles of ancient German town Kvedlinburg in reference to the death of missionary St. Bruno.
Lithuania on July 6 is marking its millennial Statehood Day. This small nation, sandwiched between great Germanic and Slavic giants managed to survive against all odds in the world. It experienced its glory days for few centuries with it medieval empire which stretched from the Baltic Sea to the Black Sea. Some historian argue that if there was not such an empire there would not have been Belarusian and Ukrainian nations today.
It was carved up, occupied and slaughtered for few centuries to revive again and again. It is a story of a small and great nation which held on to this piece of land next to the Baltic Sea and managed to survive. This is why it is amazing. Lithuania, together with its Baltic sisters managed to survive. Despite of all difficulties at the moment we will rise like phoenix out of ashes. Crisis are coming and going, but such nations are here to stay and prosper.
Celebratory events taking place throughout the day will be attended by Queen of Denmark Margarethe II, King Harald V of Norway, King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia of Sweden.
Other distinguished guests will include President Olafur Ragnar of Iceland, President Valdis Zatlers of Latvia, President Lech Kaczynski of Poland, President Viktor Yushchenko of Ukraine, President Tarja Halonen of Finland, Cardinal Angelo Sodano, Legate of Pope Benedict XVI and Dean of the College of Cardinals, Prime Minister Andrus Ansip of Estonia, and Russia’s Minister of Culture Alexander Avdeyev among others.
Lithuania’s millennial celebration kicked off at noon with a Flag Hoisting Ceremony in Daukanto Square, next to the Office of President of the Republic of Lithuania Valdas Adamkus, with a Holy Mass at the Vilnius Cathedral to follow, the president’s press service said in a statement.
The Holy Mass will be followed by a symbolic ceremony marking the opening of a reconstructed Royal Palace of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and a farewell to participants of the Millennium Song Festival “Song of the Centuries”, the statement says.
Later in the day the action will move over to the Museum of Applied Arts, where the honorable guests will visit millennial exhibitions on display, namely “Lithuania in Ancient Historical Sources”, “Wawel in Vilnius. From the Jagiellonian Dynasty to the end of the Republic, and “The Art of Balts”, and will attend lunch hosted by President Adamkus.
In the evening, guests will deliver addresses in Lithuania’s Millennial Song Contest, and later attend dinner hosted by Adamkus in the President’s Office.
Another 5,700 people join Lithuania’s jobless ranks in a week, Lithuanian unemployed ‘discover’ Scandinavia
As Lithuania’s Labour Exchange said on 22 June another 5,700 people were registered as unemployed in Lithuania last week, down 24% from 7,500 people registered a week earlier
The total number of people with the status of unemployed persons reached 196,400 as of 19 June (up from 194,900 a week earlier), which accounted for 9.2% of the working age population, as calculated by BNS.
As the BNS informs some 1,163 job vacancies were registered in 12-19 June down 19 % from 1,440 vacancies a week earlier. Some 2,600 persons got employed, down 19% from 3,200 the previous week.
There were around 1,300 vacancies in the Labour Exchange database on 19 June.
This morning Lithuania’s Public Radio announced that Lithuanians remains the immigration champions per capita in the EU. However, destinations for new immigrants are changing. According to this information Lithuanians starting to discover the neighbouring Scandinavian countries when looking for employment.
Is the BNS informs on 18 June the Nordic and Baltic prime ministers agreed in Brussels that the victory of centre-right parties in the recent elections to the European Parliament (EP) boost the chances of a second tenure for European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso.
“In these obscure times, at least something should be clear. Europe needs strong mustering leadership. Jose Manuel Barroso is perfectly suitable for the position,” Lithuania’s government cited Prime Minister Andrius Kubilius as saying.
Earlier on 18 June, Kubilius met with his Nordic and Baltic counterparts to discuss the stances taken by the countries before the start of the European Council. Heads of Finnish, Swedish, Danish, Lithuanian, Latvian and Estonian governments attended the meeting.
The prime ministers shared their evaluations of the economic situation in their countries and the region, as well as plans of overcoming the downturn, discussed the election of EC’s new president and enforcement of the Lisbon Treaty.
Latvian Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis presented the steps of his government to reduce the budget deficit.
According to the press release, the Nordic and Baltic prime ministers expressed support to Latvia’s difficult but necessary steps and agreed that the frequent proposals to devalue national currencies would not solve the problems but, instead, create new ones.
As the BNS writes the leaders of all Baltic Sea countries and European Commission President Barroso signed in Brussels on June 18 a memorandum of understanding on the Baltic Energy Market Interconnection Plan, thus marking the launch of the implementation of this action plan.
Lithuanian Deputy Energy Minister Romas Svedas, who is a member of the EU’s high-level group on developing the plan, confirmed the signing of the memorandum.
“This is an unprecedented fact in the European Union’s energy policy history: such an important document has been worked out within such a short period of time — eight months. The annexes [of the document] set out how and when a Baltic energy market will be established and integrated into the Nordic market,” he told BNS.
Svedas pointed out that the document identifies concrete projects, amounts of money and the main companies responsible for their implementation.
“This is a conceptual and phenomenal document and a good example for other EU regions, defining the energy development policy. This is a long-term document that is integrated into the period of Sweden’s presidency of the EU, which means that a focus will be given on a strategy for the whole Baltic Sea region, encompassing science, culture, energy and transport,” the official said to the BNS.
“The Baltic states, which are an energy island, must be integrated into the EU’s internal energy market and the energy island label has to be eliminated,” he said.
The European Commission’s president and the leaders of Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Lithuania, Latvia, Poland and Sweden signed the memorandum on the eve of the European Council meeting in Brussels,
The memorandum underlines the need for a further development of the electricity and gas markets in the Baltic Sea region and their integration into a wider EU energy market, as well as for promoting investments.
According to the document, the three Baltic countries aim to create a level playing field in the electricity market, open up to free international trade, and establish free competition and pricing policies.
In the gas market, their main goals are to find the cheapest solution for linking Finland and the Baltic countries to an integrated European gas network and new sources of supply, as well as to accelerate the opening of the market.
The European Union has earmarked 175 million euros for the planned power interconnection under the Baltic Sea from Sweden to Lithuania. Another 100 million euros should be provided for a second interconnection between Estonia and Finland.
The countries are to submit their joint application for the EU’s funds by Jul. 15.
Shortage of flights to Vilnius may put dent in Dweezil Zappa family’s plans to attend Lithuania concert
As the BNS announced the legendary musician Frank Zappa’s son Dweezil Zappa, scheduled next week for a concert in Lithuania, may have to come without his family, which, despite of wanting to see the concert and Frank Zappa’s monument in Vilnius, may not get to see their plans through because of shortage of flights to Lithuania.
Frank Zappa’s widow Gail Zappa is an active supporter of Lithuania’s idea to dispatch a twin of the monument erected for American musician Frank Zappa in Vilnius to his native Baltimore, Dweezil Zappa’s visit organizers said, noting that Gail would like to see the original monument in Vilnius together with her daughter.
However, Gail Zappa’s plan may be foiled by the high prices of the flight from the United States to Lithuania and two transfers.
Two key events in connection with Dweezil Zappa’s visit are scheduled in Vilnius next Thursday, namely, his concert titled Zappa Plays Zappa where his band will perform his father’s songs and unveiling of a bronze copy of the Zappa sculpture that will later be shipped to the US.
Organizers say that the events will contribute to the promotion of Lithuanian name on the international arena – thousands of Zappa fans following news about Zappa’s monument in Lithuania and the trip of its copy to Baltimore will come across names of Lithuania and Vilnius.
Dweezil Zappa agreed to hold the only concert in the Baltic states in Vilnius after long negotiations only, organizers maintain. The performer will arrive in the Lithuanian capital on a tour bus from Poland and will proceed to Finland afterwards.
The monument in honour of rock pioneer Frank Zappa was uncovered in Vilnius in 1996.
A private Lithuanian news radio Ziniu radijas and the Delfi.lt portal announcing that a Lithuanian male is treated in a Vilnius AIDS centre against an A type influenza virus. He checked into the clinics today, on the 28th of April.
It is announced that this male felt ill after retuning from Mexico on the 23rd of April. His samples were sent to London for further investigation. According to the announcement the doctors advised the petitioned to remain under surveillance in the hospital.
As the BNS reported the defence ministers of the three Baltic States upon assembling in Estonia’s capital city Tallinn jointly expressed political will to better coordinate strategic military purchases, which may take on a future form of agreements on joint tripartite purchases of especially pricey high-tech military equipment, Lithuanian Defence Minister Rasa Jukneviciene said.
Jukneviciene, on the 24th of April attending a meeting of the defence ministers of the three Baltic States, didn’t go on to forecast as to the future outcome of the endeavour in question.
“This is certainly a long-term affair, what with the ample psychological, cultural and legal obstacles. But the declaration of political will was of key importance. Perhaps we should look to the example set by the Nordic countries, which have made it down this long and difficult path. This is no simple matter, it is difficult to coordinate certain domestic priorities, let alone a tripartite deal. But there is no alternative route, we must try to harmonize the planning and synchronize budget allotments,” the Defence Minister spoke.
Defence Ministry armaments directors of the three Baltic States – who assemble on a regular basis – will be authorized to carry out talks in view of implementing the joint endeavour, said the Lithuanian official.
“We’ve vested (respective bodies – BNS) to review our legal base so as to determine whether it is compatible, with no apparent contradictions among that of the different states. This is the starting point and the signal has been sent out,” said Jukneviciene.
The Lithuanian defence minister also expressed hope of this political will reaping results in the future, in the form of military purchases. Joint purchases, according to Jukneviciene, could take on that which is “connected with the air space and especially expensive purchases”.
“I would like to believe that this can be done. There are fields that we’ll keep separate. I’m referring there to the expert level – army chiefs should present their point of view and then the political level can overview the priorities. But this is a question of future prospects, as today neither of the involved states can say when to expect the end of (economic – BNS) difficulties. Though, of course, much can be put into motion already at this time, after all, purchase planning takes a few years,” the minister spoke.
The three ministers after the meeting signed a joint communiqué, which, in Jukneviciene words, reflects the agreement to pursue maintenance of current tripartite military projects amid the economic slump.
“Discussions took place in the atmosphere of understanding. Keeping existing priorities in place amid the economic downturn and defence budget clampdowns was one of the crucial points made in the communiqué. All three countries, as written in the communiqué, declare their dedication to stick to the commitment to earmark 2 percent of the GDP to the defence budget as soon as the crisis is behind us. But we also addressed the fact that we’re approaching a certain red signal line, which indicates a potential need to look over our functions, as the clampdown has to have its limits,” Jukneviciene spoke to the BNS.
It was of utmost importance to Lithuania to hear of the dedication by neighbouring Latvians and Estonians to keep the upcoming Baltic Battalion duty on the NATO Response Force in the first half of 2010 a top priority, Jukneviciene underscored to BNS.