Posts filed under ‘Azerbaijan’

Grybauskaite won Presidential seat, will Lithuania’s foreign policy change its direction?

According to the latest official results Ms Dalia Grybauskaite has won the elections for the Lithuania’s presidential post.  Some  69.08% voted for the EU Commissioner, the biggest ever support for a presidential candidate.  51.71% of all voters executed their constitutional right.  Those are preliminary results announced at 1200.  The final announcement should come on Sunday.

Butkevicius got 11.83%, Mazuronis 6.16%, Tomasevski 4.74%, Prunskiene 3.91%, Grauziniene 3.61%, Jezerskas 0.67% .

President Adamkus, the Speaker of the Parliament Valinskas and the PM Kubilius all congratulated the President in waiting.  It is still unclear who is going to work in Grybauskaite’s team.  A lecture of the Vilnius University Institute  of International Affairs and Political Science Mr V. Dumbliauskas stated to the Lietuvos Rytas paper that the members of her team are going to be fresh and young people without any political baggage.  He mentioned that four of his former students are invited in the team.

Another lecture from the same university Mr Janeliunas mentioned to the BNS that Grybauskaite’s entry into office would undoubtedly bring changes in terms of foreign policy.  Janeliunas told to the BNS that some attention from Eastern European countries like Georgia, Ukraine and Moldova will be shifted to European Union’s (EU) heavyweights, which in his words will be one of the pivotal changes.  “She would look to Western European capitals for backing and then assess the feasibility of European integration among other quests. (…) Directions would shift in line with long-term priorities,” he said to the BNS on early Monday morning.

The BNS agency also quoted Director at the Centre for Eastern Geopolitical Studies Kasciunas who maintained a similar opinion.  “There are signs that point to Lithuania’s increased attention to deeper EU integration rather than full-fledged EU expansion to the East,” Kasciunas told BNS.

The BNS wrote that the political expert felt that Lithuania’s shift in this particular direction could result in the country adopting a more agreeable stance on Russia in line with the popularity of this trend in Western Europe. It is impossible to provision the benefits or lack thereof implicit in this change, said Kasciunas, noting that more thorough EU integration would undoubtedly be beneficial to the country in terms of energy, however cautioning that integration to EU’s military structures could be more detrimental.

However, these are only predictions and assumptions based on Grybauskaites statements.  However, these questions were not really answered during the election campaign.  Hence, the predictions above remain only such.


May 18, 2009 at 12:12 pm 4 comments

Inflation risk in the Baltics

GrowthI would like to present you with an article writen by Mr Vadimas Titarenko on the status of the Baltic economies.  Mr Titarenko works for the NROD/DnB bank.Most of Lithuania’s statistical indicators for 2007 seem in pretty good shape. Annual GDP growth accounted for 9 percent in the first three quarters of 2007, leaving year-end growth at a forecast 8.3 percent. Average earnings rose by almost 20 percent in the same period. Unemployment is very low at 4 percent and the fiscal indicators are looking good. Which leaves inflation…

International financial experts all too often see the three Baltic countries as a unified region. A lot of criticism has been directed at Latvia – justifiably, since the macro indicators there are quite poor – but unfortunately what happens in Latvia also reflects badly on Lithuania where the indicators are in fact quite healthy. What the experts tend to criticize is that the bulk of the growth so far seen in the Baltic countries is based on household consumption.

Household expenditure is indeed growing very fast – the gap between consumption growth and GDP growth is getting wider. There is an even bigger disproportion between the pace of expansion in the domestic trade sector and the income growth of the population, which means that today households are living on future consumption.

It looks as though consumers here want to rapidly catch up on those in Western Europe – at the cost of living on loans.The dynamics on loan portfolio growth do indeed show that consumers are still taking loans. In the last nine months, Lithuania has been the leader in the Baltic states in terms of consumer loan growth.

The fast growth in consumption has inevitably had an impact on the economy. Over the last couple of months alone inflation has accelerated very much. In 2005, annual CPI growth was 2.7 percent. By June 2007, it had risen to 4.8 percent. In November 2007, it was 7.8 percent – inflation’s highest level since 1997.

The worrisome part is that inflationary expectations are created. To diminish them is a difficult process, especially since a great deal of the inflationary pressures are caused by external factors.On a global scale, poor crop yields and increasing biofuel production have led to 15.4 percent annual growth in the price of food products in Lithuania.

There are also increases in energy prices to contend with. Energy prices in Lithuania are still lower than they are in Germany and other Western European countries, but that is about to change.Gazprom is raising natural gas prices from January 1, 2008, and the Lithuanian authorities have already announced that prices for households are going to increase by 70 percent. 

Read rest of the article on 

January 2, 2008 at 10:07 pm Leave a comment

Agreements on oil pipeline between Caspian, Black and Baltic Seas signed in Vilnius

Brodi - PolockAs the BNS reported five-country cooperation agreements on implementation of the project of the pipeline Odessa-Brody-Plock-Gdansk were signed in Vilnius on evening October 10.

The agreement on energetic cooperation and one more energy document were signed by representatives of ministries and companies of Lithuania, Poland, Ukraine, Azerbaijan and Georgia.

“The signing of this agreement is just the beginning of a long road. I hope that we will continue working together to prevent insignificant technical disagreements from causing a slow-down of the project. The oil pipeline unites and will continue to unite our regions, creates added value and strengthens energy security in the whole of the region,” Lithuania’s President Valdas Adamkus said on Octover 10.

As the BNS remained the signing is expected to be the last step for launching the alternative project to Russia’s oil supply. Odessa-Brody-Plock-Gdansk is planned to be the first pipeline to link the Caspian Sea and the Black Sea regions with countries of the Baltic Sea region and become the new way of oil transit to Europe.

October 12, 2007 at 10:52 am 2 comments

Vilnius Energy Summit Live by Internet

Responsible Energy for Responsible PartnersAs the President’s press office announced the Vilnius Energy Security Conference 2007: Responsible Energy for Responsible Partners held on 10-11 October 2007 is broadcasted live by Internet via Windows Media and RealMedia

October 10, 2007 at 11:50 am 1 comment

Vilnius Energy Security Conference 2007 to start in Vilnius tomorrow

Responsible Energy for Responsible PartnersAs the BNS informed seven presidents, 12 ministers, top-ranking officials of the United States and the European Union (EU), as well as experts and representatives of energy companies will gather in Vilnius later this week to discuss global energy security and search for the framework for EU external energy policy.

Presidents of Lithuania, Poland, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Latvia, Romania and Ukraine, EU Energy Commissioner Andris Piebalgs, US Deputy Energy Secretary Clay Sell, representatives of governments of Belgium, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Spain, Great Britain, Kazakhstan, the Netherlands, Norway, France, Slovenia, Sweden, Turkey and Bayrammyrat Myradov, executive director of Turkmenistan’s presidential state agency for management and use of hydrocarbon resources, will participate in the conference – the Vilnius Energy Security Conference 2007: Responsible Energy for Responsible Partners – in the Lithuanian capital on Wednesday and Thursday.

French President Nicolas Sarcozy will not attend the event because he will be visiting Russia on these days. Russia delegated Ambassador Boris Tsepov despite the fact that the invitation was sent to President Vladimir Putin.

Agenda of the two-day conference organized by Lithuanian and Polish presidents, Valdas Adamkus and Lech Kaczynski, includes signing of two five-country agreements concerning cooperation among companies and ministries of Lithuania, Poland, Ukraine, Azerbaijan and Georgia implementing the project of the pipeline Odessa-Brody-Plotsk-Gdansk.

It is expected to be the last step for launching the alternative project to Russia’s oil supply. Odessa-Brody-Plotsk-Gdansk is planned to be the first pipeline to link the Caspian Sea and the Black Sea regions with countries of the Baltic Sea region and become the new way of oil transit to Europe.

October 9, 2007 at 12:31 pm 4 comments

Five countries to sign in Vilnius agreements on alternative oil pipeline

Odesa BrodnyLithuania, Poland, Ukraine, Azerbaijan and Georgia plan to sign an agreement on joint work to implement an Odessa-Brody-Plock-Gdansk oil pipeline project in Vilnius during the Vilnius Energy Security Conference on Oct. 10-11.  The Pipeline should would provide an alternative to Russian oil supplies for the countries concerned. As Neringa Pazusiene, a department director at the Lithuanian Economy Ministry, told BNS “This will be the last step to be taken in order to get the project started. The ministerial meeting in Tbilisi served as a catalyst for reaching agreement,” she said.

Sarmatia was founded by Poland‘s PERN and Ukraine’s Ukrtransnafta.

As the BNS writes Sarmatia’s shareholders gave the go-ahead for increasing the company’s authorized share capital to 12 million zlotys (3.2 mln) from 2 million zlotys to bring in Azerbaijan’s Socar, Georgia’s GOGC and Lithuania’s Klaipedos Nafta (Klaipeda Oil) in the mid of July of 2007.

The state-run oil product terminal operator, Klaipedos Nafta, expects to have 1 percent of the shares in Sarmatia.The Odessa-Brody-Plock-Gdansk pipeline is planned to be the first oil pipeline to link the Caspian and Black Sea regions to the.

Baltic Sea region and to become a new oil transit route to Europe.

October 1, 2007 at 3:50 pm 1 comment

The Lithuanian, Swedish and Azeri Foreign Minister in New York discussed perspectives of regional cooperation

UNAs the Lithuanian Foreign Ministry portal informed the Foreign Ministers of Lithuania Petras Vaitiekūnas, Sweden Carl Bildt and Azerbaijan Marat Tazhin had a meeting in New York, during the 62nd session of the United Nations General Assembly.

The Ministers of Foreign Affairs discussed the importance of Kazakhstan’s role in Central Asia and perspectives of regional cooperation. The Ministers also discussed the idea of Lithuania to promote regional cooperation between the Baltic, Nordic and Central Asian countries.

The Ministers also discussed Kazakhstan’s participation in the upcoming Vilnius Energy Security Conference 2007 on 10-11 October. Considering Kazakhstan’s growing role as a global energy actor, the European Union is especially interested in mutually beneficial cooperation in the area of energy.

September 25, 2007 at 5:16 pm Leave a comment

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