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Lietuva in brief - 2013-02-07

Feb 06, 2013

With further intrusion into our lives, on Jan. 31 Google announced the launch of Street View for Lithuania, allowing users to view and navigate 360-degree street-level imagery of streets and sites across the country, reports ELTA. “Today we are very excited to be launching Street View in Lithuania and by this allowing our users to virtually travel across all Baltic States. Street View will open up the beautiful streets and sites of this wonderful country to users around the world. Lithuanian businesses and users can enjoy the many benefits of the service,” said Ulf Spitzer, Street View Program Manager at Google. Mayor of Vilnius Arturas Zuokas stressed that the appearance of Vilnius in Google Maps Street View will not only enhance visibility of Vilnius and the whole country, but also boost tourism. “We hope that Google will shortly come back to our city and will photograph our parks and monuments which have not yet been included,” added Zuokas.

Presidential advisor on foreign policy issues Jovita Neliupsiene says that it is difficult to predict what kind of agreement will be reached at the Feb. 7-8 Council of the European Union, reports ELTA. However, we should not expect Lithuania to get a large slice of budget pie, said Neliupsiene. “It is very difficult to predict because 27 European Union countries will have to find agreement, and the budget has to meet all of their interests or, as one of the state leaders said, they must be all a little bit unhappy equally,” said the advisor in an interview on radio Ziniu Radijas. Neliupsiene says that, in order to reach an agreement on the EU budget it is necessary to coordinate the interests of two sides: the members who contribute the most to the EU budget, and those who receive the most support.

At the meeting of Ministers for European Affairs in Brussels on Feb. 4, Lithuanian Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs Vytautas Leskevicius called on the EU heads of state who will be attending the European Council meeting at the end of this week to send a clear message about the aim to sign the Association Agreement with Ukraine, including a free trade area, reports ELTA. “A free trade area would create substantial economic benefits for both the European Union and Ukraine. As we draw closer to the Eastern Partnership Summit in November in Vilnius, Ukraine has to convince [us] that the country is making progress and the European Union must speak not only about the signing of the Association Agreement, but also should start implementing the free trade area before the ratification,” Leskevicius said. He stressed that during the free trade negotiations, the EU must ensure that opening markets would equally benefit all member states and various economic sectors. Ukraine’s President Viktor Yanukovich was scheduled to arrive for a visit to Vilnius on Feb. 6.

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