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Lietuva in brief

  • 2015-12-02

Communist parties — criminal?

Six Lithuanian MPs have called for the criminialisation of the former communist parties of the Soviet Union, and the Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic.
A draft bill concerning the decision has already been submitted to the Seimas, Lithuania’s parliament.
The MPs believe that recognising the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) and the Communist Party of the Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic (CPLSSR) as criminal organisations is fundamental to increasing the Lithuanian state’s political and public life.
The bill states the the CPLSSR played a major role in the annexation of Lithuania in 1940 as a result of the Molotov Ribbentrop pact between the USSR and Nazi Germany, and also worked against restoring Lithuania’s independence.
Jets

Arturas Palauskas, the Chairman of the Lithuanian parliamentary National Security and Defence Committee, believes Russia is to blame for the shooting down of one of its military aircraft over Turkey.
Turkish forces shot down the Sukhoi SU24 after it allegedly entered Turkish airspace on Nov. 24.
“The warnings (to the plane) were rather categorical,” said Palauskas. “They didn’t listen, so Turkey had nothing left to do than what it had threatened to do.
“From the situation we know, they (the pilots are) to blame for flying, for refusing to answer inquiries, and for ignoring the proposal to land.
“It seems to me that the Turkish air defence did the right thing.”

Not with Russia, thanks

Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite confirmed Lithuania will not join an anti-ISIS coalition with Russia until the Kremlin stops its aggressions in Eastern Ukraine and Crimea.
“Lithuania will not join any new coalition where Russia is involved or wants to be involved,” she said during a meeting with her Latvian and Estonia counterparts, Toomas Hendrik Ilves, and Rajmonds Vejonis. “Russia still occupies the territory of one country, and is carrying out direct military actions in another, even two countries — Georgia and Ukraine.”

Cash for Rail Baltica

Lithuania has received 131.26 million euros in European Union funding for the first phase of the Rail Baltica project.
Support will be provided under the agreements signed on Nov. 24 by the Innovation and Networks Executive Agency (INEA) and RB Rail, a joint venture established by Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia.
“Of the total amount earmarked for the joint venture of the three Baltic countries (442 million euros), Lithuania will receive 25.362 million euros.
Moreover, Lithuania will receive an additional 106 million euros under a separate application filed by the Transport Ministry on behalf of Lietuvos Gelezinkeliai (Lithuanian Railways).
Lithuania plans to build a European standard gauge railway between Kaunas and the border with Latvia between 2015 and 2020.