Lietuva in brief - 2004-08-05

  • 2004-08-05
President Valdas Adamkus was scheduled to visit Poland on his first official visit abroad since taking office. The president will spend the upcoming weekend with his Polish counterpart, Aleksandr Kwasniewski, in the latter's villa in Gdansk. The presidents are expected to discuss implementation of the Via Baltica, Rail Baltica and Lithuanian-Polish power grid infrastructure projects.

Prime Minister Algirdas Brazauskas said that Lithuania would again propose former Finance Minister Dalia Grybauskaite for the position of European commissioner. The matter to be addressed at the government's next meeting next week.

The European Court of Human Rights registered a complaint of the most generous sponsor of ousted President Rolandas Paksas, Yuri Borisov (photo), against Lithuania. Borisov blames the state for breaching his right to fair court and legal defense and being discriminated for his nationality. He claims that the Constitutional Court did not have a right to revoke his citizenship while its main function is only to explain the law.

After assessing the status of democracy and market economy along with quality of political life, the Berteslmann Foundation, an institution monitoring international reform, concluded that Lithuania had one of the best progress ratings. Out of 116 countries, it shares the second place with the Check Republic, Slovakia and Slovenia in the category of political and economical effectiveness. Lithuania's progress was given 9.6 out of 10 points.

This fall the armed forces will begin training with the recently received anti-tank weapon systems Javelin. The armed forces purchased 18 Javelin launching devices, 74 missiles and simulators for $9.6 million, which includes logistic support and training of troops to handle the armaments. The Javelin missile system is considered one of the world's most modern anti-tank weapons.

Lithuania's Prosecutor General's Office decided on Aug. 3 to launch a pretrial investigation into corruption allegations against three former parliamentarians, Vytenis Andriukaitis, Vytautas Kvietkauskas and Arvydas Vidziunas, following recommendations from Parliamentary Chairman Arturas Paulauskas. Paulauskas said he believed that the investigation should be continued until all questions are answered. The final decision on renewing legal actions will be made by prosecutors who led the original investigation.

Officers had to use tear gas when a conflict arose among illegal immigrants living at the Pabrade Foreigners Registration Center. Four illegal immigrants from Latvia, Uzbek, Azerbaijan and Russia smashed a gate in the fence surrounding the center to get into the security perimeter after the officers had confiscated the prohibited homemade brew that the immigrants had been drinking.