Lietuva in brief - 2004-10-27

  • 2004-10-27
Lithuania decided to halt the development of several border checkpoints on the Russian and Belarusian borders. The decision was based on the current situation, as both neighboring states have failed to create any border-post extensions, nor are they closing them for some time. The government's plan is to reduce construction at the Lavoriskes-Kotlovka and Salcininkai-Benekainy border posts, and revise the Raigardas-Privalka and Ramoniskes border check projects.

The Act on democracy in Belarus, adopted by the United States Congress and signed by President George Bush, might encourage the EU - including Lithuania - to revise its stance on relations with Minsk, the government said this week. "This is a document of utmost importance. Lithuanian policy regarding Belarus has been coordinated with the EU. The effect the United States might have on the EU position is still unclear," Foreign Minister Antanas Valionis told the Baltic News Service.

Lithuania has opened two honorary consulates in the United States - one in Rochester, New York, and the other in Mendham, New Jersey. The press division of the Foreign Ministry reported on Oct. 25 that the honorary consuls in New York and New Jersey were Rimas Cesonis and Eugene Rainys. During the opening ceremony, Ambassador to the U.S. Vygaudas Usackas (photo) stressed the importance of the experience gained by Lithuanian honorary consuls in American financial institutions and tourism agencies, which promotes business and tourism development between the northeastern coast of America and Lithuania.

Former Health Minister Vinsas Janusonis and Latvian Education and Research Minister Juris Radzevics were in a car accident near Klaipeda on Oct. 22. Although their cars were slightly damaged, neither person suffered injuries. Police said that the Volvo S70 driven by the 36-year-old Latvian minister crashed into the back of Janusonis' Ford Mondeo at about 5:45 a.m. A Klaipeda daily reported that the Latvian minister was on his way to Nida, the picturesque seaside resort, while the Lithuanian Ministry of Education and Science said that Radzevics was visiting the country to learn about its experience with EU structural funds.

Police spent hours on Oct. 22 attempting to persuade an intoxicated Norwegian citizen to climb down from the mast of a sailing boat restaurant. The man climbed the mast after refusing to pay for food and drinks, local authorities said. Police, fire and rescue services and paramedics were called to the scene, with officers unsuccessfully attempting to remove the foreigner by force. The 47-year-old man finally climbed down after hours of persuasion and urinating off the mast. A Klaipeda court sentenced him on Oct. 26 to seven days of detention.