Lietuva in brief - 2004-12-15

  • 2004-12-15
Lithuania proposed that the EU send Ukraine a clearer signal on membership if the country holds free and democratic presidential elections, Foreign Minister Antanas Valionis said. "Ukraine must have a clearer prospect. In our opinion, Ukraine should be a member of the EU after it meets all criteria," he said. The country should be granted the same free-market status, as Russia, the minister said. He said that, compared with Turkey, there was no "civilization barrier" to EU membership in regards to Ukraine.

The Labor Party remains the country's most popular political force, according to a new poll. The survey, conducted by the Vilmorus public opinion and market research center, showed that if parliamentary elections had been held on Dec. 12, 34.2 percent of those polled would have voted for Economy Minister Viktor Uspaskich's Labor Party. Meanwhile, the Homeland Union (Conservatives) and the Social Democratic Party would each collect 11.7 percent of the votes.

Border guards in the southern Varena district detected a record-length alcohol-supply pipe stretching from Belarus. According to the State Border Guard Service's press release, officers exposed a hose of two centimeters in diameter, laid under water and land, to a house in the city of Eisiskes. The device was uncovered before the smugglers had an opportunity to pump alcohol from Belarus, border guards said.

Animal protection organizations have launched a campaign against an advertisement they claim harms rabbits. The organizations targeted the Christmas TV advertisement of Topo Centras, a household, audio and video electronics chain, that shows a rabbit being lifted up by its ears. Activists said the ad violates the Act on Animal Keeping and Use due to the improper treatment of rabbits. They claim that lifting rabbits by the ears causes blood vessels to snap, causing pain to the animals.