Lietuva in brief - 2005-05-11

  • 2005-05-11
Congres-sman for the State of Georgia Jack Kingston (photo), who visited Vilnius with a team of six U.S. colleagues, said that Russia should recognize the occupation of the Baltics, and that the U.S. Congress was scheduled to pass a resolution urging Moscow to express regret over the Soviet period. Kingston, a republican, said that congress hoped to pass the resolution this summer. After returning to Washington, the congressmen will encourage their colleagues to approve the resolution. Lithuania's Ambassador to the U.S. Vygaudas Usackas said deliberation over the draft resolution was expected to start this month. He said he had not heard of any opposition to the resolution in Congress and that the document would be passed for sure. Adamkus has applauded the initiative of the U.S. congressmen and accentuated that this resolution would not let the 1940-1945 events in the Baltic countries be forgotten.

Defense Minister Gediminas Kirkilas will pay an official visit to Ukraine this week, where he will discuss the country's Western integration objectives as well as multilateral cooperation projects. The May 10 's 12 meetings will also discuss Lithuanian-Ukrainian military cooperation. "Ukraine is interested in our experience of NATO accession 's the preparation and reform of the Armed Forces, the process of military planning, and solving social issues in the Armed Forces," Kirkilas said. Lithuanians have been serving in the NATO-led peacekeeping mission in Kosovo since 1999.

Some 50 troops in the LITCON-6 detachment of the Motorized Infantry Brigade Iron Wolf are finishing preparations for their international mission in Iraq. As part of their preparation course, LITCON-6 peacekeepers will leave for Denmark to attend a six-week course at Prinsens Livregiment. The regiment's troops currently serve in the Danish contingent DANCON under the British division in the Basra region, southern Iraq. In August, LITCON-6 will replace LITCON-5, which has served as part of the Danish contingent in Iraq for a half year. LITCON-6 is the sixth detachment of the Iron Wolf Brigade to perform the mission in Iraq.

U.S. President George Bush applauds the nation's efforts in reinforcing global freedom and democracy and expects Lithuania to enjoy a visa-free regime with the U.S. in the nearest future and promises support for the state's mission in Afghanistan, according to the Kauno daily. The newspaper interviewed the U.S. president on the eve of his departure to Europe. Bush said that, as a free country, Lithuania was making a huge contribution in reinforcing freedom and democracy around the world. When asked when citizens would have visa-free travel to the U.S., Bush said that individual work was being pursued with each country on the subject. The president also emphasized that there had been major progress within the country and the government was moving in the right direction.