Lietuva in brief - 2006-05-03

  • 2006-05-03
Law enforcement trade unions gave up the idea of holding protest rallies during the upcoming international summit in Vilnius. The action was originally scheduled for May 4, the day of the democracy forum of countries of the Baltic and Black seas in Vilnius. The event will bring together nine presidents and other top-ranking guests from about 20 countries, including U.S. vice president Dick Cheney. "The decision not to protest has been made considering the possible effects upon the state of Lithuania and its foreign policy in an effort to not discredit state officials and retain the improving name of trade unions, as well as due to the president's support and understanding of aspirations of state officials," trade unions said in a press release. President Valdas Adamkus earlier had asked the unions to hold their rallies on another date.

Deputy Parliamentary Speaker Ceslovas Jursenas, who attended festivities on the occasion of the 100-year anniversary of the Russian State Duma, suggested settling disagreements in bilateral relations by way of compromise. In his speech delivered in St. Petersburg, Jursenas said that history showed the need for partner-like cooperation. He suggested that Russian politicians "avoid severity" and look for compromises on essential issues of bilateral relations. During a meeting with Russian Parliamentary Speaker Boris Gryzlov, Jursenas noted the necessity to demarcate the Lithuanian-Russian state border. He also brought up the issue of repaying Lithuanian citizens' deposits that had been kept at the U.S.S.R. Vneshekonombank.

Two people died in a sports plane crash in the district of Jurbarkas on the night of April 29, the Police Department has reported. The plane's owner and a Jurbarkas district police officer were killed in the crash. Experts have almost no doubt that the small private plane ZLIN-42 crashed due to an engine failure.

Special Operations Command Europe commander Major General Thomas R. Csrnko applauded the performance of allied commandos, including those from Lithuania, during the two weeks of international anti-terrorist war games on the Lithuanian seaside. In his words, the goal of the Shamrock Key 2006 exercise, which was held under conditions of secrecy, was to improve the capacities of rallying special forces of several countries for common actions within the coalition. "It's been remarkably, very well executed," said the U.S. general. "Normally when we bring nations together, it takes a considerable amount of time to work together, understand how each other operate and then being able to develop the plan and execute it. This organization here did it in three days, which is just fairly remarkable."

President Valdas Adamkus stressed the importance to agree on a common vision that would create a free Europe united by common values. Speaking at a reception that opened a youth forum of Vilnius Conferences 2006, the president invited youths to create a common European family based on rich history and democratic values to unite the continent's East and West