Lietuva in brief - 2006-06-07

  • 2006-06-07
Lithuanian and Latvian interior ministers signed an intergovernmental agreement on the monitoring of criminals at border crossings. Latvian Interior Minister Dzintars Jaundzeikars inked the agreement with his Estonian counterpart, Kalle Laanet, on June 7. Lithuania signed the same treaty with Poland on March 14. "This is a very important move for joining the Schengen space," acting Interior Minister Gintaras Furmanavicius said. He added that Lithuanian officials and their neighboring EU colleagues followed Schengen requirements on a regular basis.

The Baltic Assembly placed a priority on pan-Baltic cooperation in natural disasters. The assembly's Conference on Preparedness of the Baltic States for Natural Disasters commenced in the Lithuanian seaside resort of Palanga on June 2. Chairman of Parliament's European affairs committee and Deputy Speaker Vydas Gedvilas said that citizens' safety was among the region's key priorities. He stressed that politicians had to support and encourage initiatives for cooperation in civil safety. Speaking at the conference, former Nordic Council chairman Inge Lonning stressed that natural disasters were a cross-border phenomena, underscoring the threat of organized crime and terrorism.

Armed Forces Commander Major General Valdas Tutkus was injured in a road accident last weekend on the Vilnius-Kaunas highway while driving to Palanga on his motorcycle. "On a road strip under repair, where the speed limit was some 70 kilometers per hour, a car suddenly slowed down. I jammed on the brakes, my motorcycle went out of control, and I fell down. I sustained leg, arm, head bruises, though I was wearing a helmet," Tutkus said. He said he went to the Kaunas Clinic himself, where he received first aid.

Two adults and one child were killed when a train collided with a car in Seduva, central Lithuania. Siauliai Traffic Police Chief Arturas Paliulis told the Baltic News Service that the accident took place on June 2 when a BMW 318 began to cross the railroad tracks during a red light and was hit by the approaching train. Paliulis said the train pushed the car along the railing until it managed to come to a full stop. All three people in the vehicle were killed on impact.

Lithuania gained the right to send its best national film to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences contest to vie for the prestigious best foreign film award. According to a press release from the Lithuanian Filmmakers Union, it has received a proposal of forming an executive committee of at least seven well-known art figures to pick the best Lithuanian film every year and delegate it to the Oscar awards. The union has already received confirmation of the line-up of the committee, which will start its activities in the fall.