Vilnius became the least expensive capital of the European Union this year, according to a report by the Swiss bank UBS. In 2003, overall prices in Vilnius were higher than in Riga and Prague in terms of the overall price, but this year prices in these cities were several percent higher than in the capital of Lithuania. The world's most expensive city is Norway's capital of Oslo, and prices in Vilnius, which now ranks 63, are 2.5 times lower than in Oslo, the Lietuvos Rytas daily reported. According to the report, salaries are actually lower in Riga than in Vilnius.
The Queen of Great Britain, Elizabeth II, will make her first visit to Lithuania to mark the 15th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between the two countries. Queen Elizabeth II and her husband the Duke of Edinburgh will arrive in Vilnius on Oct. 16. While in Lithuania the queen will be meeting with the President, followed by a ceremony at Antakalnis Cemetery, where the queen will meet with the relatives of people who died during the failed Soviet coup attempt of Jan. 13 1991. She will meet with Lithuanian troops serving in the international missions in Iraq and Afghanistan. The queen is expected to deliver a speech to Parliament, and to meet with MPs and the signatories of Lithuania's Declaration of Independence. Great Britain's Ambassador to Lithuania, Colin Roberts said that the best chance to catch a glance of the queen during her visit would be at City Hall Square on Oct. 17.
Lithuanian troops will assist the National Union for Care of German Soldiers' Graves (VOLKSBUND) and the Service for Care of Cultural Values in exhuming the bodies of German soldiers who died in World War II and were buried in Smalininkai and Lapgiriai in the district of Jurbarkas, Lithuania. A total of 150 bodies of German troops will be exhumed at Village Lapgiriai over a two day period. Another 65 bodies will be exhumed in Smalininkai. The remains of the German troops will be re-interred at the Aukstieji Sanciai cemetery in Kaunas. Following the Lithuania-Germany agreement, exhumations of fallen German soldiers have been carried out in Lithuania for five years now.
Belarus demarcated its border with the European Union on Oct. 3. Lithuania's border with Belarus is one of the longest of the EU's external frontiers. The demarcation was announced at the point where Belarussian, Latvian and Lithuanian borders meet. "This is an historic moment. Belarus is the first of the CIS members to complete the demarcation of their border with the European Union," chief of Belarus' border corps committee Alexander Pavlovsky said. The European Commission allotted $4 million dollars (3.1 million euros) for the $12 million upgrading of Belarus' 850-kilometer border with Latvia and Lithuania.