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Lietuva in brief - 2006-12-13

  • 2006-12-13
The Prosecutor General's Office addressed a Vilnius court over extraditing Belarusian citizen Sergey Monich, who is suspected of spying, to Poland. Based on a request from Polish law enforcement officials, prosecutors asked the court to extradite the Belarusian citizen to Poland and extend his detention. Suspected of espionage against Poland and 's to a lesser degree 's against Lithuania, Monich was detained in Vilnius on Nov. 25. The Prosecutor General's Office had asked the State Security Department to find and detain the Belarusian citizen.

Emigrant communities are still reeling from a recent ruling by the Constitutional Court that has virtually eliminated the possibility of holding dual citizenship. Parliament met with the Lithuanian-American community earlier this week in Vilnius, where they prepared a resolution urging the country's political leaders to initiate a discussion on holding a referendum over the possibility of dual citizenship, the daily newspaper Lietuvos Zinios reported. In November, the Constitutional Court ruled it was necessary to limit the circle of persons who could seek dual citizenship. The ruling virtually prevented Lithuanians living abroad and their children to get the green Lithuanian passport without giving up their U.S. or other citizenship. Under the Citizenship Law, persons of Lithuanian origin, their children and grandchildren could be granted Lithuanian citizenship and retain the passport of the country of their residence. "We are losing a third of Lithuania and erasing them from our nation. Probably the most important task for the commission is to create conditions for Constitutional amendments," said MP Dalia Teiserskyte.

The government supported European Commission recommendations to slacken EU accession negotiations with Turkey until the country meets all obligations. At a meeting between EU General Affairs and External Relations Council members in Brussels on Dec. 11, Vaitiekunas said that talks should not be halted. The EU opened accession negotiations with Turkey more than a year ago, pressing the country to allow ships and aircraft from Cyprus -- an EU member -- into its ports and airports and to recognize the Greek government of Cyprus. Turkey has refused to recognize Cyprus' Greek government, supporting the unacknowledged Turkish state of Cyprus in the northern part of the island.

President Valdas Adamkus said he believes Lithuania should follow the example of many EU countries and merge its financial control institutions. The president proposed the possibility to ensure a better quality of control and consistency in regulation, the president's press service reported. Adamkus is convinced that such a move would alleviate the administrative burden of business and facilitate saving of budget funds. In his opinion, a task force should be set up to consider all possibilities and present Parliament and the government with the most suitable model. Financial market control is currently performed by three institutions - the Bank of Lithuania, the Insurance Supervisory Commission and the Securities Commission.