Lietuva in brief - 2006-12-20

  • 2006-12-20
President Valdas Adamkus supports sending a special forces squadron to join NATO operations in Afghanistan. "I am proud of our special forces and believe that military leaders should make a decision," Adamkus said. Armed Forces Commander Valdas Tutkus said it was time to decide whether to send more troops to Afghanistan. "We experienced a mission with the Americans, and have now been invited to serve with Great Britain. Our special services are ready for this task," said Tutkus. Lithuania is one of the few NATO members that participated in the United States' 2002-2004 anti-terrorist mission, Enduring Freedom. Lithuania currently leads a NATO provincial reconstruction team in western Afghanistan and has some 120 troops deployed there.

Parliament adopted a law on Dec. 19 opening KGB archives to the public. Amendments to the law on documents and archives provide that access to all special documents of the National Document Fund shall be opened, except those of people who confessed to collaborating with the Soviet special services. Access to information about an individual's private life will also be restricted. The new amendments revoke the controversial 2005 law on archives, which banned the public from accessing documents stored in the Special Archive for 70 years.

Lithuania and Poland have agreed to revive their governmental cooperation council. "I am sure that its activities will reap good benefits," Polish Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski said on Dec. 16. Kaczynski reminded that both countries were launching major energy projects, including the connection of energy grids and the construction of new nuclear power plant.

Police officers are carrying out a clampdown against motorists who drive while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The action, initiated by the European Traffic Police Network, is being held in all 26 EU member states at the same time. The project aims to reduce the number of people being killed and seriously injured on Europe's roads. More than 600 people were killed on Lithuanian roads this year. Last year, Lithuania ranked first in Europe in terms of the number of people killed in road accidents per population of one million.