Lietuva in brief - 2007-01-17

  • 2007-01-17
Suspected Belarusian spy Sergey Monic has been extradited to Poland, the Prosecutor General's Office announced. Monic, 40, was handed to Polish officials on Jan. 17, after a Lithuanian Appeal Court ruling. The Belarusian was detained in Vilnius on Nov. 25 at the request of Polish prosecutors. He was accused of obtaining and transmitting "information of importance to the security of Poland to foreign intelligence services." The Lithuanian media reported that, since November 2005, Monic obtained a list of employees at the Polish foreign ministry as well as ministry documents. He claimed that he was set up, and has denied all accusations against him.

Edvinas Bagdonas, former foreign policy adviser of president Valdas Adamkus, was appointed Lithuania's new ambassador to Belarus and will begin his new duties on Feb. 1. Last year, Bagdonas resigned from the post of president's adviser following a Vilnius real-estate scandal. He previously worked as Lithuania's ambassador to Italy and headed the Foreign Ministry's state and diplomatic protocol department. Lithuania has had no ambassador in Minsk since July, when the former ambassador, Petras Vaitiekunas, became a foreign minister.

Lithuanian Public Television and Radio plans to launch a satellite broadcast for Lithuanian emigrants, director Kestutis Petrauskis after a Jan. 17 meeting with the Prime Minister Gediminas Kirkilas. According to Petrauskis, the PM supported the idea and promised to consider the possibility of financing the project. Petrauskis estimated costs of broadcast to Europe and the United States at about 1.5 million litas (400,000 euros) a year. Some 500,000 Lithuanians have left the country since it restored independence in 1991. Together with earlier emigres, the total number of Lithuanians living abroad is close to 1 million.