Lithuania has offered to host a 2009 meeting of transport ministers from the European Union and Asian countries that are party to the so-called Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) dialogue. The proposal to host the meeting was made by Foreign Minister Petras Vaitiekunas at the ASEM meeting in Germany on May 28 - 29. The ASEM brings together all 27 EU members and 17 Asian countries to drive specific European-Asian cooperative projects in the fields of politics, economy and culture. According to the foreign ministry, Lithuania would benefit from hosting an ASEM meeting in terms of expanding cooperation with Asian countries in the areas of transport and transit shipping.
The Lithuanian Youth Organization Council has reported that it will organize an expedition to Russia's Siberia region to visit the graveyards of Lithuanian exiles and places deportees were formerly imprisoned. A challenging 20-day march to the Krasnoyarsk region is scheduled for August. The council organized three expeditions to different regions in Siberia last year, while a fourth expedition failed as the Russian embassy refused to grant visas to the participants. It is estimated that some 200,000 Lithuanians were deported to Siberia after the country was occupied by the Soviet Union in 1940.
The U.S.-Baltic Foundation has pledged to finance the holidays of children in Lithuanian rural areas this summer. The foundation's board member Jeff Nelson on May 24 signed a cooperation agreement with NGOs in 10 regions. It is estimated that more than 2,700 children will able to attend 2 - 3 week summer camps, which will include daily meals, computer training, educational trips to historical sites and athletic programs. A total of $52,000 will be divided among NGOs in the regions of Akmene, Alytus, Anyksciai, Marijampole, Raseiniai, Skuodas, Ukmerge, Utena and Zarasai. The U.S.-Baltic Foundation was founded in 1990 to support democratic and free market reforms in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. Today the foundation contributes to charitable activities in the Baltics and promotes awareness of the countries in the U.S.A.
Utena is the most dangerous of all 10 counties in Lithuania, while Marijampole is the safest, a survey by the If Draudimas insurance company has shown. The survey's conclusions were based on statistics of fires, crimes and bankruptcies in the various counties. The survey showed that Utena and Kaunas counties have the highest murder rate, while Taurage county leads in the number of road accidents compared to the number of registered cars. The safest roads are in the county of Panevezys. The least safe place to live is Vilnius county, where some six lodgings in 1,000 were subjected to theft last year. Vilnius also leads in the number of robberies. The most risky county for business was Telsiai, where the largest number of bankruptcies per company was registered.