Lietuva in brief - 2008-10-01

  • 2008-10-01
Russian armed  forces moved  375 train cars of military equipment from Kaliningrad to mainland Russia  over Lithuanian soil. Over the first nine months of 2008. Six hundred and forty nine train cars carrying gas, diesel and crude oil, as well as 206 loaded with reactive fuel and 751 with coal were transported. Another 93 Kaliningrad-bound train cars carried maintenance supplies, with 30 filled with technical supplies, 30 with communication equipment and 18 radio navigation stations among other cargo. Lithuanian Defense Minister Juozas Olekas said the transit was authorized. "This corresponds to our aims of reducing the amount of military armament in the Kaliningrad enclave, and we therefore have issued a permit for this transportation under a bipartite Lithuania-Russia agreement on military transit," Olekas said.

The Irish government allocated 175,000 litas (50,000 euros) to the European Humanities University, re-established in Vilnius after being driven out of Minsk. The donation is to help establish a masters program in Business Administration at EHU, the Irish Embassy in Lithuania said. Ireland has allocated almost 1.5 million litas  to EHU since 2005. EHU was established in 1992 in Belarus and operated as a private university, until its license was withdrawn in 2004 due to the authoritarian regime of Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko.

The Lithuanian Financial Crime Investigation Service (FCIS) detained international gang members suspected of laundering more than 36 million litas (10.43 million euros) in Latvia and Lithuania. Officers of the FCIS Siauliai county unit detained two residents of Radviliskis, a small town 200 kilometers north of Vilnius, outside a commercial bank. The suspects, aged 26 and 27, were apprehended in an investigation into fraud and laundering of illegal cash, said the service. The FCIS said the detained persons were citizens of Lithuania, adding that further investigation in co-operation with Latvian colleagues would lead to Latvian companies and citizens suspected of financial fraud. The suspects were detained as they were walking out of the bank after cashing out 53,000 Latvian lats (75,000 euros).

The Order and Justice Party  postponed  the parliamentary vote on the amendments of the Law on President, which sets out that persons removed from the helm of the state in impeachment should no longer carry the name of president. The party's proposal to exclude the bill from the agenda was supported by 58 lawmakers, 10 were against and 23 abstained. Among supporters of the bid were members of virtually all parliamentary groups: the Order and Justice Party, part of the Labor Party, as well as members of the Liberal Movement, the Liberal and Center Union, the Homeland Union-Lithuanian Christian Democrats, the New Union (Social Liberals), the Social Democrats and the Farmers' National Union. "The law is clearly made for one person - Rolandas Paksas. We should refrain from such pre-election shows," one MP said. Rolandas Paksas who currently heads the party Order and Justice is the only president who has been ousted from the leading state position in Europe by impeachment. Should parliament approve the changes to the law, he would no longer hold the name of president.