Lithuania will ask the European Union for an additional 5 million tons of emission allowances from 2013, new Foreign Minister Vygaudas Usackas said. "We are concerned about and interested in an interim compensatory mechanism, which would take into account the increase in carbon dioxide emissions after the shutdown of Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant (INPP). Therefore we ask for additional 5 million tons of carbon dioxide emission allowances from 2013, after the coming into effect of this climate change and energy package," Usackas said. Last year Lithuania asked the European Commission to raise the annual volume of emission allowances to 11.017 million tons for 2008-2012, but it was denied and remained at 8.851 million tons.
A United States soldier serving in the NATO-sanctioned mission in Lithuania is suspected of causing a car crash that killed one person and left another one injured, local authorities said. The accident happened on the Panevezys-Vilnius highway not far from Ukmerge. According to preliminary police data, a Skoda driven by the U.S. soldier at high speed ran into the last vehicle of a funeral procession. The soldier was not injured. A passenger of the car he crashed into was killed on the spot and the driver is in coma. The U.S. soldier is serving in an air-policing mission in the Baltic States.
President Valdas Adamkus said that the country's strategic partnership with Ukraine goes beyond declarations and implementation of international plans in the energy domain should become a key task in the Vilnius-Kiev relations. "From now on, we will focus our efforts on coordination of our activities. We have already reviewed the current economic situation and our common international plans in the field of energy. I believe their execution will become one of the key tasks of our future cooperation," Adamkus said after meeting Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko in Vilnius. During the meeting, the two presidents signed guidelines for development of Lithuanian-Ukrainian strategic partnership for the 2009-2010 period. Speaking at the news conference, the Ukrainian president underlined the "superior" bilateral trade relations which had greatly improved over the past few years. He also said that Ukraine is willing to supply electricity to Lithuania.
The Gediminas Kirkilas led government stepped down on Dec. 9, when the new Andrius Kubilius right wing coalition was sworn in. The announcement on the government's resignation was included on the scheduled Cabinet session agenda. President Valdas Adamkus signed a decree approving the new 15th Cabinet of Lithuania a week before.