Lietuva in brief - 2009-02-04

  • 2009-02-04
Only 5 percent of Lithuanians living in major cities justify riots as a means of opposing unfavorable government decisions, a recent survey has revealed. Most respondents spoke out in favor of peaceful protests, found a survey of 500 Lithuanians residing in cities, commissioned by Veidas and conducted over Jan. 26-28.

Three men were detained on Lithuania's frontier with Belarus. They said they are Russian citizens residing in South Ossetia. Border guards were patrolling on four-wheel motorbikes and noticed fresh footprints in the snow leading from Belarus to Lithuania in the area of Druskininkai resort town. Several border guard groups started following the trail. State Border Guard Service officers shortly thereafter caught up with a group of three men who were running through the forest toward Lithuania. The refugees started running in different directions as soon as they noticed the border guard. The detained men were dressed lightly and wore summer footwear. They did not have any identification documents.

Lithuanian Member of the European Parliament Eugenijus Gentvilas has warned Western politicians that Moscow has not forgotten the use of blackmail and provocations, noting that Western Europe's doubts in Georgian and Ukrainian leaders supported Russian special services. "I have recently heard about disappointment of European top officials in leaders of Ukraine and Georgia. Doubts have been voiced in their ability to democratize their countries or lead them to NATO and the EU. These are clearly Russian provocations aimed at downgrading Viktor Yushchenko, Mikheil Saakashvili and their Western-focused policy," Gentvilas said at an EP plenary. He said that it is the naivety of European politicians that allows Russia to play with tanks, gas pipelines and misinformation.

Lithuanian Parliamentary Speaker Arunas Valinskas, who heads the ruling National Progress Party, has fallen from the top-10 list of public figures identified as the best representatives of the nation's interests, a poll published in the biggest national daily Lietuvos Rytas showed. In January, Valinskas was supported by 1.6 percent of those polled, down from 7.4 percent in December, when he was in third place. According to the survey, Lithuanian President Valdas Adamkus and European Commissioner Dalia Grybauskaite remain at the top of the list. The third position is occupied by Algirdas Brazauskas, the honorary leader of the oppositional Social Democrats. He has headed the state and the Cabinet in the past. He is followed by Prime Minister Andrius Kubilius, the leader of the ruling Homeland Union - Lithuanian Christian Democrats.

Defense Minister Rasa Jukneviciene has met with the Polish parliamentary speaker, the head of the parliamentary National Defense and Security Committee and the Minister for Defense in Warsaw, Poland. Jukneviciene's meeting with Defense Minister Bogdan Klich addressed bipartite military cooperation, the NATO transformation, the Alliance's relations with partner states and bipartite, as well as multipartite, military cooperation projects.