The Lithuanian national defense minister has set up a special working group to assess the situation at the General Jonas Zemaitis Military Academy after two cadets left it without permission, reports ELTA. The group will be headed by Brigadier General Almantas Leika, director general for capabilities and armaments of the National Defense Ministry. The group will include military, civilians, representatives of cadets of the Military Academy. The cadets Antanas Gasparavicius and Darius Saduikis of the General Jonas Zemaitis Lithuanian War Academy went missing in end-October. They came back to Lithuania from Italy at the weekend. The cadets face charges of desertion and imprisonment of up to five years. The parents of the two cadets earlier said that they have heard various comments about the academy from their sons, but both of them complained about the way they were treated at the academy to the media.
On Nov. 14 at the European Union’s Foreign Affairs Council meeting in Brussels, Lithuanian Foreign Minister Audronius Azubalis stressed that the EU’s support - closer political cooperation, economic integration and financial support - was especially necessary to the countries that had embarked on the path of democracy, reports ELTA. The meeting focused on the situation in the EU’s southern neighbors: Tunisia, Libya and Syria. Azubalis supported the EU policy of placing restrictive measures against the Syrian president’s regime and called for better coordination of efforts with other international political players, such as the Arab League, the United Nations or Turkey. “Lithuania’s Chairmanship of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) proposed support of this largest regional organization for the election observation, democratic institutions, media self-regulation mechanisms and the establishment of non-governmental and women’s organizations.