Pastures new

  • 2001-08-23
The new Norwegian defense attache to Lithuania, Senior Commander Tor Walter, presented his credentials in Vilnius on Aug. 14. The ceremony was attended by Lithuanian defense vice ministers Jonas Gecas and Povilas Malakauskas, army commander Major General Jonas Kronkaitis and Norwegian Ambassador Jon Atle Gaarder.

Walter, 47, replaces Colonel Fred Eek. He will live in Riga. According to the ministry's press release, military cooperation with NATO member Norway is among Lithuania's key priorities.

Norway was the first Western country to donate weapons to Lithuania, which has since received or bought on favorable terms three fast-speed patrol vessels from Norway.

Newly appointed Lithuanian Consul General to Kaliningrad Vytautas Zalys has vowed to proceed with developing the positive relations between Lithuania and the neighboring Russian enclave. Speaking at a news conference on Aug. 13 following a meeting with Kaliningrad Governor Vladimir Yegorov, Zalys mentioned that balancing transport tariffs to attract cargo to the ports of Klaipeda and Kaliningrad was among his key tasks.

"Lithuania is doing everything possible to retain the current visa regulations for Kaliningrad residents," said Zalys, adding that Moscow should start lobbying on the matter in Brussels. He also spoke about the unsatisfactory situation on the Lithuanian-Kaliningrad border, where poor infrastructure often causes long queues on both sides.

Up until his appointment, Zalys headed the Asian, African and Oceanic division of the Lithuanian Foreign Ministry's second department of bilateral relations. A historian by education, Zalys has been employed at the Lithuanian Embassy in Washington and is an associate professor at Vilnius University's Institute of International Relations and Political Science.

He won fame two years ago when he sailed with two friends from Lithuania to Sweden in a 42-kilogram canoe. Zalys, 45, told reporters that plans to conquer the Atlantic would have to be shelved for three years until his term in Kaliningrad expires.