Lithuania in brief

  • 2004-02-05
President Rolandas Paksas said he had nothing to add to previous testimony given to the Prosecutor General's Office in the pretrial investigation into campaign financier Yury Borisov's threats against him. At a press conference on Feb. 3, the president said he had suggested that prosecutor general Antanas Klimavicius use his previous evidence while continuing the investigation.

Members of the country's parliamentary impeachment panel reported that they might not issue their final report by the Feb. 13 deadline set for the publication of the document. According to some members, President Rolandas Paksas' refusal to testify before the commission has hindered their work.

Polish President Aleksandr Kwasniewski told reporters at a Jan. 29 press conference that he was undecided about whether or not to accept Paksas' invitation to visit Lithuania this April. The presidents of Italy and Slovakia have already cancelled scheduled state visits since the beginning of the presidential scandal in Vilnius.
Irena Siauliene, elder of the ruling Social Democratic faction in the Parliament, criticized Foreign Minister Antanas Valionis for publicizing informal comments made to him regarding Paksas' situation during his trip to Washington in late January. In spite of the censure, Prime Minister Brazauskas, head of the Social Democrats, has said that Valionis should remain at his post.

Defense Minister Linas Linkevicius left on an official visit to Washington on Feb. 1. Linkevicius was scheduled to meet with U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, visit various U.S. military institutions and participate in a number of discussion sessions with U.S. officials on the future of NATO.

Gintaras Ronkaitis, a former consul in St. Petersburg accused of accepting bribes in exchange for visas, lost his case to have his diplomatic status reinstated when a court rejected his appeal on Feb. 2. Ronkaitis resigned from his duties along with six other employees of the consular department in July.