Lithuania in brief

  • 2004-02-12
The Baltic states must focus on relations with the neighboring Belarus, Lithuanian Foreign Minister Antanas Valionis said at an international conference in Riga last week. Valionis cited the need for the EU to develop an action plan and to include Belarus in discussions of the Broader Europe and New Neighbor initiatives.

Paul M. Longsworth of the U.S. Department of Engery's national nuclear security administration said that the United States would keep its focus on the strengthening of controls on radioactive substances at Lithuania's borders and on Russian transit trains traveling through the Baltic state. The United States has granted $22 million on radiation security improvement and control programs in Lithuania, according to Longsworth.

Employees of the AviaBaltika company, owned by the infamous businessman Yuri Borisov, the largest financial backer of embattled President Rolandas Paksas' election campaign, sent an open letter addressed to the European Parliament's chairman. The letter, also sent to heads of influential international publications, complained about the decision by Lithuania's Constitutional Court to strip their boss of his Lithuanian citizenship.

Though he failed to win the last presidential election, Valdas Adamkus, a former president of Lithuania, ranked as the most popular politician in the country in a Jan. 15 - 23 survey conducted by the Lithuanian-British pollster Baltijos Tyrimai (Baltic Surveys). A meager 34 percent of respondents said they supported current President Rolandas Paksas whereas 73 percent approved of Adamkus.

Turma, a Vilnius-based company that makes uniforms for Lithuanian troops, won an international tender to make military uniforms for the Iraqi armed forces. According to the Baltic country's Defense Ministry, Turma signed a contract to provide more than 1,000 sets of military uniforms.

Plans to close two more Lithuanian-language schools in Poland have concerned the local community of Lithuanians in the Sejny region. The community's publication, Ausra, reported that the region's administration made the decision at the end of last month.