Posts published in Day: February 5, 2020

EU’s post-Brexit budget: Smaller pie more difficult to split

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

It will take a few more rounds of talks for the European Union member states to agree on the 2021–2027 budget, a pie that is smaller following the UK’s departure. Jovita Neliupšienė says budget negotiations are gaining momentum, but decisions usually get made made after two rounds of summit talks. “The president of the Council believes that a deal must be reached. His job is to push member states toward…

Disability advisory council created in Daugavpils

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

A disability advisory council has been created by combining 11 organizations in Daugavpils to represent disabled residents both at the municipal and local level, according to Latvian Radio on February 5. “We all have movement disabilities, that’s either our priority, or also our pain. We’re concerned about environmental accessibility, where and how it’s adapted for us. The transport question – low floors, as well as access to homes,” said “…

Belarus to ‘look at’ safety recommendations before nuclear plant launch

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Belarus will look at recommendations made by international experts before launching the Astravyets nuclear plant, the Lithuanian foreign minister said following his visit in Minsk earlier this week. “They will jointly look at the recommendations, and most important ones will have to be implemented before the plant is launched,” Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevičius told reporters on Wednesday. Linkevičius welcomes Belarus’ decision to receive experts from the European Commission. “More…

Lithuanian PM’s wife revealed to be working for Polish oil company

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Recent employment of the Lithuanian prime minister’s wife at the Polish oil group Orlen has attracted controversy, with critics pointing out the government’s decisions favourable to the company. On Tuesday, Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis supplemented his declaration of interests to report that his wife, Silvija Skvernelė, works with Orlen Baltics Retail. Some journalists and politicians suggested that Skvernelė’s job might have something to do with the government’s decisions favourable to…

Record year for Latvian aviation

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

In 2019 the Latvian aviation industry experienced rapid growth, including airport expansion and passenger increase, according to Civil Aviation Agency (CAA) Communications Director Aivis Vincevs on February 5. Latvian airlines It was an especially successful year for the airBaltic and SmartLynx Airlines, the two largest airlines registered in Latvia. Both companies experienced a more than 20% growth in number of passengers, together servicing more than 8.6 million passengers. In 2018 the two companies serviced over…

Lithuania to investigate if Western Europe has better gadgets

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Consumer complaints about faulty consumer electronics have prompted Lithuania’s Ministry of Justice to investigate whether goods sold in the country may be of inferior quality to those in Western Europe. The European Commission recently adopted rules banning so-called dual-quality foods in the EU. The rule was pushed by Central and Eastern European member states that discovered identically-branded food had different ingredients in their shops and those in Western Europe. Now,…

11 companies in contention to build Rīga Airport rail station

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Representatives of the European Railway lines (Eiropas Dzelzceļa līnijas), RB Rail and the Latvian Ministry of Transport have started work to select candidates for the tender for the construction of the important new “Rail Baltica” station at Rīga International Airport and related infrastructure, reported LSM’s Latvian language service February 5. “There is intense international competition for the construction of the Rail Baltica station and related infrastructure at Riga International Airport,” a release…

Coronavirus: Estonia stops issuing tourist visas to Chinese nationals

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Tallinn has stopped issuing tourist visas to Chinese nationals, according to the Estonian public broadcaster ERR. Tallinn is also evacuatings its diplomats’ families back to Estonia. “We are also reducing those aspects of the embassy’s functions which do not provide consular assistance to Estonian nationals,” the country’s Foreign Minister Urmas Reinsalu  told. “We have also forwarded a warning to Estonian tourism firms,” Reinsalu said, adding that China is also not…

Five more arrested in Rīga lift scandal

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Five employees of the Rīga municipal housing management company “Rīgas namu pārvaldnieks” (RNP) have been arrested in connection to the ongoing fraud investigation, according to the State Police on February 4. Proceedings have begun for all five persons, including establishing their role in the criminal case. The investigation continues, and RNP has decided to undergo a comprehensive audit since criminal proceedings began in connection to a lift management contract. The…

NATO exercise Defender 2020: Germany serves as military base for build-up against Russia

By Martin Nowak on Wednesday, February 5, 2020

“Defender 2020,” the largest NATO exercise in Europe for 25 years, has gotten under way in recent weeks. For the first time in its history, the alliance is practicing the deployment of an entire division, which includes 20,000 soldiers and all of their equipment, from the United States to eastern Europe. The deployment is scheduled to be completed in March, with the return trip due to commence in June. The…