Posts published in Day: February 19, 2020

Lithuanian parliament seeks EU sanctions on ‘Putin’s chef’

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

MPs at the Lithuanian parliament are pushing for Russia’s Yevgeny Prigozhin, the so-called Putin’s chef, to be included on EU sanctions list. Prigozhin is tied to the Russian private military company, Wagner, which was deployed in Ukraine, Syria and across several African countries. His plane also landed in Vilnius in late January.  Read more:  Putin’s regime, kleptocracy, and drug money – interview with investigative journalist Anastasia Kirilenko    The parliamentary…

Latvia: Cabinet of Ministers accepts university management changes

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

On February 18 the Cabinet of Ministers approved a conceptual report from the Ministry of Education and Science (IZM) on the restructuring of the university management system, according to a February 19 IZM press release. “This is a historical moment and a large step on the road to a quality, modern and internationally competitive higher education,” said the ministry. The conceptual report focuses on management, financing and human resources, taking…

Swedbank failed to mitigate scandal damage in Lithuania

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Following money laundering scandals in the Baltics, Sweden’s Swedbank suffered more public damage in Lithuania than SEB after opting not to communicate efficiently with the media. A wave of criticism followed the news in 2019 that billions of allegedly ‘dirty’ euros might have been laundered via Swedbank, said Milda Žarnauskaitė, an analyst from media monitoring company Mediaskopas.  Read more:  Lithuanian parliamentary investigation lays blame for 2009 crisis on Scandinavian banks…

Integrated rail plan for Rīga and regions being drawn up

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

An international team of experts has started working on a study which will evaluate how to integrate the existing Latvian railway network and the new Rail Baltica infrastructure in a single and coordinated railway network, the company behind the Rail Baltica project announced February 19. “Taking into consideration that several railway infrastructure projects [are] being developed at the same time as Rail Baltica, such as infrastructure adaptation for the new rolling…

Russia’s military corridor in Lithuania that never was

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Russia’s Kaliningrad wedged between Poland and Lithuania is a headache for NATO commanders today. Some 20 years ago, the exclave also nearly ground Lithuania’s EU aspirations to a halt. As Lithuania launched formal negotiations with Brussels on February 15, 2000, Russia began using military transit to Kaliningrad as “an instrument” to keep Lithuania “attached to its geopolitical space,” according to political scientist Raimundas Lopata.  Read more:  Russia forms new division,…

Lidl gives up plastic bags in Lithuania

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

The German retailer Lidl no longer offers plastic bags in Lithuania. Other major retailers in the country plan to follow suite, or provide other alternatives. Lidl said it phased out plastic bags in January and stopped their use completely this week. The supermarket hopes it will reduce plastic waste by more than 90 tons every year. Meanwhile Renata Kersiene, head of PR at Rimi, said the chain will decide whether…

Lithuanian conservatives seek anti-populist coalition

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

The head of Lithuania’s largest opposition party said he is ready to form an anti-populist coalition after the next general election in October 2020. “I see a possibility to gather a nucleus of responsible parties before the election, and it could become an axis for a future coalition,” said Gabrielius Landsbergis, the leader of conervative Homeland Union – Lithuanian Christian Democrats.  Read more:  Flower of discord: Lithuanian politicians clash over…

Former Latvian police chief reveals immediate political ambitions

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Ints Ķuzis, until recently Latvia’s senior police officer, announced February that he will run in upcoming Rīga city council elections. Ķuzis pinned his colors to the mast of the New Unity party of Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš saying “Public service has been my mission, my purpose, and this will continue to be the direction of my career.” As  reported by LSM last month  , Interior Minister Sandis Ģirģens (KPV LV party)…

Lending a hand to help a rare beetle

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Slītere National Park in Sīkrags is asking people to come help create an environment suitable for the rare nothorhina muricata beetle, according to a Latvian Radio broadcast on February 19. The beetle has no common name in English, but in Latvian it’s called “priežu sveķotājkoksngrauzis” (loosely translating to “pine resin-wood-gnawer”) and in Swedish it’s called reliktbock. The beetle requires at least 150-year-old pine tree trunks with a thick bark that…

Latvian children’s watchdog head to quit

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

The State Children Rights Protection Inspectorate (VBTAI) head Marianna Dreja will step down from her position on February 28, Welfare Minister Ramona Petravica (KPV LV) said in an interview with commercial TV3 television February 19. The minister said that Dreja had been on a sick leave for several months, and an agreement of terminating the job contract with her by mutual agreement has been signed. Asked about recent reports that employees of the…