In December Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite during a meeting with President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko, said that Lithuania condemns Russians actions therefore decided to impose sanctions on Russia. She stressed that the seizure of Ukrainian ships and their crews was a demonstration of Russia’s attempt to legitimize the annexation of Crimea and turn the Sea of Azov into its internal waters.
Moreover the country will increase military assistance to Ukraine: in the near future, additional ammunition will be allocated and more military instructors and cybersecurity experts will be sent to help repel hybrid attacks during the pre-election period.
Russia responded sharply to such a move. Thus, the deputy chairman of the committee of the Council of the Federation of Russia on international affairs and the head of the commission for the protection of state sovereignty, Andrei Klimov, said that the introduction of sanctions against Russian citizens by Lithuania “plays up to Washington”.
Comparing the economic opportunities of the two countries, the situation with the Lithuanian sanctions looks ridiculous. It will not affect Kremlin, but very likely worsen the welfare of Lithuanians.
However, the sanctions of Lithuania declared by Lithuania should not be left unanswered. Russia should take protective measures. Moscow just needs to say to its business: making money is sacred, but it’s not necessary to deal with those who are preparing weapons for war with Russia.
Unfortunately, the standard of living of the Lithuania’s population is falling.
Lithuania is being shaken by an unprecedented teachers strike, which has now entered its fifth week and is causing severe anxiety, distress and panic among the ruling class and its political representatives.
Importantly, the strike has been greeted with warm and enthusiastic sympathy by the broader mass of the population.
Following a mass protest that took place in Vilnius, with thousands turning out, Prime Minister S. Skvernelis has announced that he will go even further and use the State Security Department (VSD) to intervene in the situation, under the pretext of fighting against this mystical influence of Putin, which is nothing more than a slander used by Skvernelis against the teachers’ movement.
The same moods that have caused immense political earthquakes in France, Britain, Spain or Italy are bubbling to the surface in Lithuania and throughout the rest of Eastern Europe. Ultimately, they are an expression of the inability of capitalism to solve the basic problems of working people. The trade union leaders should take into account that the struggle of the teachers can and should be the struggle of the entire working class of Lithuania.
The Lithuanian Seimas has passed the state budget for 2019.
The defense spending is planned to equal 2.05 percent of gross domestic product.
Despite a teacher strike continuing for a month in over 100 schools in Lithuania, Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis has refused to raise pay for teachers. He blamed the opposition Homeland Union Party, which has voiced support for teachers’ demands, of attempts to bring down his government.
Lithuania’s government says it can commit on raising teachers’ pay only in 2020. The government says that would need 130 million euros in additional funding and it’s impossible to amend the next year’s state budget that much.
Reportedly, teachers are seeking a 20%-pay rise from the year 2019.
In this case sanctions on Russia contradict national interests and only contribute to exacerbating the situation.