LRT English Newsletter: Russian trolls and fishy smells

Before we start in earnest, we found ourselves in Russian propaganda operation earlier this week.

We knew something was fishy when a  story   on ‘missing’ Lithuanian conscripts started trending on Slovak anti-government Facebook pages. We dug deeper and found that a St Petersburg’s troll farm offspring used our story to attack NATO and target Slovakia – seen by Russia as a “weak link” in the Alliance.

Now, for the rest of this week’s edition, get ready for a quick-fire round of Lithuania in world affairs.


In newly revealed details, Lithuanian troops took up positions several kilometres outside the Al Asad coalition base in Iraq awaiting a potential ground attack. Hours later, the first Iranian missiles struck. An journalist  profiles   the turbulent night days after the US killing of Iran’s top general.


After Belarus was  told   by Moscow to buy oil at “global market prices” amid the standoff over tariffs, the US ambassador expressed  hope   that America could sell gas to Minsk via Lithuania. This comes after a shipment of Norwegian crude already departed Klaipėda for Belarus.


EU Commissioner Ylva Johansson  pledged   compromise on migration while on a visit in Vilnius. The Lithuanian side stressed that any redistribution of asylum seekers should be done on a voluntary basis.

The so-called EU mobility package is still on the table. Vilnius says it will disadvantage Central and Eastern Europe, and might together with several other countries  turn   to the Court of Justice.


Lithuania has  joined   American-led religious freedom alliance. Officials in Vilnius said they’re doing so out of the need to address religious discrimination, but also after taking into account Lithuania’s strategic partnership with the US.

Meanwhile, US troops in Lithuania were undeterred by boggy mud to  display   fire power of the tanks they brought along with them from Texas.


Baltic unity is back on the table, at least from the Lithuanian perspective, as Estonia and Latvia are in  talks   to join Vilnius in  boycotting   Belarusian energy once its nuclear plant becomes operational.

Yet, the Rail Baltica project leaves much to be desired – the three PMs will meet again to  discuss   faster implementation of the critical railway line.


A new right-wing party  emerged   in Lithuania claiming to champion family values and oppose (the EU’s) liberal worldview. Though not the EU itself.

Lithuania did not thread the path of Sweden when it  voted   against changing prostitution laws to punish the client, not the sex worker.

Grappling for large investment, the Economy Ministry is  pushing   corporate tax breaks for big business.


I –  Grigeo Klaipėda, the manufacturer of paper products (including toilet rolls) who was caught allegedly polluting the Curonian Lagoon, is now  blaming   the former executives.

II –  Maxima  revealed   it sold 11 tons of potentially salmonella-infected meat to customers. Fear not, they said, as long as you cooked it right you’re alright. The supermarket chain then took the decision to destroy another 160 tons of meat.

III –  British cops  sussed out   something was wrong when a Lithuanian man sent a drug price list to a police-registered phone. He was arrested and subsequently sentenced.


Lithuanian president  vetoed   the appointment of the 29-year-old adviser to Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis as the economy minister. Skvernelis says the disagreement over the embattled transport minister, Jeruslav Narkevič, is to blame. If you remember, Nausėda repeatedly called for Narkevič to resign, but he was backed by PM Skvernelis and the Cabinet.


Last week, all emergency services were up on their feet when a potentially coronavirus-infected passenger landed in Vilnius Airport. He was  diagnosed   with a regular flu and released home. Meanwhile, the lockdown in China is starting to  affect   the business of Lithuanian logistics and shipment companies.


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