Threats knocking on Lithuania’s door

THREATS TO NATIONAL SECURITY

If you’ve recently been to Kaliningrad – pay attention. In the yearly threat assessment report, Lithuania’s intelligence agencies said that the Russian services are using free visas to  recruit tourists  . China, meanwhile, is targeting professionals with job offers on LinkedIn.

Apart from that, Russia did not seem to interfere in Lithuania’s recent  elections   too much, though it is still very much interested in the Baltic  gas markets  .

Far-right radicalism is a  greater threat   than terrorism in Lithuania, they said.

Responding to the report, the Chinese Embassy  urged   Lithuanian intelligence to “abandon Cold War mentality,” and said China is “the staunch supporter of cybersecurity”.

HOW DEADLY ARE LITHUANIA’S CITIES?

The deadliest in Europe,  according   to Fox News. Its ranking of European cities with the highest homicide rates gave the top three spots to Kaunas, Vilnius and Klaipėda.

Nonsense, Lithuania’s government rushed to react, pointing out inaccuracies in the report. The  police said   crime rates were falling and most homicides occured in domestic settings – so having a walk in Kaunas is as safe as it can be.

Meanwhile Vilnius, you may recall, would prefer to be known as the G-spot of Europe. The city’s new tourism campaign plays on the fact that foreigners still  struggle to locate it  .

 CORONAVIRUS AT THE DOOR

As the virus ravages China, there are still no confirmed cases in Lithuania, although a  dozen people   have been tested.

The latest suspected case  emerged   on Thursday, from a plane that landed in Vilnius from Warsaw, though public health authorities almost immediately ruled out coronavirus.

Meanwhile, alarmed shoppers are depleting stocks of  face masks   and ill-intentioned actors are using the scare to spread disinformation: several online news outlets have been hacked to post  fake stories   about a US soldier infected with coronavirus in Lithuania.

 MONEY MONEY MONEY

As the EU is planning to slash cohesion funding for Lithuania and other eastern member states, there is a sense of alarm in  Vilnius   ahead of tough negotiations.

After the departure of Britain, a smaller pie is more difficult to split,  says   Lithuania’s ambassador in Brussels.

 BREXIT VOICES

Britain is finally moving ahead with Brexit and Lithuanians in the UK say they are  sick and tired   of prolonged uncertainty, while British expats in Lithuania share their thoughts in the new instalment of  #Voices  .

 FAMILY POLITICS

The prime minister’s wife has a  new job  . And that’s a political piece of news because the job is with Orlen, the Polish oil group which has received some generous concessions from Prime Minister Skvernelis’s government. Skvernelis himself rejects suggestions he had anything to do with his wife’s employment – and the president seems to  accept   it.

 WHO HAS BETTER GADGETS?

Remember how Czechs complained they were getting lower-quality food than Western Europeans? Lithuanians suspect the same may be true for consumer electronics – why else would your phone break down right after warranty expires? The Ministry of Justice  plans to check   if the myth has any substance.

Speaking of gadgets, LRT Investigation Team’s latest  exposé   traces Chinese cameras – that have been banned in the US – being used in a number of Lithuania’s institutions and even inside the cars of the country’s leaders.

 LONG READ

From our partners: how the drama of Trump’s impeachment looks from the  Ukrainian side  . The storytelling keeps you hooked throughout.

Would you like to contribute to LRT English? Please send your suggestions, submissions, and pitches to english@lrt.lt

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