THE VOICE OF INTERNATIONAL LITHUANIA
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U.S. Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, and Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is in Vilnius, on a two-day visit from 30 June to 1 July, to participate in the Community of Democracies 6th Ministerial. The Ministerial will bring together senior government officials, parliamentarians, NGOs, women and youth leaders, and the private sector to advance the shared goals of strengthening civil society and supporting emerging democracies. During her visit, the Secretary will participate in the "Women Enhancing Democracy" gathering of world leaders, held under the auspices of the Community of Democracies’ working group on women’s empowerment. She will also host a session of the Strategic Dialogue with Civil Society focused on challenges to the freedoms of speech and association. While in Vilnius, the Secretary will hold bilateral meetings with President Grybauskaite, Prime Minister Kubilius, and other Lithuanian officials.
Palanga and its Vanagupe Hotel is among the author’s top Lithuanian favourites.
Text: Thomas Danielsen, Baltic Travel Partner
After writing an article about the paradox of Lithuanian tourism, where I am not only negative, but also sarcastic and patronizing towards the people in charge of Lithuania tourism, I was thinking that it is time to try to write a positive article about Lithuania and tourism. The fact that I have called Lithuania home for 7 years and have worked with tourism (read: promoting Lithuania) for almost as long, there must be something good or great to show the international tourist. And believe me, it is! Vilnius especially, but also Lithuania in general, has a lot to offer in terms of being a tourism product. It is the seemingly total lack of strategy, knowledge and understanding of the concept of tourism and marketing of it that frustrates me (and I am not alone)!
It is possible to make a rather long list of what is "good" and what pose as an "opportunity" within Lithuania as a destination for the incoming tourist. However, one does need to bear in mind that there are many markets and many segments. So what might be of interest for one market/nationality might not be so appealing to another. I think that Vilnius has the most to offer in general, but again, depending on market, Klaipeda and Nida and the areas close by, due to this region’s historic links with Germany, might have more interest for the German market than Vilnius. But I would claim that the key products that Lithuania has on offer today, is what I will briefly state (I am not saying that these are the only ones - but from my point of view some of the more unique ones):
The capital of Lithuania, Vilnius, has to be in the first place. It has a beautiful UNESCO world heritage listed old town with many beautiful sights within itself. A simple stroll in the old town is a treat.
Uzupis is the most "undervalued" place in Vilnius
I think the bohemian area of Uzupis is the most "undervalued" place in Vilnius in terms of tourism and holds a great potential for tourism development in the future (think Notting Hill in London, Montmartre in Paris, Grünerløkka in Oslo, "The Valley" in Brisbane).
Užupis is an urban area of Vilnius characterized by dilapidated buildings, courtyards and side streets that haven‘t been renovated for decades. Photo: Andrius Ambramavičius
Talking about Vilnius for business tourists, there are pretty good facilities for conferences (though limited), but it is for incentive groups Vilnius really excels. The more popular activities which our agency sells is our very own "Vilnius Treasure Hunt", Kalashnikov shooting, Segway driving, ATV driving in a former military area, 4x4 driving, outdoor go-cart driving and more. The "KGB museum" (Genocide Victims Museum) and the TV tower are as well areas/sights we utilize.
Trakai Castle is a great place to visit
The Trakai Castle and its history from the Middle Ages and former capital of Lithuania is definitely a great place to visit (and the restaurant Round Table Club provides the most beautiful view from any restaurant in Lithuania!)..
The author’s favourite view of the Trakai Castle, from the Round Table Club restaurant.
Nida, Klaipeda and Palanga are interesting areas especially when speaking about the German market and for the cruise market. The cruise ships sailing in the Baltic Sea towards Helsinki and St. Petersburg is a potential opportunity, however, it seems to be a long way to go (as Riga and Tallinn is way in front and has Klaipeda already lost that battle?).
I think that both Klaipeda and Palanga (Vanagupe Hotel in particular) are the most underrated towns for conferences! Future stars?
Druskininkai with its spas and leisure centres could become the leading star
Druskininkai with its spas and leisure centres could potentially turn into the leading star in Lithuanian tourism (and worth a case study in itself on long term planning and tourism and city development). Excellent spa, conference and leisure facilities presents Druskininkai with great potential in the near future. The biggest challenge though, is the distance from Vilnius and/or an international airport (especially talking about the international market).
Best Western Hotel Central in Druskininkai.
When I talk about Lithuanian tourism, I talk about it as a failure! It is however important to underline that it is not the product itself there is something wrong with. Far from it! It is the lack of management of the resources that is the problem! And if someone out there now cleverly wants to state that Lithuanian tourism is not a failure, that there are fast growth in both tourists visiting the country and flight connections to/from the 3 main airports in the country, that Vilnius get the highest rankings in ICCA for associating meetings in the Baltics, that we now have year on year growth of visitors every month, I will still continue to claim that Lithuania tourism is a failure! Why? Because it fails to be all it can be!
Partner / Project Manager
Baltic Travel Partner OÜ, Tallinn
Baltic Travel Partner SIA, Riga
Baltic Travel Partner UAB, Vilnius
My name is Andrius Užkalnis, I am 40 and later this month I am coming back to Lithuania after a long time in England.
Photo: Otto Kylmala.
By best-selling writer Andrius Užkalnis
In three weeks‘ time, I will become a resident of Vilnius – again, after almost 17 years.
I was asked to write this for VilNews – where not many people know me. My name is Andrius Užkalnis, I am 40 and later this month I am coming back to Lithuania after a long time in England.
I moved to UK as a very young man, back in 1995, to work for the BBC, where I spent over 16 years – initially as a linguist and then as a manager, working in various parts of the world.
A few years ago I started writing – first for various magazines, both glossy and intellectual, then for national newspapers, then I published a few books and they were not entirely unsuccessful. Actually, all three went to be multiple-print-run bestsellers, one of them got translated into Latvian and published there too, so I suppose this counts as being an author of international acclaim, sort of.
I did bits of work for the Lithuanian national radio, commenting on various things British and international, and about a couple of years ago, a decision started to crystallize that it would be a good idea to go back.
Why? Because I can, because I can afford to, and because I felt I could do more in Lithuania, achieve more, be recognized and also enjoy a better living standard for my family and myself. In Vilnius, we can afford to live centrally – very centrally. In a house built in 17th century, in the very heart of Senamiestis, the Old Town, so that the closest patch of greenery would be Šventaragio slėnis, right behind the Cathedral, where they buried dukes and kings. The gothic marvel of St Ann’s will be my closest church. My girl’s school will be three minutes away, overseeing the ancient church spires and monasteries in a picture-perfect postcard view out of their classroom windows.
This would be an equivalent of living across the road from St James’ Park in London. I could never afford to have it in England. It would not be a realistic prospect. In Reading, Berkshire, where I live, there are people boarding a train to Paddington every morning, with Savile Row suits, going to their £200,000 jobs in London. They are easily in the top 2% of the population, income-wise, and they still have to commute to work.
My wife, Lina, is Lithuanian too, she is a linguist specializing in legal documentation and has her own practice and can work from wherever she wishes. More importantly, she also wants to live in the Old Town. She was born in Vilnius (I wasn’t – I am a Kaunas boy and moved to Vilnius when I was six), and the pavement stones and the old spires and terracotta roofs and the courtyards mean as much to her as they do to me.
When I write for the Lithuanian papers, people comment a great deal online, and because my writing is often provocative and edgy, a lot of people feel they have to have to try and insult me, which is not very easy because I am not a very sensitive person and when they spit fire, it amuses me.
One thing they sometimes say, trying to be sarcastic: “Why won’t you write for any English papers then? They won’t publish this crap, eh? But in Lithuania, anything goes, right?”
There is a degree of truth in that. Even if I were to get my articles published in UK, I would be one of the many, many columnists, and would have to compete with the Titans. My books would have to compete with thousands of books that hit the shelves here, and many of them are very good books. The chances of hitting the “A” list would be very slim.
So I figured I can play my game where chances of winning are higher. I do not think there is a shame in that.
Other people say: “So, the BBC must have kicked you out. You are just a loser, then. You now come back, having achieved nothing.”
The BBC did not kick me out. I left on my own accord, with no regrets, but with no hard feelings, either. I had sixteen incredible years doing very exciting work for arguably the biggest and the most respected international broadcaster in the world. I travelled the world and hired and trained people on three continents.
I flew a helicopter to work once. In Russia, I drank vodka on business to appease an apprehensive and make him trust me, even though the next morning I had to fly to Osaka and then to Chicago and all the drinking felt like I was not getting paid enough to do this. I commuted in Japan from one airport to another by train, straight after a 12 hour flight, for an onward flight to Russia’s Far East, arriving half-dead, knowing I had meetings in less than nine hours next morning, and then the hotel bar staff in Khabarovsk made me and my colleague sing karaoke in English for them. I flew a Boeing 747-400, converted to a commuter short-haul plane and painted in Pokemon colours, from Tokyo Haneda to Sapporo Chitose, as part of my job. I commissioned desks and shelves for my office from a workshop in Ghana where the main line of business was coffins, and when a man died, the supply of furniture would be delayed. I took a tour of duty to a small radio station near the Volta River and people accosted my car selling tiny fried fish – to them, a white man was a wealthy customer – and that was my business lunch. Not a lot of people can say this about their jobs. I often felt I had the best job in the world.
I have met very talented individuals and I largely did not have to compromise my beliefs and principles: the less attractive part of the BBC was not closely related to the job that I was doing. I am talking here about the institutional left-wing bias of the programme-making frontline staff, the health and safety paranoia, the political correctness, the risk aversion, the clinical Euro-enthusiasm and rabid pro-federalism, the relativist multicultural claptrap and the treatment of the global warming hysteria like it was science and not religion. I did not have to be complicit in any of this, and for this I am grateful.
There is also another aspect to my desire to come back. In England, I felt I would always, always be a foreigner (and, being a Lithuanian, with a clear mark of Gastarbeiter at that). England is one of the most open societies that I know, and no-one ever gave me hard time because of my origins, but I was always an outsider. Not that I was very concerned about my status. I knew who I was and what my family was, I knew my girls went to a private school, the house that we lived in and the car we drove and the holidays we took were nothing to be ashamed of, but I just did not feel I was one of the people who ran things in this country. Not at the forefront of everything. Not a household name.
In Lithuania, it is different, and I am not ashamed to say that I am looking forward to this too. People in Lithuania know my name and even sometimes say hello in the street. People come to meet me when I go on book-signing tours. Producers invite me to their talk shows on TV and journalism students email me and ask for my opinions. My daughters know that their Dad’s books are in every bookstore. I would be lying if I said it was not gratifying. Or that I would forgo this and choose anonymity.
I am leaving England with a sense of gratitude. I learnt a lot here and I would be a very different man without this experience. If I were 23 now, I would again sign a contract and go to a strange country to work. I would do it again.
But now I feel it is time to try something else in life. Because I know that I am incredibly privileged for having an opportunity, at the age of 40, to try something else in life. Other people at this age would try a new spouse or at least a new car. Or a hair colour. My family and I can try the whole new life. If that is not an opportunity, I don’t know what is.
And because of this, I am going to become a resident of Vilnius in three weeks’ time.
Vilnius Lithuania – My walk through this photogenic town
By Steve Huff
So here I am today..another day of serious photo opportunities! I am in Vilnius Lithuania for the next stop on the Seal European summer tour and yesterday I walked around quite a bit snapping shots of this lovely charming town. Had my Fuji X100 (new firmware rumored to be coming within the week) and Leica M9 with me and both gave me wonderful results, can’t complain about either of these lovely cameras.
I started the day early morning as the weather was brisk, cool, and sunny. In other words, PERFECT! Back home in Phoenix it is 110 and sunny so I am really enjoying this weather while I can get it! As I looked out of my hotel window I thought “Perfect Photo Weather”!
BTW, I am also staying at a beautiful hotel here in town and had to snap a couple as I left my room. Love the old world charm of this place.
You’ll find the complete story and see the rest of Steve Huff’s photos at:
A hotel that has been started to rise near Vilnius old town in June has found an operator. Selvaag, the developer of the new economy-class hotel, signed a long-term contract on the management of the hotel with Nordic Choice Hotels.
The hotel will have 200 economy-class rooms. The total value of the project is estimated to be about 30 million litas (8.7 million euros), 25% of the amount being covered by EU structural funds.
The hotel expects to greet its first client by the end of 2012. NordicChoice Hotels currently runs 170 hotels in Scandinavia and the Baltic states under a franchising agreement with Choice Hotels International.
In the global hotel group rankings by MKG Hospitality, Choice Hotels International is ranked sixth among ten largest hotel groups worldwide, including Intercontinental Hotels Group, Hilton Worldwilde, Marriott International and Accor.
A report by: Valdas Samonis
The Institute for New Economic Thinking, USA
In 1940, independent Lithuania produced per capita 1.9 times more meat, 2.8 times more milk, had 1.9 times more cattle and 2.7 times more pigs than Soviet Union. After 50 years of allegedly astounding economic progress, Soviet Lithuania had become dependent on subsidies from Moscow. To the extent that this assertion is true, how is this possible if not for the inefficiencies caused by the forcefully imposed system of central planning with its associated distortions?
Noncommunist Lithuania fed and clothed its citizens without any assistance from abroad during the interwar independence period. And the levels of agricultural production were high by comparison to the Soviet Union;
Following its forceful incorporation into the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics in 1940, Lithuania was subjected to the Soviet development model based on Marxism-Leninism, as interpreted by the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, as its theoretical underpinning; the first "scientifically based economic system in human history", as Bolsheviks claimed. The Bolshevik interpretation of economic processes and development goals was made obligatory in both the theoretical and practical dimensions. New methods of economic management /central planning/ were introduced which deeply changed the entire decision-making processes. The country's economic administration was completely overhauled. The Soviet occupation of Lithuania lasted nearly half a century.
What an intellectual shame to Western universities and other elites!"
HELD BACK IN THE USSR:
RETARDING EFFECTS OF COMMUNISM ON ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT OF LITHUANIA
Following its forceful incorporation into the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics in 1940, Lithuania was subjected to the Soviet development model based on Marxism-Leninism, as interpreted by the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, as its theoretical underpinning; the first “scientifically based economic system in human history”, as Bolsheviks claimed. The Bolshevik interpretation of economic processes and development goals was made obligatory in both the theoretical and practical dimensions. New methods of economic management /central planning/ were introduced which deeply changed the entire decision-making processes. The country's economic administration was completely overhauled. The Soviet occupation of Lithuania lasted nearly half a century.
After the period of heroic armed resistance during 1945-1953, the Lithuanian struggle for freedom adopted less dramatic methods and more covert forms. However, with the advent pf Gorbachev’s perestroika, the Lithuanian drive for independence intensified and adopted open forms since 1988. This provoked a harsh reaction in Moscow. Among a number of the lines of criticism, the alleged economic irrationality of such ambitions stands out. Soviet officials maintained that Lithuania has gained a lot from its "accession" to the USSR: what in 1940 was an underdeveloped, agricultural country, by 1990 was transformed into a developed, industrial Soviet republic. This essay sets out to verify such claims.
The main problem is that after the forceful incorporation, most formerly used market economy based yardsticks and indicators of economic development were replaced by the new ones, adversely affecting the comparability in time and space. The matter has been further complicated by the secretive and distorting nature of Soviet statistics. All in all, the shortage of reliable data makes it all but impossible to come up with precise figures. However, some first approximation can be made.
The aim of the article is to examine claims regarding economic development under communism in some detail permitted by the availability and quality of data.
The main goals of the article are:
· To evaluate direct, roughly measurable effects of communism on economic development of Lithuania and propose the Communist Retardation Indicator (TM), CRI;
· To analyze the effects of communism by the sectors of economy;
· To indicate the main problems to be dealt with shaping further transformation policies for Lithuania, other post-Soviet countries.
The methods applied are the main methods of economic analysis and synthesis, management theories.
2. The Primary Sector
With three quarters of its labor force
employed in agriculture, Lithuania was a predominantly agricultural economy in
1940. Half a century later, the agrocomplex still occupied a special role in
the Lithuanian economy, providing about a quarter of jobs and more than half
the national income [Zinkus 1986, 186; How Will... 1990]. As in 1938-1940,
basic crop and milk yields in Lithuania were in general considerably lower than
in neighboring Western countries /see Table 1/:
Table 1. The Comparison of Yields in Several Countries: Crops /in centners per hectare/ and Milk /in tonnes per cow/:
Rye Wheat Barley Milk
Source:. [Lithuania's ... 1990].
Even more important and telling is a considerable lag behind the West in the indicators measuring the efficiency of agricultural production. In 1981-87, Lithuania reached roughly one fourth of the American labor productivity in agriculture [Lithuania's ...1990]. Generally, Lithuanian agricultural production costs were two to three times higher than in Western countries [How Will ...1990]. Yuri Maslyukov, Chairman of the USSR State Planning Committee /Gosplan/, claimed that the Lithuanian agriculture was running at a loss of rb172 million to the central budget [A Discussion ...1990, 37]. How was this possible?
Noncommunist Lithuania fed and clothed its citizens without any assistance from abroad during the interwar independence period. And the levels of agricultural production were high by comparison to the Soviet Union; in 1940, independent Lithuania produced per capita 1.9 times more meat, 2.8 times more milk, had 1.9 times more cattle and 2.7 times more pigs. After 50 years of allegedly astounding economic progress, Soviet Lithuania has become dependent on subsidies from Moscow [Terleckas 1990]. To the extent that this assertion is true, how is this possible if not for the inefficiencies caused by the forcefully imposed system of central planning with its associated distortions?
For decades, the mainstream of the Soviet economic literature attempted to present the system of central planning as perhaps not yet perfect in some respects but certainly - for the first time in human history -based on scientific foundations. Many authors claimed that because of the planned nature of the system – an embodiment of the scientific truth in economic management - it is capable of fully harnessing objective laws of science to work for the benefit of broad masses, thereby avoiding distortions and costs characteristic of the chaotic play of market forces under capitalism.
The reality has been diametrically opposite, however. Let's take just one example. The Soviet-style indicator of technological progress is the power of machines, their size, and their numbers: the larger, the better (“chem bolshe, tem luchshe”). The apocryphal story has it that, to prove their technological superiority, the Soviets were intending to build the world’s largest microcomputer!
The communist penchant for size led to the overproduction and overuse of very heavy machines like the Kirovets tractor K-700. The use of such a tractor is not only ecologically damaging but causes the hardening of soil, destroying its structure, drainage systems, and leading to the wheat harvest reduction by 30-50%! Similarly, it has been proved that such tractors, their excessive numbers, and other distortions have been detrimental to the agricultural production in Lithuania as well as the USSR in general [Aganbegyan 1988, 35-36; Wolfson 1988; Duda 1990]. It is estimated that just between 1961 and 1988 the losses in the Lithuanian agriculture as a result of systemic inefficiencies were more than rb90 billion [Lithuania's ...1990].
What is more important than the above losses is the impact of the sovietized economic structure and work ethic in agriculture on the prospects for a radical reform undertaken in Lithuania over the last decade. The forced collectivization and statization has been accompanied by a thorough and indeed criminal destruction of farmsteads and family farming in general. Privatization including the restitution of property is therefore the necessary precondition for the introduction of market forces [Hinds 1990; Balezentis 1990]. This proved to be difficult for at least two reasons. First, although collective farm lands can be distributed among individual families, there are no buildings nor machinery with which to work the land. Second, the whole way of life /family farming/ has been subjected to a "fifty-year moratorium" [Kazenas 1990]. The qualities of a farmer, proud and wise lord of land are close to extinction. There are agricultural workers instead, with little or no initiative and poor work ethic. The magnitude of change can only be compared to the transforming of feudal land laborers into peasant farmers. Family farming was criminally destroyed in a couple of years, its rebuilding will take decades [Vel ..1990; Laird 1990].
3. The Secondary Sector
The secondary sector in Lithuania is dominated by industry since mining is nonexistent due to the almost complete lack of natural resources. Soviet sources claim that Lithuania's industrial output has increased an impressive 84 times in the period of 1940-1990 and such industries as machine tools, ship-building, electrical engineering, etc, were created from zero [On the "Lithuanian ... 1990].
In light of rather recent revelations concerning the growth and relative size of the Soviet economy, it is hard to see how this figure could be taken at face value. For example, two glasnost era authors, Vasilii Seliunin and Grigorii Khanin , argue pretty convincingly that in the 1928-85 period Soviet national income grew only 6-7 times and not some 90 times as officially claimed. The mystery may never be entirely solved. Central to the problem of separating inflation from real growth is the measurement of qualitative change in the absence of market verification which was the case under the Soviet system. It can be concluded at the very least, that the Soviet-style measurement of qualitative progress /using such "objective" characteristics as capacity, size, and weight/ may be at the root of a substantial upward bias in the official Soviet statistics [Kushnirsky 1989; 294-301].
There are some additional specific problems with the assertion about the rate of industrial growth in Lithuania. First, the latter part of the assertion provides explanation for the former one: such a high growth rate was recorded largely because the base year output was low or even zero.
It is a well-known statistical effect that base year quantities close to zero make it "easy" to achieve impressive growth rates. Second, most of this growth is of a peculiar, Soviet-type variety. For systemic reasons, the Soviet Union used much more input for a given quantity of output than is the case in the West. For instance, steel, oil, and gas were used in the USSR about three times less efficiently than in France or United Kingdom [If Gorbachev ...1985; Aslund 1989, 16-17]. Similarly, relative to Sweden or Finland, Lithuania consumed 1.5-2.0 times more energy, wood and metals per unit of output. Heating one square meter of living space in Finland requires about 20 kg of fuel, whereas in Soviet Lithuania - 60 kg [How Will ... 1990].
What this boils down to is growth for the sake of growth: more coal is mined to produce more metal which is used to build more mines so more coal is mined and so this environment-degrading "development" cycle goes on. To use a medical metaphor, it's a cancerous growth. Although their populations were forced to make huge sacrifices for development /20-40% or more of all the goods and services produced went to investment - a good measure of the rate of exploitation/, centrally- planned economies seemed never to mature, exhibiting features of permanently developing countries [Winiecki 1999; Zwass 1987, 172-176]. Third, the Soviet-type industrial growth forced on Lithuania disregarded the structure of its economy and human resources and produced excessive dependence on Soviet inputs, particularly raw materials. It is primarily Union-subordinate industries which were growing rapidly, using mainly /some 60-80%/ imported raw materials and shipping large parts /50-60%/ of their output out of Lithuania [Lithuania's ...1990]. This pattern of the division of labor may have well served Moscow's military and other imperial interests but hardly those of the Lithuanian people.
Indeed, the so called social efficiency of development which captures its welfare effects/the impact on living standards and quality of life/ has been very low in Soviet Lithuania and the USSR [Vasiliauskas 1990]. One Soviet economist estimated that in terms of per capita consumption of goods and services the USSR ranked between 50th and 60th among countries of the world [Jones & Moskoff 1989, xx]. Even if' there initially were some positive welfare effects of the Soviet-type industrial growth, very soon they were cancelled by the negative ones. It can therefore be concluded that what took place in Lithuania /and elsewhere in the communist world/ is the Soviet version of immiserizing growth [Bhagwati, Brechter and Hatta 1984]. Such a growth led to the pauperization of the country and its people, not unlike a cancer devastates a biological organism.
And just like the modern cancer therapy aims at cutting off supplies of essential nutrients to the cancerous tissue in order to starve it and liquidate the cancer, so communist-style economic growth stopped and the system entirely collapsed as soon as it exhausted the “easy” supplies of natural resources /oil, coal, etc/ and human resources /human patience, tolerance of communist serfdom and exploitation/ at the beginning of the 1990s.
All in all, labor productivity in the Lithuanian industry was much less than half the American level in 1988. It is estimated that just between 1960 and 1989 the losses in the Lithuanian industry as a result of systemic inefficiencies amounted to rb88 billion [Lithuania's ... 1990].
For the reform decades since 1990 and for the future, what may be more important than the absolute losses incurred under the Soviets are the legacies of communism /sovietization/ in the area of industrial structure and the economy and society in general. The Lithuanian industry was dominated by large, technologically /as opposed to economically/ specialized enterprises, usually enjoying a mono- or oligopolistic position. Such large, communist-style enterprises did not add economic value in the production process as the value of the output was in most cases lower than the value of raw materials, labor, other inputs, if both sides of the production equation are expressed in world prices.
This paradox is known under the term of “value subtraction” coined up by the famous Harvard economist Janos Kornai. As the Central European /and Lithuanian/ reform experience suggests, they are likely to use every means to oppose or sabotage demonopolization and market-oriented reforms in general. In Poland, the existence of a "hard core" of state-owned value-subtracting monopolies has proved to be one of the toughest problems to crack [Samonis 1990a]. Also, everywhere in the postcommunist world they proved to be a fertile breeding ground for the ex-communist nomenklatura /”red directors”/ who beyond a reasonable doubt proved their qualifications in distorting and/or subverting the necessary market-oriented reforms, especially at the microeconomic level [Samonis 1995].
Furthermore, world manufacturing is undergoing a revolution. The mass production model /economies of scale/ is being replaced by a model of a flexible, multi-product firm that emphasizes quality and speedy response to market conditions /economies of scope/ while using technologically advanced equipment and new forms of organization brought about the digital revolution [Milgrom & Roberts 1990; How to ... 1990; Winiecki 1987, 22-23; Samonis 2000]. In Lithuania, progress along these lines may be seriously hindered by the monopolistic "hard core" and a paucity of small-and mid-sized firms exhibiting high adaptability and innovativeness suitable for today’s global digital economy [Samonis 2000].
4. The Tertiary Sector
One of the salient characteristics of a modern economy is a rapid growth in the provision of services. The tertiary sector usually employs some 60-80% of the labor force in the West. A service gap therefore provides one of the important measures of relative backwardness or retardation [Schroeder 1987; Aslund 1989, 19].
In Lithuania, the Moscow-imposed growth pattern /especially industrial hypertrophy/ has resulted in the development of a sizable service gap to the West. Based on communist ideological motivations, most services /so called nonproductive ones/ were treated as a second-rate activity.
Consequently, the allocation of resources for the tertiary sector was governed by the residual principle. Around 1980, some 37% of the Lithuanian labor force was employed in services, almost exactly the Soviet average. Most Western countries have reached this level around 1950 [Zinkus 1980, 25; Schroeder 1987; Parkola 1980]. By this important measure, both the Soviet Lithuanian and the Soviet economies lagged behind the West some 30 years if not more. They even fell behind many Third World countries [Aslund 1987, 19].
The sorry state of Soviet Lithuanian services was evident from even a cursory look at the health care, housing and communal services, transportation, and especially communication and financial services so crucial for a modern economy. With regard to the latter, the reign of abacus was unchallenged in most places [Uosis, Terleckas, Baldisis 1989, 16]. For the future, the biggest problem will precisely be the underdevelopment of communication and financial services where the gap between the USSR and the West was judged to be growing [Schroeder 1987]. The transition to a market economy is conditional upon a sufficient progress in the development of the financial sector which will have to replace the allocative functions of state bureaucracy.
5. The External Sector: Foreign Economic Relations
For smaller countries like Lithuania /population over 3 million/, international economic cooperation is of predominant importance. The nature and profitability of bilateral Soviet-Lithuanian relations and in general Soviet-Baltic economic relations have been a subject of much controversy.
5.1. Who Subsidized Whom and Whose System?
As soon as the Baltic drive for independence gathered momentum, the Soviet propaganda machine floated a multitude of comments and assertions designed to demonstrate the political and economic irrationality of independence movements. In particular, it was alleged that the Baltic republics have not been able to balance their current account vis a vis the rest of the USSR and have therefore been in a need to accept "the selfless and generous aid", that is subsidies, from other republics. Explicitly formulated or not, the obvious corollary of this type of assertions was that, in order to fulfill their ambitions for political power, Baltic leaders have not only been biting a feeding hand of "fraternal help" extended from Moscow but have been blindly pushing their people towards economic catastrophe [Borisov & Mikhailov 1990; Hammer 1990; Smulders 1990; On the "Lithuanian ... 1990; Maniusis 1976].
The issue has both the systemic and the quantitative aspect /quantity of development/. The former centers around the impact of communism /sovietization/ on the nature of economic development /its quality/ of the Baltic states during the postwar period of occupation. It has been analyzed above and also in Samonis [1991a]. Let's try to look at the quantitative aspect of development.
Moscow's propaganda machine has been constantly drumming up the fact that Soviet Union/Russia supplied Lithuania with cheap raw materials, natural gas /rb28 as opposed to $97 for 1,000 cubic meters on the world market/, and oil /rb30 as opposed to $110 a ton on the world market/ at the beginning of the Lithuanian independence [How Will ...1990]. At the same time, Lithuanian exports to the USSR /mainly food and manufactured consumer goods/ were seen as overpriced. It was argued that goods of comparable quality can be bought cheaper in the West. These distortions in relative prices affecting the terms of the Lithuanian-Soviet trade are interpreted as "the selfless and generous aid of the Russian people" /subsidies/ to Lithuania [Maniusis 1976, 102; Hammer 1990; et al.].
It is impossible to fully prove or disprove this sort of claims. Such is the dubious "beauty" of the centrally-planned economy that nobody really knows the rationale or the real value of internal flows of goods and services. The system of arbitrary, bureaucratic pricing and decision-making effectively clouds the issue. However, for at least three reasons it is hard to see how the subsidy interpretation could be based on anything more than vague impressions.
First, it is useful to keep in mind a simple truth rooted in the classical economics that if the productive factor endowment of the integrating countries /e.g. Lithuania and the USSR/ is different from the rest of the world, relative prices within the “union” will differ from relative prices in the world market [Brada 1985]. It is obvious that the Soviet Union --as the natural resource-richest country in the world -- should sell its resources at the relative prices lower than the rest of the world. For the highest technologically developed countries /e.g. Japan or USA/, the same is true for sophisticated manufactured goods. Enter a restrictive, autarkic, trade-diverting, and genuine trade-destroying “union” between Lithuania and the USSR: Lithuanian TV sets of comparable quality will necessarily be priced higher than Japanese ones on account of a difference in the development level causing productivity differentials. Relative prices in the Lithuanian-Soviet trade reveal nothing more than different conditions prevailing in the union [Holzman 1987, 187-201; Desai 1985].
Second, superimposed upon the quantity of development factors are systemic inefficiencies /described above/ working in the same direction. Production of the highly processed goods /like TV sets/ is exposed to more and larger systemic inefficiencies than the exploitation of natural resources under communism. Combined with the usual Soviet-type formula for price formation based on the cost-plus principle, this distorts relative prices even further.
Third, the Lithuanian labor productivity consistently topped the Soviet averages: the level by some 7% and the rate of growth by about 8.6 percentage points. Never during the entire postwar period has Lithuania used up its extra wealth /compared to the USSR/. The bigger portion of the extra value created thanks to better economic management never found its way to the consumption or savings funds [Terleckas 1990; Aleskaitis 1990].
The above three reasons are inconsistent with the Soviet subsidy interpretation. Rather the opposite is suggested by the third one. What happened to some of the extra value created in Lithuania and how? Let's try to answer this question below.
The Gosplan chairman Yuri Maslyukov claimed that investments in the Lithuanian economy were close to rb50 billion between 1966 and 1989 [A Discussion ... 1990]. Soviet sources often quote this and other figures within the context suggesting Moscow's assistance to Lithuania. However, 19% of this amount were funds of kolkhozes /collective farms/ and residents of Lithuania, according to the Lithuanian State Committee for Statistics. Of rb14.8 billion which were allocated to agriculture, central state funds account for only 60% [Lithuania's ...1990].
According to the Lithuanian Ministry of Economy, in the last 25 years preceding independence Union-subordinate enterprises and organizations transferred rb8.9 billion to the Union budget or 2.3 times the amount received in centralized capital investments. Additionally, they transferred to centralized Union funds more than 1 billion in foreign exchange rubles and almost rb99 billion in turnover tax. On top of these open transfers come hidden forms of resource withdrawal from Lithuania. One of them is the withdrawal of credit resources at the discretion of the USSR Council of Ministers. Just in 1988, the increase in credit resources withdrawn from the republic was rb854 million, and in 1980-88 the sum of these funds left under the USSR Council of Ministers authority increased from rbl.2 to rb4.1 billion. It is estimated that in 1980-88 Lithuania's economy lost rb728 million in revenue /rbl.6 billion when recalculated at compound interest/ [Lithuania's ... 1990]. As of July 1, 1989, credit resources created in Lithuania reached rb10.5 billion, of which about rb6 billion were disposed of by Moscow. Although Lithuania accounted for only about 1.3% of the Soviet population, its credit resources covered 9.5% of the budget deficit gap filled with borrowed funds in 1989. At the same time, Lithuanian people suffered from the shortage of credit funds, receiving only rb86 million, whereas their savings exceeded rb6 billion. The Soviet-type credit system was turned into the most important channel for the unilateral transfer of income from Lithuania to the USSR [Uosis, Terleckas, Baldisis 1989, 13-15].
To illustrate the above with some microeconomic data, let's look at the flows of capital resources to and from the Vilnius "Elfa" Production Association which was quoted by Gosplan's Maslyukov as receiving 77% of its five-year plan investment funds from Moscow [On the "Lithuanian ...1990, 56]. In a quarter of a century ended in 1988, “Elfa” received rb34 million and 3 million worth of foreign exchange rubles in centralized capital investments and transferred rb86 million of profits to the Union budget and additional rb74 million to the Union ministry. The profits created at "Elfa" and transferred to Moscow were therefore 3.3 times higher than the central funds allocated. In a classical “double standard” mentality, contributions to the central funds were mandatory but allocations of money from them are conveniently interpreted as “assistance” or “aid” [Lithuania's ...1990; Zinkus 1986, 186].
From the above confrontation of figures, it is evident that Moscow has received handsome returns on its investments in Lithuania. In most cases, the rate of return has been higher than in other, less developed republics. Therefore, to talk about "the selfless and generous aid of the Russian people" where a normal for profit investment activity is carried out is a cardinal misunderstanding or rather the intentionally misleading propaganda.
The flip side of the forced reorientation towards the USSR has been a complete destruction of Lithuania's economic ties with the West /mainly United Kingdom, Germany and Belgium/, painstakingly developed during the interwar independence period. The interwar Lithuania's per capita foreign trade was rising almost continuously and reached levels three times higher than those of the USSR. Its share in the world exports more than doubled while its currency was among the two or three strongest in the world [Terleckas 1990; Ten Years ... 1938, 72-78; Vaisnoras 1990]. As a result of occupation, Lithuania had to forego multiple benefits flowing from foreign trade in general and the cooperation with the advanced market economies in particular. Only about 2% of its trade was with the West at the start of post-Soviet independence.
One more point needs to be addressed here. Soviet and even some Western literature emphasizes bigness of the internal market /country size/ as a fundamental strength in economic development; therefore advocates of the Lithuanian independence are often accused of encouraging the formation of a state that is to small to be economically viable. At best, this is an outdated, 19th century thinking. According to the latest research conducted by the University of Pennsylvania economist Prof. Robert Summers, the average annual growth in per capita income in the bottom 50% of countries as measured by the population size was faster than in the larger countries from 1960 to the mid-1980s. Per capita incomes also tend to be higher in smaller countries.
Being a part of the "vast homeland", quite apart from its specific nature, was therefore more of a liability rather than an asset. Among the reasons are: smaller countries tend to be more active traders in the world market which is the same whether you live in the large USSR or smaller Lithuania; they tend to specialize in the growing number of products that do not require large domestic markets; small homogenous economies tend to suffer less from the inefficiencies created by a heavy-handed government intervention aimed at mediating regional and sectoral conflicts of interest [Becker 1990].
A distorted structure of incentives under the Soviet communist-style central, inward-oriented development strategy, and the emergence of two separate markets (undemanding internal Soviet and COMECON markets and the demanding world market) interacted in generating a peculiar dual export structure of communist economies with adverse implications for the prospects of successful reorientation of exports to the demanding world market [Winiecki 1999].
5.1.1. Looking into the Distorting Goskomstat Mirror: An Exercise in Meaninglessness
An exercise in analyzing the static aspect of Baltic-Soviet economic relations has been presented by the European Economic Community [Stabilization ...1990]. Based on the Soviet /Goskomstat/ merchandise trade statistics for 1988, the European Union (European Economic Community or EEC at the time) paper paints a picture of large negative Baltic trade balances with the USSR. It takes a pretty strong faith in the reliability and completeness of the Goskomstat data to undertake such an exercise, and especially to treat it seriously. After some three decades of studying the Soviet-type economies from the comparative perspective, I must admit I do not have this kind of faith. Why?
First of all, merchandise trade constitutes only part of the current account balance. The Baltic states have not been paid by Moscow for the use of their transit services; Baltic sea ports have for centuries been Russia's very important window to the world. Generally, whatever proceeds have been generated in the service sector, including tourism, have been channeled directly to Moscow with no credit to Baltic current accounts. Second, supplies for the 400,000 or so strong Soviet army stationed in the Baltics have been counted as imports. Moreover, Moscow has not paid for the use or pollution of the Baltic territory by its military. There is no information whatsoever on several very important aspects of Baltic-Soviet relations, like financing and supplies for the Communist Parties, KGB, and other bodies alien and harmful to the Baltic interests.
Moreover, a snapshot of inter-republican trade provided by the EEC paper may not be representative for the whole Soviet period. This is certainly true for the Baltic states. Some of them may have indeed slipped into merchandise trade deficit with the USSR in some years towards the end of the 1980s. First of all, this has to do with a general decline in the Soviet economic activity, particularly with the worsening Soviet foreign trade balance exacting a differential impact on Baltic trade flows in and out of the USSR. However, a totally different picture may be true for the entire Soviet period. According to alternative data, which provide a fuller account of, for example, cross-border shopping, Latvia achieved a cumulative merchandise trade surplus of over 9% for the period of 1961-1988; the surplus rises to more than 23%, if services are included to complete the current account picture [Smulders 1990, Table III].
With some qualifications /page 77/, the ECE paper maintains that, since data on the external trade of the republics are available in both domestic and foreign trade prices /a proxy for world market prices/, it is possible to compute the gain that a distorted Soviet price structure confers on certain republics. However, great statistical uncertainties and inaccuracies of the transformation of what is essentially an arbitrary set of prices into world market prices make such an exercise rather meaningless. This is seen not only by Western authors [e.g. Schroeder 1992] but also, in the article entitled "Let's Return Trust to Statistics", by the Goskomstat chairman himself [Kirichenko 1990]!
In the absence of any system of national accounts at the republican level, the Baltic-Soviet current accounts are heavily influenced by what can be termed the Soviet-type capital account. The evidence coming from the Baltic sources suggests that inequitable financial relations with the USSR introduce still more distortions. Due to the Soviet practice of levying subsidies at the location of production rather than consumption, the presence of subsidies reduces the value of exportables. Consequently, export volume for large net agricultural exporters /Lithuania, Estonia/ is downwardly biased due to the high percentage of subsidies contained in the retail price. In Lithuania, these subsidies represented 30-40% of the product's value [Karlsson & Van Arkadie 1991, 213; Hanson 1991b].
More generally, distortions arose via the unified Soviet banking system. The central banks used to continuously redistribute cash and credit resources between the republics and the center. In the 44 postwar years, Latvia transferred to the center nearly twice as much in cash and credit resources than it received which has resulted in about 34 billion rubles subsidy to the USSR. Similarly, union-subordinate enterprises in Lithuania transferred to Moscow more than twice the amount of centralized capital investments received. The Soviet banking system served as the most important channel for unilateral transfers of capital resources from the Baltic states to the USSR. In particular, redistribution of proceeds from exports reduced the gains from Soviet trade while worsening the notorious shortage-type economy. Under the conditions of normal, equitable financial relations with the USSR, additional resources would have been available to Baltic states for imports of oil and/or other natural resources [Smulders 1990; Samonis 1991a]. This latter observation may be irrelevant from the current accounting point of view but it surely bears on who subsidized whom and whose system.
The above outlined distortions in the Baltic-Soviet economic relations are only part of the problem but I believe this is enough to convey the magnitude of the entire problem. Consequently, it is very difficult to see how assertions of subsidizing the Baltic states by the USSR could have possibly been based on any merits. To the extent that central investments in the Baltics could be regarded as autonomous, e.g. profit-seeking, rather than compensating flows, these assertions cannot be true even in the absence of distortions [Hanson 1991b]. I am in a complete agreement with the Economic Survey of the Baltic Republics undertaken under the auspices of the Swedish government; the survey, which contains a calculation similar to one described in the EEC paper, concludes that such exercises are of dubious value. [Karlsson & Van Arkadie 1991, 193]. They certainly cannot be taken as any approximation of what would Baltic current accounts look like under the conditions of full de facto independence.
Indeed, the evidence for 1989 and later years seems to point to the possibility of a balanced Latvian current account even with realistic Russian energy prices. The two other Baltic governments also maintained they were approaching a balance [Buchan 1991; Hanson 1991a & b; Department of ...1991].
6. The Comparative Development Levels: In Search for a Measure of Communist Retardation
Gross national product per head of the population /GNP per capita/ is the most comprehensive measure of the economic development level. In Europe, Lithuania was a lesser developed country during the interwar period of independence. This fact has to be put into perspective, though.
From 1795 until the World War I /for 120 years/ Lithuania was under Russian colonial yoke and suffered brutal repressions for its numerous attempts to free itself. During the World War I it had to carry the burden of German occupation. The occupying Germans dismantled Lithuania's productive capacities and destroyed them with pedantic precision. The ensuing war for independence wreaked even more economic havoc. According to one estimate, total losses incurred as a result of the German occupation and the war for independence amounted to 5 billion litas /Lithuanian currency, US$1 = approx. 10 litas at the time/ or 3.5 times more than the Lithuanian national income in 1924. A national cohesion was almost nonexistent. Arguments were advanced that Lithuania could not survive as an economic entity [Terleckas 1990; Simutis 1942, 19].
Yet the Herculean task of reconstruction was undertaken with steadfast determination. The growth of the Lithuanian economy averaged 10% annually, a rate impressive by any standards [Terleckas 1990; Ten Years ...1938, 4]. Moreover, unlike during the Soviet period, the social efficiency of development was pretty high. Suffice it to say that the average industrial wage could support a family of four [Maciuika 1955]. Something like this was impossible after 50 years of the Soviet-style "scientifically based system". It can be argued that by 1940 Lithuania has been brought within some 10 years distance to advanced Western countries, e.g. Scandinavia.
Official Soviet sources claim that the USSR national income grew about 90 times in 1928-85. Perhaps the most sensational product of glasnost is the publication an alternative estimate by Vasilii Seliunin and Grigorii Khanin  who put the growth at only 6-7 times. So far, independent Western estimates could not come up with anything more convincing. The history of Western attempts at calculating the Soviet GNP in dollar terms is littered with what subsequently invariably turned out to be rather substantial overstatements [Marer 1985; World Bank Atlas 1980-1983; various CIA assessments; et al.].
The Soviet GNP per capita has been put by some at about $2,000 in 1990 [Grossly ... 1990]. In all probability, this is still on the high side given that the International Monetary Fund /IMF/ estimated Poland's figure to be only $1,100 in 1990 [Lipton & Sachs 1990]. There are no good reasons to believe that the Lithuanian GNP per capita figure should not be on the order of magnitude of those of its neighbors. In fact, it was put by Soviet sources at rb 2,427 in 1988 or some 10% above the Soviet average of that year [On the "Lithuanian ... 1990, 7]. In 1990, it may therefore lie somewhere in the range of $1,000-2,000 which places Lithuania far below Western countries, particularly its Western neighbors. The Lithuanian State Committee for Statistics calculated that Lithuania produced rb128.6 billion of national income less than Finland and rb155.8 billion less than Sweden in 1960-89, and the gap continued to widen. Almost the entire volume of the national income produced during this period was rb154 billion [Lithuania's ... 1990]. Most Western countries reached or surpassed Lithuania's post-Soviet development level /that of 1990/ in the immediate postwar decade [World Tables 1971]. So Lithuania’s lag behind the West was at least three decades in 1990.
As a way to quantify all the above assertions, I hereby propose the Communist Retardation Indicator™ (CRI), summarily capturing the retarding effects of communism on economic development:
1. CRI = TDL – IDL; where:
CRI = Communist Retardation Indicator™
TDL= Total Developmental Lag to leading Western countries
IDL = Initial Developmental Lag prior to the imposition of communism
In the case of Lithuania:
2. CRI = 30 years – 10 years = 20 years
Taking into account interwar Lithuania's relative underdevelopment /IDL/ by a decade, the imposition of communism on Lithuania /sovietization/ resulted in NO LESS THAN TWO DECADES OF DEVELOPMENTAL RETARDATION during the fifty-year occupation period /40%/. Taking the CRI of 40% as the departure point, calculations can be made how much wealth Lithuania lost in dollar terms with regard to the reference Scandinavian country (e.g. Denmark) due to the Soviet communist occupation. This is not the aim of this essay, however.
Admittedly, this is a rough and ready measure and a very optimistic assessment. Other estimates /e.g. by French Government/ are a bit less optimistic and put the developmental retardation of more advanced Central European countries /e.g. Bulgaria, Romania, Poland/ at about a full generation or more, e.g. some 30 years [Mocilnikar 1999]. This would result in CRI closer to some 50-60%.
Even if it brought some peculiar kind of economic growth /rather of cancer type/, the communist system imposed by the USSR has taken Lithuania's and other formerly oppressed countries’ comparative economic development levels at least two-three decades back; they were held back in their development by the USSR. This essay gives just the first approximation of direct, roughly measurable retarding effects of communism /sovietization/ on economic development /summarily captured as the Communist Retardation Indicator, CRI/. It leaves out various kinds of negative indirect effects, e.g. huge human costs.
Since 1990, Lithuania is trying to implement radical political and economic reforms designed to restore its statehood and a market-type economy [see for example Samonis 2000b]. The overcoming of the legacy of the communist system will be hard, however, especially so that this essay leaves out some other significant costs, e.g. various kinds of negative indirect effects, e.g. human costs like killings, imprisonments, deportations, ensuing emigration, etc. The essay serves as a reality check on inflated expectations regarding the welfare effects of the transition processes in former communist countries some twenty years after the start of transitions to markets and democracy. The growth slowdown and the rise in unemployment in such countries as Lithuania, other Baltics, Poland, etc, is due in a large part to the legacies of the communist system catching up with and neutralizing considerable efforts at continued reforms. Such a reality check is useful for shaping further transformation policies so that they are better grounded in what is possible and advisable under these unfavorable circumstances.
Clearly, it will take a long time to fully recover from the "benefits" showered on Lithuania and other formerly communist countries by the Soviet communist system. As a highly distinguished Polish dissident economist [Winiecki 1999] put it, "the curse of the by then long extinct Soviet-type system would be felt by post-centrally planned economies-for decades to come. They are not only permanently crippled by system-specific distortions but the rehabilitation process – even after a change of system and strategy -would be exasperatingly long".
8. Borisov, B. and Mikhailov, L. 1990. "Litva - na puti k propasti?" Ekonomika i zhizn, No. 14.
10. Buchan, D. 1991. "EC seeks gradual links with the Baltics". Financial Times, September 10.
15. Hammer, D.P. 1990. Why Do the Russians Complain?. Paper presented to the conference on "The 'National Question' in the Soviet Union", Waterloo-Laurier Centre for Soviet Studies, University of Waterloo, Canada, May 2-5, 1990.
16. Hanson, P. 1991a. Presentation on Baltic Foreign Economic Relations at the Convention of the American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies, Miami, Florida, November 24, 1991.
17. Hanson, P. 1991b. "External Economic Relations of the Baltic States", in: Economic Bulletin for Europe, Vol. 43. New York: United Nations.
25. Karlsson, M. and Van Arkadie, B. /eds./. 1991. Economic Survey of the Baltic States. Stockholm: Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
26. Kirichenko, V.N. 1990. "Vernut doverie statistike". Kommunist, No. 3.
41. Samonis, V. 1991a. One Step Forward and Two Steps Back: The Impact of Sovietization on the Lithuanian Economy. Toronto: University of Toronto.
47. Samonis, V. 1997b. Lithuania’s Road to Europe: A Comparative Assessment”.. "Lithuanian Papers" (Hobart: University of Tasmania, Australia), 1997, No. 11.
52. Samonis, V. 2000b. “Lietuvos Reformu Desimtmetis: Keliai, Klystkeliai, Problemos, Perspektyvos”. Vilnius University: Ekonomika, No. 50.
55. Schroeder, G. 1992. "On the Economic Viability of New Nation States". Journal of International Affairs, February.
58. Smulders, M. 1990. Who Owes Whom? Mutual Economic Accounts Between Latvia and the USSR 1940-1990. Riga: The Government of Latvia.
59. "Stabilization, liberalization and devolution: Assessment of the economic situation and reform process in the Soviet Union". 1990. European Economy, December.
END OF PAPER.
Eastern European support for democracy has been eroded by the global financial crisis, which cut living standards, a survey by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the World Bank showed.
Backing for democracy as a preferable political system fell last year in 18 of the 29 former communist countries where the EBRD invests, compared with a previous survey in 2006, the London-based lender said in a report today. In 11 nations, less than 50 percent of the respondents "clearly" prefer democracy, the survey showed.
"Of these, Latvia, Lithuania and Romania experienced particularly sharp economic contractions during the crisis," the report said. "This could explain their lower support levels for a market economy, but it scarcely provides a reason for the declining preference for democracy."
All of the Eastern European economies are growing for the first time since 2008 after being the worst hit among emerging markets by the global credit crunch with inflows of investments and credit drying up.
Former president and prime minister of Lithuania, Algirdas Brazauskas. who died last year
The idea is excellent, but the problem is that the majority of the people in the positions where the change could be initiated were from the Soviet times. The fact that Brazauskas was really good at public relations and was able to retain his power for so long meant that the same people who were used to the Soviet style of thinking and work ethic kept their jobs, even if they were doing nothing or even doing harm. To them, changing the way how things are done meant undermining their own position, so of course they did nothing.
My hope is that with time the things will clean up, and these changes will occur. It will take time, though.
Unfortunately, the “inconvenient truth” is that the Soviet communist nomenklatura has hijacked Lithuania’s development in the last almost two decades and, consequently, our country has largely horribly wasted a truly impressive and immense political and economic capital of global good will, so excruciatingly hard earned by the Victims of the January 13th, 1991 brutal Soviet aggression and by the blood and brains of the legendary Lithuanian freedom fighters, world renowned anti-communist dissident movements, and political refugees in the West in the post-WW II years.
Valdas Samonis, PhD, CPC (Canadian – Lithuanian)
The Web Professor of Global Management (SM)
A new book, laconically called "President" by political scientist Lauras Bielinis will reach the Lithuanian bookstores this weekend. The book's controversial cover alone raises no doubts that the man figure of the monograph is incumbent head of state Dalia Grybauskaite.
However, Bielinis' book is not a political biography dedicated to mark the upcoming two years anniversary since Grybauskaite assumed president's seat, informs LETA/ ELTA,referring to Lietuvos zinios.
The book is rather a subjective analysis of the president's key policies, principles of governing and the representation of them to the society. Bielinis said he did not know Grybauskaite personally:
"In fact, I have not even met her in a corridor, however, this does not interest me at all: I have distanced myself from all personal, individual characteristics and biographical things which do not have any influence on her policies. As the author says, "the aim of the book is to show how a political leader acts and takes part in the national politics, therefore th e main source was the actions of the president herself, her speeches, actions, decisions, society and political arena's reaction to what she is doing".
You are cordially invited to the 33rd Annual Adizes International Convention which will take place in the Hotel Le Meridien in Vilnius 30 June – 2 July. The convention is a good opportunity for all of the different individuals and organizations that have applied and benefited from the Adizes methodology to come together. The convention will explore the latest advancements in the theories, practices and applications of the Adizes methodology.
The conference will commence at 6:30pm on June 30th with the convention’s opening dinner. On July 1st, Gintaras Steponavičius, Minister of Education and Science of Lithuania will open the convention with a welcome address.
Other programme highlights will include the founder’s session. Ichak Adizes, Founder of the Adizes Institute and the Adizes Methodology will present the latest illuminations from his personal and professional journey over the past 12 months. Additional speakers will include Adizes Associates, students at the Adizes Graduate School, Adizes clients, and other individuals who have applied the Adizes methodology in their various disciplines.
The Adizes Annual Convention will for the first time take place in Lithuania.
More information about the event you can find at the following link: http://convention.adizes.com
Part 2 of 2:
While assembling the material for this article I found that continuously, instead of adhering to the task of organizing and formatting the text and the copies of the documents, I would be drawn to the translations of the documents. I would find myself over and over and over again reading the translations and as I did the emotions of disgust, repulsion and anger would begin to grow as I read the agreement between two powerful countries, led by two deranged mad men, presented in a contractual format as if they were documenting an agreement for the use of land which includes a right of way, which was in fact an agreement on the control of lands that were not theirs and the control of the free people that owned these lands and who’s land was their home.
While I understand nothing written in the cryptic alphabet of the Russian language and very little of written German, I would also find myself, for time on, end staring at the copies of the actual documents. Over and over I would look at these documents and realize that it was these very documents, that with a mere stroke of a pen that resulted in millions of innocent lives being lost and millions of more lives being changed forever.
Dear readers, we would be very interested to hear of your thoughts after reading these documents and their translations.
Note from Saulius Sužiedėlis: Some frames of the microfilm copies of the German-Soviet pacts housed in the National Archives in Washington, D.C. are not in the best condition. The German and Russian-language facsimiles of the German-Soviet Nonaggression Pact of 23 August 1939 and the Secret Supplementary Protocol presented here were published in Jan Szembek, Diariusz i teki (London: Polish Research Centre, 1972), iv, 752-760. The other texts are from the National Archives, T-120, Records of the German Foreign Office.
The German text of the Treaty of Nonaggression between Germany and the USSR, 23 August 1939, signed by Joachim von Ribbentrop and Vyacheslav Molotov.
The German text of the Supplementary Secret Protocol, 23 August 1939, signed by Joachim von Ribbentrop and Vyacheslav Molotov.
The Russian text of the Treaty of Nonaggression Between Germany and the Soviet Union, 23 August 1939, signed by Joachim von Ribbentrop and Vyacheslav Molotov.
The Russian text of the Supplementary Secret Protocol, 23 August 1939, signed by Joachim von Ribbentrop and Vyacheslav Molotov.
Source: Jan Szembek, Diariusz i Teki (London: Polish Research Centre, 1972), IV, 752-760 as provided by the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office Library.
THE DOCUMENTS IN TRANSLATION:
TEXTS OF TREATIES AND CORRESPONDENCE 1939-1941
- Treaty of Nonaggression Between Germany and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and the Secret Additional Protocol, 23 August 1939.
- Secret Additional Protocol of 28 September 1939 Amending the Secret Agreement of 23 August 1939.
- German-Soviet Boundary and Friendship Treaty of 28 September 1939; Confidential Protocols Concerning Repatriation and Political Subjugation of Poland; Declaration of the German Reich and the Government of the USSR.
- German-Soviet Protocol of 10 January 1941 Concerning Transfer of the Rights to the Suwalki Strip to the USSR.
GERMAN CORRESPONDENCE ON THE PACT, OCTOBER 1939
- The German Foreign Minister Ribbentrop, to the German Ambassador in Moscow, Schulenberg.
- The German Minister in Kaunas Informed of the Secret Protocol; Zechlin Reports on Lithuanian Reaction.
- Ribbentrop Tells German Envoys in the Baltic About the Secret Protocol.
EDITOR'S NOTE: The English-language translations of the German and Russian documents presented are taken from the following sources with only slight adaptations: Raymond Janes Sontag and James Stuart Beddie, ed. Nazi-Soviet Relations: Documents from the Archives of the German Foreign Office (Washington, D.C.: Dept. of State, 1948), 76-78, 105-107; Paul R. Sweet et. al, ed., Documents on German Foreign Policy 1918-1945: From the Archives of the German Foreign Ministry. (Washington: Dept. of State, 1949-1964), Series D, Vol. VIII (1954), 166; Vol. XI (1960), 1068. The three documents of October 1939 are from the German Foreign Office files, from Documents, Vol. VIII, 214-215, 238. These and other documents are conveniently assembled in Bronis J. Kasias, ed. The USSR-German Aggression Against Lithuania (New York: Robert Speller and Sons, 1973).
Treaty of Nonaggression Between Germany and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics
The Government of the German Reich and the Government of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics desirous of strengthening the cause of peace between Germany and the U.S.S.R., and proceeding from the fundamental provisions of the Neutrality Agreement concluded in April 1926 between Germany and the U.S.S.R., have reached the following agreement:
Both High Contracting Parties obligate themselves to desist from any act of violence, any aggressive action, and any attack on each other either individually or jointly with other powers.
Should one of the High Contracting Parties become the object of belligerent action by a third power, the other High Contracting Party shall in no manner lend its support to this third power.
The Governments of the two High Contracting Parties shall in the future maintain continual contact with one another for the purpose of consultation in order to exchange information on problems affecting their common interests.
Neither of the two High Contracting Parties shall participate in any grouping of powers whatsoever that is directly or indirectly aimed at the other party.
Should disputes or conflicts arise between the High Contracting Parties over problems of one kind or another, both parties shall settle these disputes or conflicts exclusively through friendly exchange of opinion or, if necessary, through the establishment of arbitration commissions.
The present treaty is concluded for a period of ten years, with the proviso that, in so far as one of the High Contracting Parties does not denounce it one year prior to the expiration of this period, the validity of this treaty shall automatically be extended for another five years.
The present treaty shall be ratified within the shortest possible time. The ratifications shall be exchanged in Berlin. The agreement shall enter into force as soon as it is signed.
Done in duplicate, in the German and Russian languages.
Moscow, August 23, 1939.
For the Government
of the German Reich:
With full power of the
Government of the U.S.S.R.:
Secret Additional Protocol
On the occasion of the signature of the Nonaggression Pact between the German Reich and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics the undersigned plenipotentiaries of each of the two parties discussed in strictly confidential conversations the question of the boundary of their respective spheres of influence in Eastern Europe. These conversations led to the following conclusions:
1. In the event of a territorial and political rearrangement in the areas belonging to the Baltic States (Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania), the northern boundary of Lithuania shall represent the boundary of the spheres of influence of Germany and the U.S.S.R. In this connection the interest of Lithuania in the Vilnius area is recognized by each party.
2. In the event of a territorial and political rearrangement of the areas belonging to the Polish state the spheres of influence of Germany and the U.S.S.R. shall be bounded approximately by the line of the rivers Narew, Vistula, and San.
The question of whether the interests of both parties make desirable the maintenance of an independent Polish state and how such a state should be bounded can only be definitely determined in the course of further political developments. In any event both Governments will resolve this question by means of a friendly agreement.
3. With regard to Southeastern Europe attention is called by the Soviet side to its interest in Bessarabia. The German side declares its complete political disinterestedness in the areas.
4. This protocol shall be treated by both parties as strictly secret.
Moscow, August 23, 1939.
For the Government
of the German Reich:
With full power of the
Government of the U.S.S.R.:
Secret Additional Protocol of 28 September 1939
The undersigned plenipotentiaries declare the agreement of the Government of the German Reich and the Government of the U.S.S.R. upon the following:
The Secret Additional Protocol signed on August 23,1939, shall be amended in item 1 to the effect that the territory of the Lithuanian state falls to the sphere of influence of the U.S.S.R., while, on the other hand, the province of Lublin and parts of the province of Warsaw fall to the sphere of influence of Germany (cf. the map attached to the Boundary and Friendship Treaty signed today). As soon as the Government of the U.S.S.R. shall take special measures on Lithuanian territory to protect its interests, the present German-Lithuanian border, for the purpose of a natural and simple boundary delineation, shall be rectified in such a way that the Lithuanian territory situated to the southwest of the line marked on the attached map falls to Germany.
Further it is declared that the economic agreements now in force between Germany and Lithuania shall not be affected by the measures of the Soviet Union referred to above.
Moscow, September 28, 1939
For the Government
of the German Reich:
With full power of the
Government of the U.S.S.R.:
German-Soviet Boundary and Friendship Treaty of September 28, 1939
The Government of the German Reich and the Government of the U.S.S.R. consider it exclusively their task, after the collapse of the former Polish state, to re-establish peace and order in these territories and to assure to the peoples living there a peaceful life in keeping with their national character. To this end, they have agreed upon the following:
The Government of the German Reich and the Government of the U.S.S.R. determine as the boundary of the respective national interests in the territory of the former Polish state the line marked on the attached map, which shall be described in more detail in a supplementary protocol.
Both parties recognize the boundary of the respective national interests established in Article 1 as definitive and shall reject any interference of third powers in this settlement.
The necessary reorganization of public administration will be effected in the areas west of the line specified in 1 by the Government of the German Reich, in the areas east of the line by the Government of the U.S.S.R.
The Government of the German Reich and the Government the U.S.S.R. regard this settlement as a firm foundation for a progressive development of the friendly relations between their peoples.
This treaty shall be ratified and the ratifications shall be exchanged in Berlin as soon as possible. The treaty becomes effective upon signature.
Done in duplicate, in the German and Russian languages.
Moscow, September 28, 1939
For the Government
of the German Reich:
With full power of the
Government of the U.S.S.R.:
The Government of the U.S.S.R. shall place no obstacles in the way of Reich nationals and other persons of German descent residing in the territories under its jurisdiction, if they desire to migrate to Germany or to the territories under German jurisdiction. It agrees that such removals shall be carried out by agents of the Government of the Reich in cooperation with the competent local authorities and that the property rights of the emigrants shall be protected.
A corresponding obligation is assumed by the Government of the German Reich in respect to the persons of Ukrainian or Belorussian descent residing in the territories under its jurisdiction.
Moscow, September 28, 1939
For the Government
of the German Reich:
With full power of the
Government of the U.S.S.R.:
Secret Additional Protocol
The undersigned plenipotentiaries, on concluding the German-Russian Boundary and Friendship Treaty, have declared their agreement upon the following:
Both parties will tolerate no Polish agitation in their territories which affects the territories of the other party. They will suppress in their territories all beginnings of such agitation and inform each other concerning suitable measures for this purpose.
Moscow, September 28, 1939
For the Government
of the German Reich:
With full power of the
Government of the U.S.S.R.:
German-Soviet Secret Protocol
The German Ambassador, Count von der Schulenburg, Plenipotentiary of the Government of the German Reich, on the one hand, and the Chairman of the Council of People's Commissars of the U.S.S.R., V.M. Molotov, Plenipotentiary of the Government of the U.S.S.R., on the other hand, have agreed upon the following:
1. The Government of the German Reich renounces its claim to the strip of Lithuanian territory which is mentioned in the Secret Additional Protocol of September 28, 1939, and which has been marked on the map attached to this Protocol;
2. The Government of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics is prepared to compensate the Government of the German Reich for the territory mentioned in Point 1 of this Protocol by paying 7,500,000 gold dollars or 31,500,000 million reichsmarks to Germany.
The amount of 31,5 million Reichsmarks will be paid by the Government of the U.S.S.R. in the following manner: one-eight, that is, 3,937,500 Reichsmarks, in nonferrous metal deliveries within three months after the signing of this Protocol, the remaining seven-eights, or 27,562,500 Reichsmarks in gold by deduction from the German gold payments which Germany is to make by February 11, 1941, in accordance with the correspondence exchanged between the Chairman of the German Economic Delegation, Dr. Schnurre, and the People's Commissar for Foreign Trade of the U.S.S.R., A.I. Mikoyan, in connection with the "Agreement of January 10,1941, concerning reciprocal deliveries in the second treaty period on the basis of the Economic Agreement between the German Reich and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics of February 11, 1940."
3. This Protocol has been executed in two originals in the German language and two originals in the Russian language and shall become effective immediately upon signature.
Moscow, January 10, 1941.
For the Government
of the German Reich:
By authority of the
Government of the U.S.S.R.:
V. Molotov (Seal)
From the German Foreign Minister, Ribbentrop, to the German Ambassador in Moscow, Schulenburg
No. 497 of October 4
Berlin, October 5, 1939—3:43 a.m.
Received Moscow, October 5, 1939—11:55 a.m.
Referring to today's telephonic communication from the Ambassador.
The Legation in Kaunas is being instructed as follows:
1) Solely for your personal information, I am apprising you of the following: At the time of the signing of the German-Russian Nonagression Pact on August 23, a strictly secret delimitation of the respective spheres of influence in Eastern Europe was also undertaken. In accordance therewith, Lithuania was to belong to the German sphere of influence, while in the territory of the former Polish state, the so-called four-river line, Pissa-Narew-Vistula-San, was to constitute the border. Even then I demanded that the district of Vilnius go to Lithuania, to which the Soviet Government consented. At the negotiations concerning the Boundary and Friendship Treaty on September 28, the settlement was amended to the extent that Lithuania, including the Vilnius area, was included in the Russian sphere of influence, for which in turn, in the Polish area, the province of Lublin and large portions of the province of Warsaw, including the pocket of territory of Suwalki, fell within the German sphere of influence. Since, by the inclusion of the Suwalki tract in the German sphere of influence a difficulty in drawing the border line resulted, we agreed that in case the Soviets should take special measures in Lithuania, a small strip of territory in the southwest of Lithuania, accurately marked on the map, should fall to Germany.
2) Today Count von der Schulenburg reports that Molotov, contrary to our own intentions, notified the Lithuanian Foreign Minister last night of the confidential arrangement. Please now, on your part, inform the Lithuanian Government, orally and in strict confidence, of the matter, as follows:
As early as at the signing of the German-Soviet Nonagression Pact of August 23, in order to avoid complications in Eastern Europe, conversations were held between ourselves and the Soviet Government concerning the delimitation of German and Soviet spheres of influence. In these conversations I had recommended restoring the Vilnius district to Lithuania, to which the Soviet Government gave me its consent. In the negotiations concerning the Boundary and Friendship Treaty of September 28, as is apparent from the German-Soviet boundary demarcation which is published, the pocket of territory of Suwalki jutting out between Germany and Lithuania had fallen to Germany. As this created an intricate and impractical boundary, I had reserved for Germany a border correction in this area, whereby a small strip of Lithuanian territory would fall to Germany. The award of Vilnius to Lithuania was maintained in these negotiations also. You are now authorized to make it known to the Lithuanian Government that the Reich Government does not consider the question of this border revision timely at this moment. We make the proviso, however, that the Lithuanian Government treat this matter as strictly confidential. End of instruction for Kaunas.
I request you to inform Mr. Molotov of our communication to the Lithuanian Government. Further, please request of him, as already indicated in the preceding telegram, that the border strip of Lithuanian territory involved be left free in the event of a possible posting of Soviet trrops in Lithuania and also that it be left to Germany to determine the date of the implementing of the agreement concerning the cession to Germany of the territory involved. Both of these points at issue should be set forth in a secret exchange of letters between yourself and Molotov.
From the German Minister in Kaunas, Zechlin, to the German Foreign Office
No. 175 of October 5
Kaunas, October 5, (1939)—7:55 p.m.
Received October 5—10:30 p.m.
With reference to telegram No. 252 of October 5 (4)
[Deputy Prime Minister Kazys] Bizauskas sent for me today even before I could ask for an appointment with the Foreign Minister as instructed in telegram No. 252; he first made excuses for Mr. Urbšys, who was completely occupied today with continuous discussions in the Cabinet and therefore unfortunately could not speak with me himself. He then informed me that Molotov had told Urbšys that Germany had laid claim to a strip of Lithuanian territory, the limits of which included the city and district of Naumiestis and continued on past the vicinity of Mariampolė. This had made a deep and painful impression on Lithuania, and Urbšys had flown back to Kaunas partly because of this information, which he had not wished to transmit by telephone.
The Lithuanian Government has instructed Škirpa to make inquiries in Berlin.
I told him that in the Moscow discussions on the delimitation of the German and Soviet spheres of interest, the Reich Foreign Minister had advocated giving the Vilnius area to Lithuania and had also obtained the Soviet Government's agreement in the matter. While Lithuania had the prospect of such a great increase in territory a difficult and impracticable boundary in the vicinity of the Suwalki tip had come into existence because of the German-Soviet border division. Therefore the idea of a small border rectification at the German-Lithuanian frontier had also emerged in the course of these negotiations; but I could inform him that the German Government did not consider the question pressing. Bizauskas received this information with visible relief and asked me to transmit the thanks of the Lithuanian Government on his score to the Reich Government. Furthermore he asked on his part that the matter be kept strictly secret, which I promised him.
I might add that since the fixing of the German-Soviet frontier became known, political quarters here have had great hopes of obtaining the Suwalki tip from Germany.
From the German Foreign Minister, Ribbentrop, to the German Ministers in Tallinn, Riga and Helsinki
(1) To Talinn, N. 257
(2) To Riga, No. 328
(3) To Helskin, No. 318
Berlin, October 7, 1939
Exclusively for the Minister personally.
Supplementing our telegrams No. 241 to (1), No. 303 to (2) and No. 305 to (3), I am communicating the following to you in strict secrecy and for your personal information only:
During the Moscow negotiations with the Soviet Government the question of delimiting the spheres of interest of both countries in Eastern Europe was discussed in strict confidence, not only with reference to the area of the former Polish state, but also with reference to the countries of Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, and Finland. At the same time the delimitation of the spheres of interest was agreed upon for the eventuality of a territorial and political reorganization in these areas. The borderline fixed for this purpose for the territory of the former Polish state is the line designated in article 1 of the German-Soviet Boundary and Friendship Treaty of September 28 and publicly announced. Otherwise, the line is identical with the German-Lithuanian frontier. Thus it follows that Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, and Finland do not belong to the German sphere of interest in the sense indicated above.
You are requested to refrain, as heretofore, from any explanations on this subject.
The Foreign Minister
We would like to thank Lituanus for their kind permission to share this article with you.
LITHUANIAN QUARTERLY JOURNAL OF ARTS AND SCIENCES
Volume 35 - Spring 1989
Editor of this issue: Saulius Sužiedėlis
THE MOLOTOV - RIBBENTROP PACT: THE DOCUMENTS
Mervyn Bedford at one of the many Oxford landmarks of higher education.
How soon will human beings be wired to the super computers?
Because I know Aage Myhre and his wife and very much respect what he is trying to do for Lithuania, I offered to write of educational values for the new version of VilNews. The Baltic nations have a perfect opportunity to change the map of educational provision in ways that better fit the rapidly changing world of the 21st. century. Education is not about buildings. It is not about systems and organisations. It is not about tests and inspections. It is about people and the relationships between those who want to learn, or need to learn, and those who already know it. For almost 150 years State school systems have imposed a model of teaching and learning that has hardly changed while society has fundamentally changed and, recently, very rapidly. Those changes are racing unseen towards our youngest children.
At a conference in Norway in 2009, reported in the respected UK magazine “New Scientist,” experts discussed how soon human beings will need to be wired to the super computers rapidly arriving in the work place. Earliest suggested date was 2045. At MIT in the US by 2029 they will have computers able to replicate human thought and decision by copying the chemical and electrical patterns in the human brain. Two Oxford University teachers have argued in print about whether it is right to allow students drugs to enhance their brain performance. Drugs to provide specific hours of sleep and brain implants that help deaf children to hear and paralysed limbs to move already exist. Job requirements in a very few years time and the character of society will change dramatically. We do not have long to get a school system right.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will this week visit Hungary and Lithuania as part of a tour focused on promoting human rights and democracy.
Clinton will be in Budapest for the opening of the Lantos Institute, named after Tom Lantos, the Hungarian-born Holocaust survivor and outspoken global human rights advocate who died in 2008.
The event "is an opportunity to reinforce our commitment to pluralism," said Tomicah Tillemann, a senior advisor for civil society and emerging democracies.
The top US diplomat will also meet with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban and Foreign Minister Janos Martonyi as Hungary's right-wing government comes under fire over the direction it has been taking the country.
On the 30th of June 30 Clinton will travel to Vilnius for the Community of Democracies ministerial meeting that will bring together senior government officials, parliamentarians, non-government organizations, women and youth leaders and the private sector.
Their aim will be "to advance the shared goals of strengthening civil society and support emerging democracies," State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said in a statement.
She will also meet President Dalia Grybauskaite, Prime Minister Andrius Kubilius and other Lithuanian officials, Nuland said.
In the runup to the ministerial meeting, Tillemann said, there will be a meeting to help 85 civil society activists from Belarus and other countries in the region to learn how to use technology better to advance their aims.
Earlier this month US President Barack Obama extended sanctions on Belarus over its violent suppression of protests and arrest of opposition figures in the wake of December's disputed elections.
Viktorija Čmilytė from Šiauliai wins European Women Championship
Lithuanian Viktorija Čmilytė (born 6 August 1983 in Šiauliai) has won the European Women Championship in Tbilisi, Georgia. The grandmaster finished clear first with a score of 9 out of 11. Former World Champion GM Antoaneta Stefanova of Bulgaria took the silver medal with 8.5/11 while GM Elina Danielian of Armenia edged out IM Svetlana Matveeva (Russia) on tie-break to win bronze.
The 12th European Individual Women’s Championships took place 6-18 May 2011 in Tbilisi. It was organized by the Georgian Chess Federation, under the auspices of the Tbilisi City Hall and the European Chess Union. The tournament hall was in the Sheraton Metechi Palace Hotel of the Georgian capital.
The tournament was open all female players representing the federations which comprise the European Chess Union (FIDE zones 1.1 to 1.10) regardless of their title or rating. There was also no limit of participants per federation.
The championship was an 11-round Swiss. The rate of play was 90 minutes for 40 moves plus 30 minutes for the rest of the game with an increment of 30 seconds per move, starting from move one.
Viktorija Cmilyte had an excellent start and won her first five games. By then she was leading by a full point, but in the next round she lost to Antoaneta Stefanova. Eventually this would be her only loss.
After an easy win against Russian IM Marina Romanko and a draw with Black against IM Bela Khotenashvili, some crucial games followed. Cmilyte beat two experienced grandmasters in a row: Pia Cramling with White and Ketevan Arakhamia-Grant Ketevan with Black. Two quick draws on the top boards in the final round meant that, the Lithuanian lady kept her sole lead in the final standings.
“Help me. I am a sex slave from Lithuania. Please call the police and protect me,” says a note which the Danish newspaper Ekstra Bladet got access to this week. It was a terrible view meeting the Danish police when they found the 19-year old Lithuanian girl in a lapidated Copenhagen apartment this week. The woman stayed in very miserable conditions.
“The kitchen was, in my opinion not suitable for people and there were cockroaches everywhere. Moreover, we found evidence that someone had managed to fit a padlock on the outside of the door into the woman's room,” says Trine Møller Andersen, head of the Copenhagen Police group against women trafficking.
The young Lithuanian woman lived in an inhuman nightmare in which she had been kept as a sex slave.
When she was not serving sex clients, who apparently could not feel the soggy conditions in the 'sex-nest', she lived in a spartan, unhygienic room with only a mattress on the floor and old, dirty bed linens full of cockroaches.
Outside the room the door was mounted a bracket made ready so it could put a padlock on - if the sex slave should get ideas about escaping.
But the woman had still succeeded in sending a cry for help to a friend in Lithuania over the Internet and asked her to contact the Lithuanian police to tell that she was incarcerated against her will.
And after the Copenhagen police on Monday received an official request from the Lithuanian police via Europol, they soon found the woman's 'prison'.
And it was a depressing sight that met them in the apartment where the woman lived and served men that her pimp brought to her.
The 19-year-old woman began to cry, but when she found out that it was the police, she gave a handwritten note to the female police officer who found her, which in English told that she was kept as a sex slave, that she wanted to contact the police and that she did not speak English. The woman's pimp, a Lithuanian 36-year old man, was also found on the site.
He was arrested and charged with violation of Penal Code provisions on trafficking. He was remanded in custody for four weeks in Copenhagen.
“The woman was in physically fine form. She had not been beaten. But she was shocked and scared and very influenced by the situation,” says Trine Møller Andersen, leader of the group against woman trafficking at the Copenhagen Police. She had never seen a similar case, since she started in the group in 2008.
The much older perpetrator had recruited the woman in Lithuania. Here he had got her drunk and had persuaded her to go to Denmark and work as a prostitute with the promise of good earnings as a pawn.
The man then transported her to Denmark and placed her in an apartment in a Copenhagen district, where she also served customers. The perpetrator found the customers, and the woman got only a very small payment. The woman had lived in Denmark for little over a week when the police found her.
The young woman from Lithuania is now at a women’s shelter. She will later return home to Lithuania in accordance with her own wish.
“It's the classic story of these women who do not have the longest school education and who are in desperate need of money, so they can be lured here,” tells Trine Møller Andersen to Ekstrabladet.
20% of Lithuanian victims are underage girls
Lithuania is a source, transit, and destination country for women and children trafficked for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation. One estimate concluded that approximately 20 percent of Lithuanian trafficking victims are underage girls. Lithuanian women are trafficked within the country and to the United Kingdom, Germany, the Netherlands, Greece, Italy, France, and the Czech Republic for the purpose of forced prostitution. Women from Belarus are trafficked to Lithuania for the same purpose.
- U.S. State Dept Trafficking in Persons Report, June, 2009 [full country report]
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