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22 August 2017
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Archive for December, 2011

New Year’s Eve in Lithuania!

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The New Year Eve party in the Skybar of Hotel Radisson Blu Lietuva in
Vilnius has become a classic tradition…
Info at:
http://www.lithuaniantours.com

Text: Saulene Valskyte

In Lithuania Christmas Eve is a family event and the New Year’s Eve a great party with friends!

Lithuanian say "Kaip sutiksi naujus metus, taip juos ir praleisi" (the way you'll meet the new year is the way you will spend it). So everyone is trying to spend New Year’s Eve with friend and have as much fun as possible.

Read more...

Category : Front page

New Year’s Eve in Lithuania!

- Posted by - (2) Comment


The New Year Eve party in the Skybar of Hotel Radisson Blu Lietuva in
Vilnius has become a classic tradition…
Info at:
http://www.lithuaniantours.com

Text: Saulene Valskyte

In Lithuania Christmas Eve is a family event and the New Year’s Eve a great party with friends!

Lithuanian say "Kaip sutiksi naujus metus, taip juos ir praleisi" (the way you'll meet the new year is the way you will spend it). So everyone is trying to spend New Year’s Eve with friend and have as much fun as possible.

Lithuanian New Year’s traditions are very similar to those in other countries, and actually were similar since many years ago. Also, the traditional Lithuanian New Years Eve party was very similar to other big celebrations throughout the year.

The New Year’s Eve table is quite similar to the Christmas Eve table, but without straws under the tablecloth, and now including meat dishes. A tradition that definitely hasn't changes is that everybody is trying not to fell asleep before midnight. It was said that if you oversleep the midnight point you will be lazy all the upcoming year.

People were also trying to get up early on the first day of the new year, because waking up late also meant a very lazy and unfortunate year.
During the New Year celebration people were dancing, singing, playing games and doing magic to guess the future. People didn't drink much of alcohol, especially was that the case for women.

Here are some advices from elders:
- During the New Year, be very nice and listen to relatives - what you are during New Year Eve, you will be throughout the year.

- During to the New Year Eve, try not to fall, because if this happens, next year you will be unhappy.

- If in the start of the New Year, the first news are good – then the year will be successful. If not – the year will be problematic.

New year predictions
* If during New Year eve it's snowing – then it will be bad weather all year round. If the day is fine – one can expect good harvest.

* If New Year's night is cold and starry – look forward to a good summer!

* If the during New Year Eve trees are covered with frost – then it will be a good year. If it is wet weather 
on New Year's Eve, one can expect a year where many will die and dangerous epidemics occur.

* If the first day of the new year is snowy – the upcoming year will see many young people die. If the night is snowy – mostly old people will die.

* If the New Year time is cold – then Easter will be warm.

* If during New Year there are a lot of birds in your homestead – then all year around there will be many guests and the year will be fun.

Games and magic
Most of Christmas eve games were played also on New Year’s eve, but some are special also for this celebration...

-On the New Year’s Night girls write 12 male names on 13 little sheets of paper (one is left empty). She fold them and put them under her pillow. In the morning she should draw one without looking – the name she draws will show the name of her future husband (if it's the empty one she will stay single). If a girl wakes up at night and make her draw then, she must put the paper piece onto the bedside table and read it in the morning. Guys can do the same only writing female names.

-Young people sit around the table, puts key, ring, little glass of water or some money on the plates and cover them. Then mix the plates. One by one the players choose plates. The one that gets a ring will get married, water means one will get an alcoholic husband/wife, a key means one will move to a new home, and, of course, money means one will be rich.

Nowadays the New Year’s Eve celebration is very similar to everywhere else. Some celebrates at home, some in clubs, some rents houses somewhere out of town. People are still trying not to fell asleep until the midnight and still have great time.

Lithuanians do not make much out of New Year promises or intentions, or they do them quietly to themselves.

At midnight we gather together outside (on bridges, squares or in little town centres) to watch fireworks and wish each other HAPPY NEW YEAR!.

Happy new year to you all! Be creative, positive and happy, let all your dreams come true and stay true to who you are.


Laimingų Naujųjų Metų! From Saulene.

More information about Lithuanian New Year traditions at:
http://neris.mii.lt/EN/HOLIDAYS/new_years.php

Category : Food, wine and more

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A Lithuanian at a Carnatic kutcheri, can come as a mild surprise to some. But a Lithuanian learning and playing the mridangam?


Pranas and Ghatam Suresh.

“You would not know my country, let me write it down for you,” said the man challenging my general knowledge. In a sea of silk sarees of myriad colours, veshtis and angavastrams, he towered over the others, dressed in an olive green T-shirt and grey crop pants. He had the usual attributes of any tourist visiting south India, except that he belonged to a country with less than half the people in Chennai — Lithuania.

A Lithuanian at a Carnatic kutcheri, can come as a mild surprise to some. But a Lithuanian learning and playing the mridangam? As I listened to Pranas recount how he found Carnatic music in Eastern Europe, I wondered for a moment at the perceptiveness of the Canadian philosopher Marshall McLuhan. Was his idea of a global village actually taking shape, at least culturally?

Read more...

Category : News

The Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic

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Flag of Lithuanian SSR.

The Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic (Lithuanian: Lietuvos Tarybų Socialistinė Respublika; Russian: Литовская Советская Социалистическая Республика, Litovskaya Sovetskaya Sotsialisticheskaya Respublika), also known as the Lithuanian SSR, was one of the republics that made up the former Soviet Union. Established on 21 July 1940 as a puppet state during World War II in the territory of the previously independent Republic of Lithuania after it had been occupied by the Soviet army on 16 June 1940 in conformity with the terms of 23 August 1939 Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, it existed until 1990.

Read more...

Video: National anthem of Lithuanian SSR

Category : Front page

The Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic

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Flag of Lithuanian SSR.

The Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic (Lithuanian: Lietuvos Tarybų Socialistinė Respublika; Russian: Литовская Советская Социалистическая Республика, Litovskaya Sovetskaya Sotsialisticheskaya Respublika), also known as the Lithuanian SSR, was one of the republics that made up the former Soviet Union. Established on 21 July 1940 as a puppet state during World War II in the territory of the previously independent Republic of Lithuania after it had been occupied by the Soviet army on 16 June 1940 in conformity with the terms of 23 August 1939 Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, it existed until 1990. Between 1941 and 1944, the German invasion of the Soviet Union caused its de facto dissolution. However, with the retreat of the Germans in 1944–1945, Soviet hegemony was re-established. There had been an unsuccessful attempt to establish a Soviet government in Lithuania by the Bolshevik Red Army in 1918–1919.

World War I
The Lithuanian SSR was first proclaimed on 16 December 1918, by the provisional revolutionary government of Lithuania, formed entirely by the Communist Party of Lithuania. The Lithuanian SSR was supported by the Red Army, but it failed to create a de facto government with any popular support as the Council of Lithuania had successfully done earlier. Two months later on 27 February 1919, it was joined by the Soviet Socialist Republic of Byelorussia and they proclaimed the Lithuanian–Belorussian Soviet Socialist Republic (LBSSR or Litbel), which existed for only six months, until 25 August 1919. The Russian Soviet Federated Socialist Republic officially recognized the Republic of Lithuania by signing the Soviet–Lithuanian Peace Treaty on 12 July 1920, thus ending the existence of the fledgling Soviet Republic. It has been suggested that the failure to conquer Poland in the Polish–Soviet War prevented the Soviets from invading Lithuania and re-establishing a Soviet republic at the time.

World War II and occupation
The Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact of August 1939, between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union, stated that Lithuania was to be included into the German "sphere of influence", but after the World War II broke out in September 1939 the agreement was amended to transfer Lithuania to the Soviet sphere. This was granted in exchange for Lublin and parts of the Warsaw province of Poland, originally ascribed to the Soviet Union, but by that time already occupied by German forces. The Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic was established on 21 July 1940 (after Communist rule was forced upon Lithuania following the Soviet ultimatum and subsequent invasion of 15 June 1940). On 3 August 1940, a hastily formed communist government announced that the Lithuanian SSR would become a part of the Soviet Union, i.e. the 14th constituent republic of the USSR. Its territory was subsequently invaded and occupied by Nazi Germany in June 1941, but with the Baltic offensive, Soviet rule was re-established there in July 1944. After both Soviet occupations mass deportation of the Lithuanians into gulags and other forced settlements ensued.

1940 Soviet map of the Lithuanian SSR
The United States, United Kingdom, and other countries considered the occupation of Lithuania by the USSR illegal, citing the Stimson Doctrine, in 1940, but recognized all borders of the USSR at post-World War II conferences. In spite of this, the United States refused to recognize the annexation of Lithuania or the other Baltic States, by the Soviet Union, at any time of the existence of the USSR.

In addition to the human and material losses suffered due to war, several waves of deportations affected Lithuania. During the mass deportation campaign of 14–18 June 1941, about 12,600 people were deported to Siberia without investigation or trial, 3,600 people were imprisoned, and more than 1,000 were killed. After the Lithuanian SSR was re-established in 1944, an estimated 120,000 to 300,000 Lithuanians were either killed or deported to Siberia and other remote parts of the Soviet Union. The Potsdam Conference of 1945 attributed the Klaipėda Region to the Lithuanian SSR.

Lithuania declared independence as the Republic of Lithuania on 11 March 1990. All legal ties of the Soviet Union's sovereignty over the republic were cut as Lithuania declared the restitution of its independence. The Soviet Union claimed that this declaration was illegal, as Lithuania had to follow the process of secession mandated in the Soviet Constitution if it wanted to leave. Lithuania contended that the entire process by which Lithuania joined the Soviet Union violated both Lithuanian and international law so it was merely reasserting an independence that previously existed.

Iceland immediately recognised Lithuania's independence. Most other countries followed suit after the 1991 Soviet coup d'état attempt, with the government of the remaining USSR (Moscow) recognising Lithuania's independence on 6 September 1991.

Economy
Collectivization in the Lithuanian SSR took place between 1947 and 1952.

The 1990 per capita GDP of the Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic was $8,591, which was above the average for the rest of the Soviet Union of $6,871. This was still half or less than half of the per capita GDPs of adjacent countries Norway ($18,470), Sweden ($17,680) and Finland ($16,868). Overall, in the Eastern Bloc, the inefficiency of systems without competition or market-clearing prices became costly and unsustainable, especially with the increasing complexity of world economics. Such systems, which required party-state planning at all levels, ended up collapsing under the weight of accumulated economic inefficiencies, with various attempts at reform merely contributing to the acceleration of crisis-generating tendencies.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
Category : Historical Lithuania

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How did communism influence Lithuania’s economic development?

A report by: Valdas Samonis
The Institute for New Economic Thinking, USA


Photo: http://www.landesa.org/where-we-work/more/lithuania/

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?

Read more...

Category : Front page / Historical Lithuania

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“Even today the Russians deny the fact that they occupied Lithuania.
So, the Lithuanians went to Siberia on their own initiative and shot themselves there”


Dalia Kuodyte.

The former head of the Center for the Study of Genocide and Resistance in Lithuania, deputy of the Lithuanian Seimas Dalia KUDYTE who attended the conference “The Lithuanian Experience in Overcoming the Consequences of the Totalitarianism” in Kyiv (organized by the Center for the Study of the Liberation Movement with the assistance of the Lithuanian embassy in Ukraine) told Den about the importance of a spiritual leader for a country and about the ways to return the national history.

“WE HAVE LAID THE FOUNDATION FOR THE NEW LITHUANIAN MENTALITY. WE CANNOT COME BACK TO THE SOVIET PAST”

Read more...

Category : News

My great – grandfather’s remains were brought home in a suitcase

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The farm where my wife’s great-grandfather lived
before the deportation to Siberia.

By Aage Myhre, Editor-in-Chief

Egle, my wife, comes into my study here in Vilnius as I am preparing the articles about the deportations to Siberia. "You should tell the story of my great-grandfather," she says. Because she, like almost all other families in Lithuania had relatives who were sent to Siberia. Many never returned, as was the case with her ​​great-grandfather.

"Before the war, he lived and worked in the U.S.," Egle explains, "there he was exposed to an accident where he lost one leg. He therefore came back to Lithuania during the interwar years. When the war came, he had unfortunately also lost his wife and son, so he lived on the family farm with his daughter in law and his grandchildren."

"Suddenly, one day, men from the NKVD, Stalin’s gruesome special unit, came to the farm. My great-grandfather’s daughter in law managed to escape, hiding in the woods by the house. She thought they would not send an old, one-legged man and small children to Siberia. But she was wrong... 

The agents threw the youngest daughter to the dog house, leaving her to what could have led to a merciless starvation and certain death, whereas the two other children and my great-grandfather were brought to the waiting truck. When she saw this, she also ran to the truck and thus became one of the many who were deported. 

“On the train, already deep into Siberia, my great-grandfather died,” Egle tells with tears in her eyes."Fortunately, the train made ​​a short stop, long enough for the daughter in law and her two children to bury him there, next to the railroad track. The three were years later all able to return to Lithuania from their Siberia-stay, but could not forget my great-grandfather's sad fate, so some years later they returned to Siberia to try to find his grave. They succeeded, incredible enough, to find the place where they had put him, at the railway track. They dug up the remains, put the bones into plastic bags, then into a large suitcase and flew home to Lithuania - with my great-grandfather in the suitcase. Here in Lithuania his remains were buried in accordance with good Catholic customs. 

“My great-grandfather had finally come home."

Read more...

Category : Front page

A sad 70th anniversary

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In June 1941, the first massive arrest and deportation of the Lithuanian population was perpetrated. A cargo of 17.500 people were crammed into cattle cars. Moscow’s instruction often required separation of men from their families: some 4.000 men were separated and transported to concentration camps in the Krasnoyarsk territory while 13.500 women, children and elderly people were transported mostly to Kazakhstan, the Altai Mountains territory, Russia’s republic of Komi, the Tomsk region, and the Arctic zone.

Read more...

Category : Front page

OPINIONS

Have your say. Send to:
editor@VilNews.com


By Dr. Boris Vytautas Bakunas,
Ph. D., Chicago

A wave of unity sweeps the international Lithuanian community on March 11th every year as Lithuanians celebrated the anniversary of the Lithuanian Parliament's declaration of independence from the Soviet Union in 1990. However, the sense of national unity engendered by the celebration could be short-lived.

Human beings have a strong tendency to overgeneralize and succumb to stereotypical us-them distinctions that can shatter even the strongest bonds. We need only search the internet to find examples of divisive thinking at work:

- "50 years of Soviet rule has ruined an entire generation of Lithuanian.

- "Those who fled Lithuania during World II were cowards -- and now they come back, flaunt their wealth, and tell us 'true Lithuanians' how to live."

- "Lithuanians who work abroad have abandoned their homeland and should be deprived of their Lithuanian citizenship."

Could such stereotypical, emotionally-charged accusations be one of the main reasons why relations between Lithuania's diaspora groups and their countrymen back home have become strained?

Read more...
* * *


Text: Saulene Valskyte

In Lithuania Christmas Eve is a family event and the New Year's Eve a great party with friends!
Lithuanian say "Kaip sutiksi naujus metus, taip juos ir praleisi" (the way you'll meet the new year is the way you will spend it). So everyone is trying to spend New Year's Eve with friend and have as much fun as possible.

Lithuanian New Year's traditions are very similar to those in other countries, and actually were similar since many years ago. Also, the traditional Lithuanian New Years Eve party was very similar to other big celebrations throughout the year.

The New Year's Eve table is quite similar to the Christmas Eve table, but without straws under the tablecloth, and now including meat dishes. A tradition that definitely hasn't changes is that everybody is trying not to fell asleep before midnight. It was said that if you oversleep the midnight point you will be lazy all the upcoming year. People were also trying to get up early on the first day of the new year, because waking up late also meant a very lazy and unfortunate year.

During the New Year celebration people were dancing, singing, playing games and doing magic to guess the future. People didn't drink much of alcohol, especially was that the case for women.

Here are some advices from elders:
- During the New Year, be very nice and listen to relatives - what you are during New Year Eve, you will be throughout the year.

- During to the New Year Eve, try not to fall, because if this happens, next year you will be unhappy.

- If in the start of the New Year, the first news are good - then the year will be successful. If not - the year will be problematic.

New year predictions
* If during New Year eve it's snowing - then it will be bad weather all year round. If the day is fine - one can expect good harvest.
* If New Year's night is cold and starry - look forward to a good summer!
* If the during New Year Eve trees are covered with frost - then it will be a good year. If it is wet weather on New Year's Eve, one can expect a year where many will die and dangerous epidemics occur.
* If the first day of the new year is snowy - the upcoming year will see many young people die. If the night is snowy - mostly old people will die.
* If the New Year time is cold - then Easter will be warm.
* If during New Year there are a lot of birds in your homestead - then all year around there will be many guests and the year will be fun.

Read more...
* * *

* * *
VilNews
Christmas greetings
from Vilnius


* * *
Ukraine won the historic
and epic battle for the
future
By Leonidas Donskis
Kaunas
Philosopher, political theorist, historian of
ideas, social analyst, and political
commentator

Immediately after Russia stepped in Syria, we understood that it is time to sum up the convoluted and long story about Ukraine and the EU - a story of pride and prejudice which has a chance to become a story of a new vision regained after self-inflicted blindness.

Ukraine was and continues to be perceived by the EU political class as a sort of grey zone with its immense potential and possibilities for the future, yet deeply embedded and trapped in No Man's Land with all of its troubled past, post-Soviet traumas, ambiguities, insecurities, corruption, social divisions, and despair. Why worry for what has yet to emerge as a new actor of world history in terms of nation-building, European identity, and deeper commitments to transparency and free market economy?

Right? Wrong. No matter how troubled Ukraine's economic and political reality could be, the country has already passed the point of no return. Even if Vladimir Putin retains his leverage of power to blackmail Ukraine and the West in terms of Ukraine's zero chances to accede to NATO due to the problems of territorial integrity, occupation and annexation of Crimea, and mayhem or a frozen conflict in the Donbas region, Ukraine will never return to Russia's zone of influence. It could be deprived of the chances to join NATO or the EU in the coming years or decades, yet there are no forces on earth to make present Ukraine part of the Eurasia project fostered by Putin.

Read more...
* * *
Watch this video if you
want to learn about the
new, scary propaganda
war between Russia,
The West and the
Baltic States!


* * *
90% of all Lithuanians
believe their government
is corrupt
Lithuania is perceived to be the country with the most widespread government corruption, according to an international survey involving almost 40 countries.

Read more...
* * *
Lithuanian medical
students say no to
bribes for doctors

On International Anticorruption Day, the Special Investigation Service shifted their attention to medical institutions, where citizens encounter bribery most often. Doctors blame citizens for giving bribes while patients complain that, without bribes, they won't receive proper medical attention. Campaigners against corruption say that bribery would disappear if medical institutions themselves were to take resolute actions against corruption and made an effort to take care of their patients.

Read more...
* * *
Doing business in Lithuania

By Grant Arthur Gochin
California - USA

Lithuania emerged from the yoke of the Soviet Union a mere 25 years ago. Since then, Lithuania has attempted to model upon other European nations, joining NATO, Schengen, and the EU. But, has the Soviet Union left Lithuania?

During Soviet times, government was administered for the people in control, not for the local population, court decisions were decreed, they were not the administration of justice, and academia was the domain of ideologues. 25 years of freedom and openness should have put those bad experiences behind Lithuania, but that is not so.

Today, it is a matter of expectation that court pronouncements will be governed by ideological dictates. Few, if any Lithuanians expect real justice to be effected. For foreign companies, doing business in Lithuania is almost impossible in a situation where business people do not expect rule of law, so, surely Government would be a refuge of competence?

Lithuanian Government has not emerged from Soviet styles. In an attempt to devolve power, Lithuania has created a myriad of fiefdoms of power, each speaking in the name of the Government, each its own centralized power base of ideology.

Read more...
* * *
Greetings from Wales!
By Anita Šovaitė-Woronycz
Chepstow, Wales

Think of a nation in northern Europe whose population is around the 3 million mark a land of song, of rivers, lakes, forests, rolling green hills, beautiful coastline a land where mushrooms grow ready for the picking, a land with a passion for preserving its ancient language and culture.

Doesn't that sound suspiciously like Lithuania? Ah, but I didn't mention the mountains of Snowdonia, which would give the game away.

I'm talking about Wales, that part of the UK which Lithuanians used to call "Valija", but later named "Velsas" (why?). Wales, the nation which has welcomed two Lithuanian heads of state to its shores - firstly Professor Vytautas Landsbergis, who has paid several visits and, more recently, President Dalia Grybauskaitė who attended the 2014 NATO summit which was held in Newport, South Wales.
MADE IN WALES -
ENGLISH VERSION OF THE
AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF
VYTAUTAS LANDSBERGIS.

Read more...
* * *
IS IT POSSIBLE TO
COMMENT ON OUR
ARTICLES? :-)
Read Cassandra's article HERE

Read Rugile's article HERE

Did you know there is a comment field right after every article we publish? If you read the two above posts, you will see that they both have received many comments. Also YOU are welcome with your comments. To all our articles!
* * *

Greetings from Toronto
By Antanas Sileika,
Toronto, Canada

Toronto was a major postwar settlement centre for Lithuanian Displaced Persons, and to this day there are two Catholic parishes and one Lutheran one, as well as a Lithuanian House, retirement home, and nursing home. A new wave of immigrants has showed interest in sports.

Although Lithuanian activities have thinned over the decades as that postwar generation died out, the Lithuanian Martyrs' parish hall is crowded with many, many hundreds of visitors who come to the Lithuanian cemetery for All Souls' Day. Similarly, the Franciscan parish has standing room only for Christmas Eve mass.

Although I am firmly embedded in the literary culture of Canada, my themes are usually Lithuanian, and I'll be in Kaunas and Vilnius in mid-November 2015 to give talks about the Lithuanian translations of my novels and short stories, which I write in English.

If you have the Lithuanian language, come by to one of the talks listed in the links below. And if you don't, you can read more about my work at
www.anatanassileika.com

http://www.vdu.lt/lt/rasytojas-antanas-sileika-pristatys-savo-kuryba/
https://leu.lt/lt/lf/lf_naujienos/kvieciame-i-rasytojo-59hc.html
* * *

As long as VilNews exists,
there is hope for the future
Professor Irena Veisaite, Chairwoman of our Honorary Council, asked us to convey her heartfelt greetings to the other Council Members and to all readers of VilNews.

"My love and best wishes to all. As long as VilNews exists, there is hope for the future,"" she writes.

Irena Veisaite means very much for our publication, and we do hereby thank her for the support and wise commitment she always shows.

You can read our interview with her
HERE.
* * *
EU-Russia:
Facing a new reality

By Vygaudas Ušackas
EU Ambassador to the Russian Federation

Dear readers of VilNews,

It's great to see this online resource for people interested in Baltic affairs. I congratulate the editors. From my position as EU Ambassador to Russia, allow me to share some observations.

For a number of years, the EU and Russia had assumed the existence of a strategic partnership, based on the convergence of values, economic integration and increasingly open markets and a modernisation agenda for society.

Our agenda was positive and ambitious. We looked at Russia as a country ready to converge with "European values", a country likely to embrace both the basic principles of democratic government and a liberal concept of the world order. It was believed this would bring our relations to a new level, covering the whole spectrum of the EU's strategic relationship with Russia.

Read more...
* * *

The likelihood of Putin
invading Lithuania
By Mikhail Iossel
Professor of English at Concordia University, Canada
Founding Director at Summer Literary Seminars

The likelihood of Putin's invading Lithuania or fomenting a Donbass-style counterfeit pro-Russian uprising there, at this point, in my strong opinion, is no higher than that of his attacking Portugal, say, or Ecuador. Regardless of whether he might or might not, in principle, be interested in the insane idea of expanding Russia's geographic boundaries to those of the former USSR (and I for one do not believe that has ever been his goal), he knows this would be entirely unfeasible, both in near- and long-term historical perspective, for a variety of reasons. It is not going to happen. There will be no restoration of the Soviet Union as a geopolitical entity.

Read more...
* * *

Are all Lithuanian energy
problems now resolved?
By Dr. Stasys Backaitis,
P.E., CSMP, SAE Fellow Member of Central and Eastern European Coalition, Washington, D.C., USA

Lithuania's Energy Timeline - from total dependence to independence

Lithuania as a country does not have significant energy resources. Energy consuming infrastructure after WWII was small and totally supported by energy imports from Russia.

First nuclear reactor begins power generation at Ignalina in 1983, the second reactor in 1987. Iganlina generates enough electricity to cover Lithuania's needs and about 50%.for export. As, prerequisite for membership in EU, Ignalina ceases all nuclear power generation in 2009

The Klaipėda Sea terminal begins Russia's oil export operations in 1959 and imports in 1994.

Mazeikiu Nafta (current ORLEAN Lietuva) begins operation of oil refinery in 1980.

Read more...
* * *

Have Lithuanian ties across
the Baltic Sea become
stronger in recent years?
By Eitvydas Bajarunas
Ambassador to Sweden

My answer to affirmative "yes". Yes, Lithuanian ties across the Baltic Sea become as never before solid in recent years. For me the biggest achievement of Lithuania in the Baltic Sea region during recent years is boosting Baltic and Nordic ties. And not because of mere accident - Nordic direction was Lithuania's strategic choice.

The two decades that have passed since regaining Lithuania's independence can be described as a "building boom". From the wreckage of a captive Soviet republic, a generation of Lithuanians have built a modern European state, and are now helping construct a Nordic-Baltic community replete with institutions intended to promote political coordination and foster a trans-Baltic regional identity. Indeed, a "Nordic-Baltic community" - I will explain later in my text the meaning of this catch-phrase.

Since the restoration of Lithuania's independence 25 years ago, we have continuously felt a strong support from Nordic countries. Nordics in particular were among the countries supporting Lithuania's and Baltic States' striving towards independence. Take example of Iceland, country which recognized Lithuania in February of 1991, well in advance of other countries. Yet another example - Swedish Ambassador was the first ambassador accredited to Lithuania in 1991. The other countries followed suit. When we restored our statehood, Nordic Countries became champions in promoting Baltic integration into Euro-Atlantic institutions. To large degree thanks Nordic Countries, massive transformations occurred in Lithuania since then, Lithuania became fully-fledged member of the EU and NATO, and we joined the Eurozone on 1 January 2015.

Read more...
* * *

It's the economy, stupid *
By Valdas (Val) Samonis,
PhD, CPC

n his article, Val Samonis takes a comparative policy look at the Lithuanian economy during the period 2000-2015. He argues that the LT policy response (a radical and classical austerity) was wrong and unenlightened because it coincided with strong and continuing deflationary forces in the EU and the global economy which forces were predictable, given the right policy guidance. Also, he makes a point that LT austerity, and the resulting sharp drop in GDP and employment in LT, stimulated emigration of young people (and the related worsening of other demographics) which processes took huge dimensions thereby undercutting even the future enlightened efforts to get out of the middle-income growth trap by LT. Consequently, the country is now on the trajectory (development path) similar to that of a dog that chases its own tail. A strong effort by new generation of policymakers is badly needed to jolt the country out of that wrong trajectory and to offer the chance of escaping the middle-income growth trap via innovations.

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Have you heard about the
South African "Pencil Test"?
By Karina Simonson

If you are not South African, then, probably, you haven't. It is a test performed in South Africa during the apartheid regime and was used, together with the other ways, to determine racial identity, distinguishing whites from coloureds and blacks. That repressive test was very close to Nazi implemented ways to separate Jews from Aryans. Could you now imagine a Lithuanian mother, performing it on her own child?

But that is exactly what happened to me when I came back from South Africa. I will tell you how.

Read more...
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