VilNews

THE VOICE OF INTERNATIONAL LITHUANIA

23 March 2017
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Speakers corner!

- Posted by - (1) Comment

 

Where are the new ideas for Lithuania?
Are these the top 14
throughout history?

 

 

1200s

King Mindaugas’ grand idea was to found the Lithuanian State!

Lithuania’s only king is also credited with stopping the advance of the Tatars towards the Baltic Sea and Europe, establishing international recognition of Lithuania, and turning it towards Western civilization.

1300s

Grand Duke Gediminas’ idea was to found Vilnius as one of the World’s leading and tolerant cities

Gediminas was also the true founder of ‘The Grand Duchy of Lithuania’. He was a man of extraordinary knowledge and wisdom, offering free access into Lithuania to Europeans of every order and profession.

 

1400s

Vytautas the Great’s idea was to expand

‘The Grand Duchy of Lithuania’ to the Black Sea

Vytautas the Great was the Grand Duke expanding the Grand Duchy‘s frontiers from the Baltic Sea south to the Black Sea and thereby creating the by then largest country in Europe. The Grand Duchy was at its largest by the middle of the 15th Century.

 

1500s

Sigismund the Old’s idea was to connect Italy and Lithuania, with the help of Leonardo da Vinci!

When Lithuania’s Grand Duke, Sigismund the Old in 1518 married the Italian Princess Bona Sforza, this became an outstanding manifestation of the already strong relationship between Italy and Lithuania. The royal couple created together an Italian community within the court and Italian culture became the preoccupation of the Vilnius city elite.

 

1700s  
The Great Gaon’s idea was to develop the Jewish society that made Vilnius the intellectual cradle for Jews all around the world
The Great Gaon of Vilnius, Elijahu ben Solomon Zalman (1720-1797) was the greatest luminary not only among the many Talmudical scholars of the 17th and 18th centuries, but also for many later generations.

 

 

1875-1911

Čiurlionis’ idea was to describe Lithuania’s soul in his art and music

During his short life Lithuania’s national composer and painter,  Mikalojus Konstantinas Čiurlionis, composed about 250 pieces of music and created about 300 paintings.  His works have had a profound influence on modern Lithuanian culture.

 

 

Description: image016

1918

Antanas Basanavičius’ grand idea was to reclaim independence for Lithuania

As a member of the Council of Lithuania he was a signer of the Act of Independence of Lithuania on the 16th of February 1918 (signed in the building at the picture to the left). Basanavičius is often given the unique informal honorific title of the "Patriarch of the Nation".

 

1918-1940

President Antanas Smetona had the idea of again making Lithuania a successful, remarkable nation

Smetona was undoubtedly Lithuania’s most important 

political figure between the two wars. He served as President from 1919 to 1920, and again from 1926 to 1940. Smetona was also one of the famous ideologists of nationalists in Lithuania. The country was truly flourishing under his presidency.

 

 

1945-1990

Lithuanians who were forced to leave their home country had the idea of keeping on fighting

The post World War II wave of Lithuanian immigrants experienced a surge of Lithuanian consciousness. They saw themselves as exiled communities and clung to their memory of two decades of freedom in Lithuania. They also made numerous efforts to support Lithuania’s freedom fight.

 

 

1945-1990

Lithuania had the idea to improve its infrastructure even during Soviet years

Despite huge post war difficulties, Lithuania managed to build around 450 km of four-lane motorways from Vilnius to Klaipėda and Panevėžys. Result? Lithuania got the best roads in East Europe! At the same time Klaipėda port was developed as a leading Baltic transport hub, connecting East and West..

 

1960-1990

Despite the oppression, Lithuanian experts had the idea to make Lithuania the Soviet Silicon Valley

Still today Lithuania is a world leading exporter of femtosecond lasers. Among the clients is NASA, using Lithuanian laser technology for analyses of minerals on Mars! A country of 3.2million people, Lithuania, has about 15 laser producers, employing about 300 laser specialists!

 

 

Description: http://www.info-regenten.de/regent/regent-d/pictures/lithuania-landsbergis.jpg

1988 – 1991

Professor Vytautas Landsbergis had the idea that his masses of unarmed Lithuanians could win over the mighty Soviet army
Hadn‘t it been for this peaceful fight by Landsbergis and his people for regained freedom against an occupation and a ruling the people of the Baltic States never wanted or agreed to, the map of Europe would most likely have looked very different today...

 

 

Description: http://vilnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/katkus.jpgDescription: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/f/f8/Sabonis_Lipofsky_(1_of_1).JPG/220px-Sabonis_Lipofsky_(1_of_1).JPG

1990 – 2010

Post Soviet Lithuania’s sport and culture had the idea to remain on world level

I let two of the most prominent figures within these fields represent the fantastic flora of ideas and pure guts sport and culture is playing for Lithuania; Music Professor Donatas Katkus (left) and former basketball player Arvydas Sabonis. Remarkable!!

 

 

2000 – 2010

The idea of Vilnius Mayor Arturas Zuokas’ was to build Lithuania’s Manhattan, the new office district

Vilnius’  Mayor, Arturas Zuokas, earned his place in Lithuania’s history with his energetic efforts to build a new skyscraper city within the city.

 

 

Description: http://www.balsas.lt/08/28/kubilius.jpgDescription: http://www.civis.lt/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/dalia_grybauskaite.jpg

2012 – 2020

President Dalia Grybauskaitė

Prime Minister Andrius Kubilius

 

Please let us know what are your ideas and visions for the future development of Lithuania.

 

NEW IDEAS, NEW SPIRIT IS VERY MUCH NEEDED!

 

Category : Lithuania today / Speakers corner!

- Posted by - (0) Comment

New concept for seniors, planned in Vilnius

A new concept for senior apartments, with focus on warmth, dignity and joy. Custom apartments around an outdoor, enclosed patio - plus a large, common 'lobby' for food, reading, music, good talks, therapy, training and more.

This is what now might be develop in the outskirts of Vilnius, about 20 minutes drive from the Old Town and less than five minutes from the Le Meridien Hotel, with its beautiful pool, spa complex, and a great new 18-hole golf course.

The plan they have under consideration right now is to build an elegant senior complex on the site, for potential buyers both in this country and from abroad.

Quality and service will be very high, still at prices one can hardly dream of the United States, Western Europe or Australia.

The planned complex will consist of around 50 apartments and a large public centre-building that can best be compared with an international hotel lobby.

All apartments and common areas will be wheelchair accessible. The latest of 'welfare technology' will be installed, and there will be an extensive range of health care measures, safety, activities and a good, warm relationship with other seniors in similar circumstances.

If sufficient interest from potential buyers, the project is expected completed in 2014.

When will this project be completed?
When will this project be completed? What provisions will there be for handicapped, when we grow older and unable to participate in sports or other activities?
Vytas
_________________________

Sounds like a great project
It sounds like a great project hope to hear more about it.
Irene
_________________________

I think something like that could be very welcome
Actually, I think that something like that could be very welcome. What it will need is an inexpensive and convenient form of transportation to and from Vilnius center and old town. So, I hope that the organizers will think about that. Today, it is quite expensive to get to Le Meridien Hotel and the hotel shuttle bus only goes as far as the White Bridge for some strange reason. Public bus is just to going to be acceptable for residents. A taxi ride costs over 100 lita round trip today and that will be much higher by the time this opens.

Without a convenient, affordable form of transport, residents will feel very isolated out there. With that problem solved, I could see a good interest in it.
Gene
_________________________

Many "seniors" prefer to not be alone. They are still active "seniors," and a place like this offers safety, security, a sense of community
Many "seniors" prefer to not be alone. They are still active "seniors," and a place like this offers safety, security, a sense of community, and if I were anywhere near retirement age, I would surely consider such a residence!!! Great Idea!!! :)
Jenifer 
Category : Speakers corner!

- Posted by - (1) Comment

Absolutely awesome little campaign bringing friendliness to Vilnius


Mark SPLINTER 

 
LGBT friendly Vilnius
Vilnius' spots that aren't afraid to declare they're LGBT friendly
By: LGBT friendly Vilnius 


Grant Gochin Is it safe for people to be out there? 

http://profile.ak.fbcdn.net/hprofile-ak-snc4/565130_657271185_1878126519_q.jpg
Mark SPLINTER it's safe in the tourist areas, the sticker is about celebrating and advertising the friendliness that already exists. But even in the tourist areas a gay kiss causes a scandal and if some knucklehead sees it then you might get into some trouble. also there are some horrible violent comments on the internet, but that's inevitable.  


Rimas Pileika What is? Store, bar?  


Hannah Shipman Something positive for tolerance.  

http://profile.ak.fbcdn.net/hprofile-ak-snc4/565130_657271185_1878126519_q.jpg
Mark SPLINTER so far, restaurants and bars are participating. Latest news - the council have invoked a law - You have to put the sticker on the inside of the door not the outside. This law doesn't seem to be enforced very strictly against other door stickers. Anyway they will just change the stickers to inside and that's all. 

http://profile.ak.fbcdn.net/hprofile-ak-snc4/161099_543149041_978625920_q.jpg
Hannah Shipman Cafes and restaurants are displaying stickers to indicate that they are LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) friendly. It is refreshing to hear something positive on this subject rather than the tirades of Petras Gražulis.  

http://profile.ak.fbcdn.net/hprofile-ak-snc4/565130_657271185_1878126519_q.jpg
Mark SPLINTER 
https://www.facebook.com/lgbtfriendlyvilnius

LGBT friendly Vilnius

LGBT FRIENDLY VILNIUS - spontaneous social cause aimed to make Vilnius a better place. ; ] 


Kenny Kaunas Sweet! DJs and a beer garden, perhaps?  

http://profile.ak.fbcdn.net/hprofile-ak-snc4/275055_1009973024_1554790557_q.jpg
Grant Gochin It's a pity that people have to put up signs saying they are NOT homophobes.

Category : Speakers corner!

- Posted by - (1) Comment

Other responses to the 26 October comment from Mr. Januta

Alexander's avatar
FROM: Alexander (26 October)
Well said. I just wish those who write about Lithuanian-Jewish relations and blame all Lithuanians for the killing of Jews, would get their true facts before writing.

fdfdg's avatar
FROM: fdfdg (26 October)·
An outrageous pack of lies.
The Jews in Lithuania were murdered by ethnic Lithuanian volunteers. Lithuanians are still trying to hide this fact after 60 years, from themselves, their children and now they are attempting to impose this false history on the world at large. Dov Levin isn't positing double genocide, there is no equals sign there. "Double genocide" is not the name the Lithuanians give to their own policy of Holocaust obfuscation, but it's an accurate name. The number of Lithuanian perpetrators is in the tens of thousands, and those are just the active shooters. If you want to get into passive support for genocide, it's much higher. There was no specifically Lithuanian Waffen SS, because the Lithuanians created their own pro-Nazi formations before the Nazis got around to it, TDA, LAF etc etc. and these forces were involved in the Holocaust in Poland, Ukraine, Belarus and elsewhere, besides their native Lithuania. The author is obviously fooling himself into thinking it's possible some Lithuanians were fooled into it at German direction, but the LAF was a Lithuanian organization, not a German one, and their underground cells of ethnic Lithuanians inside Lithuania (LAF was pretending to be the government in exile in Berlin) got the orders from HQ: prepare to slaughter your Jewish neighbors as soon as Soviet-German hostilities break out. Didier Bertin's point concerning the supposed Soviet genocide of Lithuanians was not that some Lithuanians survived, it was that not only did the vast majority survive, their population actually increased during the supposed genocide. This is an outrageous pack of lies by another Lithuanian Holocaust obfuscator.

Richard Vitkauskas's avatar
FROM: Richard Vitkauskas (26 October)·
Excellent article Donatas. Many thanks

Mr. Januta’s response

Donatas Januta's avatar
FROM: Donatas Januta (27 October)·
Dina Porat, a respected Israeli historian estimated that the total number of Lithuanians, involved directly and indirectly, in the German organized killing of Jews was up to 15,000, i.e., about 0.5% of the population
For those who may want a little perspective on fdfdg’s preceding comment. He states that my article is “an outrageus pack of lies”, and specifically he then says: “The number of Lithuanian perpetrators is in the tens of thousands, and those are just the active shooters.” Dina Porat, a respected Israeli historian estimated that the total number of Lithuanians, involved directly and indirectly, in the German organized killing of Jews was up to 15,000, i.e., about 0.5% of the population. And Arunas Bubnys, another historian, has estimated that those directly involved, i.e., what fdfdg refers to as “the active shooters”, was somewhere between 2,000 and 3,000. But according to Mr. or Ms. fdfdg, both of these historians are just liars. Judge for yourselves the rest of fdfdg’s remarks.

Category : Litvak forum / Speakers corner!

Historians in the West don’t think that the Baltics and their people are important

- Posted by - (0) Comment


Dominican Father David O’Rourke, one of the two priest producers of “Red Terror on the Amber Coast.” Father O’Rourke is director of The Tatra Project (www.tatraproject.org), which provides educational resources and media on life under the former Soviet Union.

I lived and worked on and off in Vilnius, from 2000 until about 2009.  Part of my work involved research in the film and photo archives that led to the documentary film, Red Terror on the Amber Coast.  I was the writer and producer.  I have only one point I want to make here, but I think it is important. 

From the  time that the Soviets first occupied the Baltics after the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact until the fall of the Soviet system, essentially all the information about life in the Baltic Republics came from the occupying governments – Soviet and Nazi.  Occupiers have their own agenda.   Telling the truth about what they were doing in the countries they occupied was not one of them.   To the contrary, both the Soviets and the Nazis were expert in producing self-promoting propaganda.  So I believe it is both naïve and foolish to look to news and information reports produced by either of these regimes about the occupation years  as though they were reliable.  My own view is that relatively little concerning life during these years is known today outside these countries and their several diasporas.  And very little is known because historians in the West don’t think that  the Baltics and their people are important enough to their own studies to worry about.   

David O'Rourke
California, USA.

Category : Litvak forum / Speakers corner!

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.

Read more...
* * *

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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