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LITHUANIA DAILY NEWS BULLETIN, October 13, 2022

Oct 17 2022

LITHUANIA DAILY NEWS BULLETIN


IN THIS ISSUE:

  1. Lithuania's conservative MPs banned from tabling budget ideas without Cabinet nod
  2. Upcoming events in Lithuania for Thursday, October 13, 2022
  3. Upcoming events in Lithuania for Thursday, October 13, 2022
  4. EU justice ministers to discuss new legal measures against Russia, human rights
  5. Lithuanian border guards prevent 41 migrants from crossing in from Belarus
  6. Lithuania reports 711 new COVID-19 cases, 4 deaths
  7. Lithuania provides EUR 5 mln via World Bank for urgent recovery effort in Ukraine
  8. Mentioning military issues to people with no understanding "mistake" – Anusauskas
  9. Energy crisis derails Lithuania's plan for 3 pct of GDP defense budget – minister 
  10. Lithuania's ex-president Adamkus discharged from hospital, his wife still in ICU
  11. Cruise season in Klaipeda reaches pre-pandemic levels this year – port
  12. Vilnius covers Soviet sculptures at Antakalnis Cemetary with black fabric
  13. Lithuania's NCSC, KTU launch free anti-cyber fraudster tool
  14. Lithuania joins German-led initiative to develop joint air defense in Europe 
  15. CNSD chair expects US to confirm uninterrupted presence of its troops in Lithuania
  16. NATO must assess all possible scenarios of Russian escalation – Lithuanian defmin
  17. Upcoming events in Lithuania for Friday, October 14, 2022
  18. Savchuk appointed CEO of Lithuania's Lifosa

Lithuania's conservative MPs banned from tabling budget ideas without Cabinet nod

VILNIUS, Oct 13, BNS – The presidium of the Homeland Union-Lithuanian Christian Democrats on Thursday instructed the ruling party's parliamentarians to vote only in favor of next year's budget proposals that have been approved by the government. 

The presidium's resolution, seen by BNS, obliges members of the Homeland Union's political group in the Seimas to support the government's proposed draft 2023 budget and related legislation during the debate and voting on the bill at the parliament.  

The conservative MPs were also instructed not to submit proposals for the budget bill and accompanying draft legislation that have not been greenlighted by the Cabinet and not to support other parliamentarians' budget proposals unless they have been coordinated with the government.

The presidium notes in the resolution that the 2023 state budget deficit limit set in the bill is close to five percent of GDP, a threshold that is important for the country's fiscal reputation.

Internal disagreements

Four conservative MPs – Mindaugas Skritulskas, Mykolas Majauskas, Justas Džiugelis and Kazys Starkevičius – on Tuesday backed the Freedom Party's proposal to keep the reduced 9 percent VAT rate for food serving businesses in place throughout 2023, rather than during the first half of the year as proposed by the government.

The Freedom Party's proposal passed the first vote in the parliament.   

According to the daily Lietuvos Rytas, the behavior of his fellow conservative MPs caused the patience of Gabrielius Landsbergis, the Homeland Union's leader, to snap during the parliamentary group's meeting on Tuesday.  

Reportedly, Landsbergis told the group's members that they had to support the government and its budget bill, adding that those who did not like it were free to leave the party and its parliamentary group. 

Radvile Morkunaite-Mikuleniene, head of the Homeland Union's political group, said on Thursday that she hoped that the parliament would manage to adopt a coherent and balanced budget.

"The government's draft budget for 2023 is oriented towards the most vulnerable members of our society, so the packages envisaged not only to help businesses, but also to increase people's incomes, I believe, will help to withstand the challenges of difficult times," Morkunaite-Mikuleniene told BNS.

The proposed measures "are empathetic and sensitive, but also rational, and based on a cautious approach to a future that is difficult to determine", the MP said. 

"That is why I would like to see the state budget remain coherent, without line-by-line adjustments where you give to some and take from others," she added. 

 

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Upcoming events in Lithuania for Thursday, October 13, 2022

VILNIUS, Oct 13, BNS – The following events are scheduled in Lithuania for Thursday, October 13, 2022:

PRESIDENT Gitanas Nauseda to meet with representatives of the Second Investigation Department under the Ministry of National Defense and the Lithuanian army at 9 a.m.

SPEAKER OF THE SEIMAS Viktorija Cmilyte-Nielsen to chair a meeting of the Board of the Seimas at 9 a.m.; to meet with Auditor General Mindaugas Macijauskas at 10.10 a.m.; to met with Rimantas Sadzius, a member of the European Court of Auditors, at 1.30 p.m.; to meet with Stasys Sedbaras, chairman of the parliamentary Committee on Legal Affairs, at 2 p.m.

PRIME MINISTER Ingrida Simonyte to chair a Cabinet meeting on the construction of the physical barrier on the border with Belarus at 10 a.m.

NATIONAL DEFENSE MINISTER Arvydas Anusauskas to meet with his NATO counterparts Brussels.

CULTURE MINISTER Simonas Kairys to meet with Matthieu Peyraud, director for culture, education, research & networking coordination from the French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs at 9.30 a.m.

JUSTICE MINISTER Ewelina Dobrowolska attending a meeting of EU justice and home affairs ministers in Luxembourg.

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Upcoming events in Lithuania for Thursday, October 13, 2022

VILNIUS, Oct 13, BNS – The following events are scheduled in Lithuania for Thursday, October 13, 2022:

PRESIDENT Gitanas Nauseda to meet with representatives of the Second Investigation Department under the Ministry of National Defense and the Lithuanian army at 9 a.m.

SPEAKER OF THE SEIMAS Viktorija Cmilyte-Nielsen to chair a meeting of the Board of the Seimas at 9 a.m.; to meet with Auditor General Mindaugas Macijauskas at 10.10 a.m.; to met with Rimantas Sadzius, a member of the European Court of Auditors, at 1.30 p.m.; to meet with Stasys Sedbaras, chairman of the parliamentary Committee on Legal Affairs, at 2 p.m.

PRIME MINISTER Ingrida Simonyte to chair a Cabinet meeting on the construction of the physical barrier on the border with Belarus at 10 a.m.

NATIONAL DEFENSE MINISTER Arvydas Anusauskas to meet with his NATO counterparts Brussels.

CULTURE MINISTER Simonas Kairys to meet with Matthieu Peyraud, director for culture, education, research & networking coordination from the French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs at 9.30 a.m.

JUSTICE MINISTER Ewelina Dobrowolska attending a meeting of EU justice and home affairs ministers in Luxembourg.

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EU justice ministers to discuss new legal measures against Russia, human rights

VILNIUS, Oct 13, BNS – Lithuanian Justice Minister Ewelina Dobrowolska on Thursday is meeting with her EU counterparts to discuss possible additional legal measures in response to Russia's aggression in Ukraine, and the upholding of fundamental rights in times of crises, the Lithuanian Justice Ministry has said. 

Dobrowolska says that Lithuania is raising the issue of how to create an effective mechanism for the confiscation and use of frozen sanctioned assets to compensate Ukraine, its citizens and citizens of EU member states who have suffered damage because of Russia's war, according to the ministry's press release.

When it comes to upholding fundamental rights, the lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic are important for Lithuania and the EU as a whole, as the practice of cooperation with civil society organizations is being used both in taking in refugees from Ukraine and in providing assistance to Ukraine, it said.

The EU Justice and Home Affairs Council is holding a meeting in Luxembourg.

 

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Lithuanian border guards prevent 41 migrants from crossing in from Belarus

VILNIUS, Oct 13, BNS – Lithuanian border guards have in the past 24 hours turned away 41 migrants attempting to cross into the country from Belarus illegally, the State Border Guard Service (SBGS) said on Thursday morning.

Latvia recorded no attempts to cross the border illegally on Wednesday, and Polish border guards denied entry to 57 irregular migrants away on Tuesday, according to the latest available information.

The daily number of migrants refused entry to Lithuania reached this year's high of 135 on September 20, nine fewer than the highest ever number recorded on November 12, 2021.

A total of 9,179 irregular migrants have been stopped from entering Lithuania since January. 

Lithuanian border guards have sent over 17,200 people back to Belarus since August 3, 2021, when they were given the right to deny entry to irregular migrants. The number includes repeated attempts by the same people to cross the border.

The SBGS says that illegal migration to Lithuania and the EU is being facilitated by Belarusian officials. 

Almost 4,200 irregular migrants crossed into Lithuania from Belarus illegally last year.

Lithuania calls the unprecedented influx of migrants from Belarus, which began about a year ago, a "hybrid attack" by the Minsk regime. 

 

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Lithuania reports 711 new COVID-19 cases, 4 deaths

VILNIUS, Oct 12, BNS – Lithuania has recorded 711 new coronavirus infections and four deaths from COVID-19 over the past 24 hours, official statistics showed on Thursday morning.

Of the new cases, 536 were primary, 168 were secondary and seven were tertiary.

One of the fatalities was a person in their 30s who was not vaccinated. 

The number of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 now stands at 186, including 13 ICU cases.

The 14-day primary infection rate has edged down to 386 cases per 100,000 people, with the seven-day percentage of positive tests down to 31.7 percent.

The daily number of new coronavirus cases remains well below the peak of over 14,000 reached in early February.

More than 1.2 million people in Lithuania have tested positive with COVID-19 at least once.

Some 70 percent of the Lithuanian population have received at least one coronavirus vaccine jab so far.

 

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Lithuania provides EUR 5 mln via World Bank for urgent recovery effort in Ukraine

VILNIUS, Oct 13, BNS – Lithuania is providing 5 million euros through the World Bank for urgent reconstruction work in Ukraine, it was announced during a roundtable discussion in in Washington, D.C. on mobilizing financial support for the war-ravaged country.

Lithuania is contributing the additional 5 million euros to the Ukraine Relief, Recovery, and Reconstruction Trust Fund (URTF) set up by the World Bank to help finance immediate recovery efforts in the country, the Finance Ministry said in a press release on Thursday.

"In order to ensure that financial assistance reaches Ukraine as quickly and efficiently as possible, Lithuania will allocate 5 million euros to the World Bank's newly created instrument, the main purpose of which is to contribute, in the near future, to the reconstruction of Ukraine in regions where hostilities are no longer taking place," Finance Minister Gintare Skaiste said in the press release. 

"It is also important that reconstruction in part of the country is starting right now, without waiting for the end of hostilities in other areas," she added.  

The new URTF will cover the preparation for the implementation of reconstruction projects and the implementation of the most necessary projects at this stage, such as the restoration of essential energy, transport and social infrastructure, according to the Finance Ministry. 

The World Bank says the URTF is expected to raise 100 million to 200 million US dollars this year, and then about 1 billion dollars annually.

The contributing donor countries will participate in the URTF Partnership Council, oversee the trust fund's activities, and make recommendations on its strategy and operations.

The ministry notes that this is not the first time Lithuania has provided financial assistance to Ukraine through the World Bank's instruments.

 At the very start of Russia's war in Ukraine, Lithuania provided a grant of 5 million euros to the World Bank's trust fund focused on supporting the Ukrainian economy.

Also, Lithuania has provided a 10-million-euro guarantee for a World Bank loan to Kyiv under the Public Expenditures for Administrative Capacity Endurance in Ukraine (PEACE) project.

 

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Mentioning military issues to people with no understanding "mistake" – Anusauskas

VILNIUS, Oct 13, BNS – It was a mistake to talk about military technical matters with "people who have little or no understanding", Lithuanian Minister of National Defense Arvydas Anusauskas says, referring to the situation around the deployment of a German army brigade in Lithuania.

"Probably, it was certainly a mistake to mention military technicalities to people who have little or no understanding," Anusauskas said in an interview with the public radio LRT on Thursday, asked whether he had made a mistake in mentioning ten days as a sufficient time frame for the brigade's arrival.

"Every military unit has a certain level of readiness, how long it takes to move, and in this case this is not a political thesis or agreement, but information of a military nature, and all agreements we have with Germany are still valid. The German side has made it very clear that the infrastructure projects we are developing allow them to increase step by step both their capability and capacity in Lithuania, and to bring all of this up to the brigade level," Anusauskas said.

Representing the ruling conservative Homeland Union – Lithuanian Christian Democrats, Anusauskas came under fire from both the opposition and his own party when last week he agreed with German Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht's position that it was sufficient to put the German brigade assigned to Lithuania on standby for it to arrive in Lithuania within ten days, if needed.

Joining her at the press conference, Anusauskas said such a time frame was sufficient to react to the build-up of military forces at the country's borders, which Ukraine's experience showed.

In response to criticism from his fellow party members, the defense minister said Laurynas Kasciunas, chairman of the parliamentary Committee on National Security and Defense, "in fact did not understand at all what he was talking about when he was talking about me mentioning the 90 days and the comparison with Ukraine".

"In this case, I was not talking about comparing Ukraine and Lithuania, I was talking about how fast intelligence information is delivered and the reaction to that intelligence information, and this is a completely different context," Anusauskas said.

Earlier, Lithuanian officials said they wanted Germany to permanently deploy a brigade of 3,000 to 4,000 troops in Lithuania. And the position was reiterated by Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis on Monday when he pointed out that Lithuania and Germany's agreement this summer was for the German brigade to be deployed in Lithuania, and not on its readiness to come, if needed.

Signed by Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda and German Chancellor Olaf Schulz in June, the joint communique states that "in addition to the current and reinforced enhanced Forward Presence Battle Group already in place, Germany is ready to lead a robust and combat-ready brigade in Lithuania dedicated to deter and defend against Russian aggression".

Initially, led by a permanently deployed Brigade Forward Command Element in Lithuania, this brigade will consist of German combat forces specifically designated for this purpose, potentially augmented by possible multinational contributions.

The aforementioned forward presence command element was deployed in Lithuania in September.

By Milena Andrukaitytė

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Energy crisis derails Lithuania's plan for 3 pct of GDP defense budget – minister 

VILNIUS, Oct 13, BNS – Lithuania's defense budget for 2023 had been planned with a target of spending 3 percent of GDP on national defense, but the plans had to be adjusted due to the energy crisis, Defense Minister Arvydas Anusauskas said on Thursday.    

"Actually, we even had a plan to use 3 percent," the minister told LRT Radio. "That plan has not disappeared anywhere, but just after that plan was drawn up, the energy crisis hit (...), which caused borrowing levels to rise, and this, of course, ruins these plans."

Anusauskas said he is not abandoning the 3-percent-of-GDP defense spending target, but added that the crisis situation has to be taken into consideration.

"I am not giving up my 3 percent target, but it is a government decision and part of responsible financial management," the minister said. "I am a member of the Cabinet and we take decisions collectively."

"Once again, if we eliminated all the other factors draining the financial resources of the state, our financial situation would be different. It is just that the whole picture, economic and financial, has to be taken into account," he said. 

"I do hope that when the crisis is over and resources are freed up, we will continue to move toward three percent," Anusauskas added.

President Gitanas Nauseda has repeatedly suggested increasing Lithuania's defense spending to 3 percent of GDP next year. 

Finance Minister Gintare Skaiste maintains that doing so would bring Lithuania's budget deficit above 5 percent of GDP, which would significantly increase its borrowing costs.

Last week, the government proposed to allocate more than 1.77 billion euros, or 2.52 percent of next year's projected GDP, to national defense.

 

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Lithuania's ex-president Adamkus discharged from hospital, his wife still in ICU

VILNIUS, Oct 13, BNS – Lithuania's former President Valdas Adamkus on Thursday is being discharged from hospital, where he was admitted for COVID-19, but his wife, Alma Adamkiene, remains in the intensive care unit.

"President Valdas Adamkus is being discharged from Santaros Klinikos today for further outpatient treatment at home," Bozena Bagonaitiene, his aide, told BNS. 

"Mrs. Alma Adamkiene continues to be treated in the intensive care unit," she added.

The 95-year-old former president was diagnosed with the coronavirus in late September. He was initially treated at home, but later his condition got worse and he was admitted to Vilnius University Hospital Santaros Klinikos, 

His wife, who is also 95 years old, has been treated in the same hospital in Vilnius since September 28.   

The hospital said earlier this week that although Adamkiene remained under intensive care, her condition showed a tendency toward improvement.

 

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Cruise season in Klaipeda reaches pre-pandemic levels this year – port

KLAIPEDA, Lithuania, Oct 13, BNS – The cruise season in Klaipeda reached pre-pandemic levels this year, with the number of ship calls surpassing the five-year average, the port said on Thursday. 

"We practically reached the 2019 level," Algis Latakas, the port's CEO, told a news conference. "It was a good year and a great season: 61 ships (visited Klaipeda), which is not a record number but above the five-year average of 55 ships." 

The port welcomed 61 cruise ships and almost 47,000 passengers during the 2022 season, which opened on April 11 and closed on October 8. Compared to 2019, the number of ships increased by one-fifth, from 51, but the number of passengers, declined by 31 percent, from 68,500 passengers.   

According to Latakas, twelve cruise ships arrived in Klaipeda for the first time this year, and 42 vessels were longer than 200 meters. 

Around ten cruise ships were too large to visit Klaipeda, the CEO said, adding that the number of very large vessels is rising in the world and the port is preparing for this. 

"Such ships need special infrastructure. Companies renewed their fleets during the pandemic, ordering about 30 new cruise ships," he said. "Yes, ships are increasing (in size), and the port is reacting to this." 

Klaipeda expected 80 cruise ship calls during the 2022 season, but some visits were cancelled as some vessels changed their routes due to the war in Ukraine, bypassing the Baltic countries and heading to Scandinavia instead.

By Valdas Pryšmantas

Editor: Roma Pakėnienė

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Vilnius covers Soviet sculptures at Antakalnis Cemetary with black fabric

VILNIUS, Oct 13, BNS – The Soviet soldiers' sculptures were covered with a black fabric at Antakalnis Cemetery in Vilnius as the local authorities await the possibility of removing them later.

Workers from Grinda, a municipal company, had been working at the Soviet memorial since Thursday morning, and the sculptures were covered before noon, a BNS photo correspondent at the scene confirmed.

Vilnius councilors unanimously backed plans to remove the six grey granite statues featuring Soviet WWII soldiers in early June after they were removed from the register of immovable cultural property by the heritage authorities. However, this could not be done until as the local municipality had to take over the sculptures.

Last week, the Vilnius Council made the final step for the removal of the sculptures by taking over their ownership.

However, the municipality's plans to carry out the works before November 1, when the dead are honored in Lithuania, were thwarted by the UN Human Rights Committee's decision to introduce interim measures. 

The Lithuanian Justice Ministry later sent explanations to the committee. While the correspondence is ongoing, the municipality has decided to cover the statues with a cloth. Vilnius Mayor Remigijus Simasius says this has been done to "not to annoy people" and to protect against possible acts of vandalism, as there have recently been at least several incidents when the statues were defaced.

Under the plan, Vilniaus BDT will remove the statues for 48,000 euros.

In Lithuania, some Soviet monuments are being dismantled in response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

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Lithuania's NCSC, KTU launch free anti-cyber fraudster tool

VILNIUS, Oct 13, BNS – Lithuania's National Cyber Security Center and specialists from Kaunas University of Technology have developed a free tool for people and organizations to protect themselves from cyber fraud attacks.

Known as a DNS firewall, the new tool will prevent access to known malicious websites while surfing the internet, the center said on Thursday.

"This means that even if a user clicks on a link sent by a scammer, they will not sustain any harm as the malicious address will be blocked and the user will be notified," Deividas Stumbras, director of the NCSC's Cyber Defense Department, said in a statement.

A DNS firewall is a public DNS service with an additional security feature. It differs from the regular Domain Name System in that it is equipped with additional protection against cyber threats, such as fake banking sites, fraudulent trading platforms, sites that distribute malicious codes, and other harmful sites confirmed by the NCSC.

The tool is free, the center said, adding that the system will only block known malicious websites, but will not monitor browsing content or collect user information in any way.

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Lithuania joins German-led initiative to develop joint air defense in Europe 

VILNIUS, Oct 13, BNS – Lithuania has joined the German-led European Sky Shield Initiative to develop air defense capabilities in Europe through joint acquisitions, the Defense Ministry said on Thursday. 

Lithuanian Defense Minister Arvydas Anusauskas and his counterparts from 14 other countries – Belgium, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Latvia, the Netherlands, Norway, Romania, the Slovak Republic, Slovenia and the United Kingdom – signed in Brussels a letter of intent for the development of the initiative. 

According to the Lithuanian ministry, the initiative is aimed at carrying out joint acquisitions, developing the capabilities of the ground-based air defense systems of NATO's European countries and improving their interoperability, including with the Alliance's Integrated Air and Missile Defense System (NATINAMDS).

A key element of the initiative is Germany's air defense development program covering the procurement of all classes of air defense systems (very short, short, medium, long-range, and anti-missile and anti-UAV) in the short and medium term, the ministry said in a press release.

"Joining this initiative will enable the Lithuanian Armed Forces to plan joint acquisitions with the German Armed Forces," it quoted Anusauskas as saying. 

"Of the proposed package of air defense systems, the most relevant for the Lithuanian Armed Forces is the package of very short-range/counter UAV systems," he added.  

Attention to air defenses on NATO's eastern flank has intensified in light of increased threats after Russia's invasion of Ukraine. 

The idea of jointly developing air defense capabilities in Europe was raised by German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in August.

 

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CNSD chair expects US to confirm uninterrupted presence of its troops in Lithuania

VILNIUS, Oct 13, BNS – Laurynas Kasciunas, chairman of the Lithuanian parliamentary Committee on National Security and Defense, expects US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin to confirm on Friday a commitment on uninterrupted presence of American troops in Lithuania for several years.

Austin is scheduled to meet the defense ministers from Bucharest Nine countries, including Lithuania, in Brussels on Friday.

"Throughout the year, we have sought permanent and uninterrupted American presence in Lithuania, and we have been working hard on this in various formats. I am very confident that this is the message that will reach us on Friday," the lawmaker told BNS on Thursday, asked what kind of news could be expected from the Brussels meeting.

"I do believe we will have uninterrupted battalion presence on a rotational basis, along with a higher level of combat readiness, with more combat power," Kasciunas said, adding that the rotation of the American battalion and the assignment of the German brigade to Lithuania are very important in deterring enemies.

"The American presence in the region is the biggest deterrent. I believe it will contribute to our security and send a very strong signal to our enemies that it's simply not worth stepping into the territory of our country with their dirty boots," Kasciunas said.

US battalions have been rotating in Lithuania since 2019, while rotational companies were deployed in Lithuania in 2014-2017.

In response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the Americans reinforced their rotational battalions by sending in more troops and equipment. In June, some 800 soldiers from the United States Army's 1st Battalion, 66th Armor Regiment with army equipment began their rotation of at least nine months in Lithuania.

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NATO must assess all possible scenarios of Russian escalation – Lithuanian defmin

VILNIUS, Oct 13, BNS - NATO needs to assess all possible scenarios of Russian escalation, says Lithuanian National Defense Minister Arvydas Anusauskas attending a meeting of allied defense ministers.

Anusauskas met with his NATO countries in Brussels on Thursday and discussed Russia's war against Ukraine, assessed progress in strengthening NATO's defense and deterrence, discussed nuclear deterrence and the need to jointly strengthen the protection of critical infrastructure, the ministry said.

"This week's Russian missile attacks on civilian targets in Ukraine show that we need to further strengthen our support to Ukraine. NATO needs to strengthen its defense and deterrence and properly assess all possible scenarios of Russian escalation. The irresponsible behavior of Belarus is also raising concern," the minister stressed in his remarks.

During the meetings, the defense ministers also discussed the need for closer coordination on joint defense acquisitions in order to accelerate the build-up of weapons stocks.

Anusauskas stressed that "countries close to the front line cannot wait for years for new equipment and ammunition".

"In the context of Russia's war against Ukraine, NATO's closer cooperation with the defense industry is essential to maintain support to Ukraine and protect NATO," Anusauskas said.

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Upcoming events in Lithuania for Friday, October 14, 2022

VILNIUS, Oct 14, BNS – The following events are scheduled in Lithuania for Friday, October 14, 2022:

PRESIDENT Gitanas Nauseda to have a phone call with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at 3 p.m.

SPEAKER OF THE SEIMAS Viktorija Cmilyte-Nielsen to chair a meeting of the Board of the Seimas at 9 a.m.

NATIONAL DEFENSE MINISTER Arvydas Anusauskas to attend a meeting of Bucharest Nine defense ministers and US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin.

INTERIOR MINISTER Agne Bilotaite to attend a meeting of EU home affairs ministers in Luxembourg at 9 a.m.

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Savchuk appointed CEO of Lithuania's Lifosa

VILNIUS, Oct 13, BNS – Andryi Savchuk has been appointed CEO of Lifosa, a Lithuanian phosphate fertilizer producer based in Kedainiai, after previously serving as a member of the company's board. He has until now served as CEO Germany's Helm AG group.

Lifosa was forced to suspend its operations earlier this year due to the existing sanctions for Russia.

Savchuk will assume his new position after the Lithuanian authorities will complete the necessary formalities. His appointment has already been approved by Lifosa's interim administrator, the company said. 

Savchuk has worked in the fertilizer sector for 25 years, the company said, adding that his main goal is to restore safe and sustainable production and sales activities, the company statement reads.

Savchuk worked for EuroChem from 2007 to 2020 and held various executive positions and was also the company's CEO. He served as a board member at Lifosa from 2015 to 2020.

Lifosa's accounts were frozen on March 9 after the EU imposed sanctions for Andrey Melnichenko, a Russian oligarch close to the Kremlin, and the company suspended its operations April 10. On May 24, a temporary administrator, Financų Guru, was appointed to ensure that Lifosa's operations remain in line with the existing international sanctions.

 

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