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Weekly News From Lithuania 26 April 2019

Lithuania MFA

#Vilnius comes
second in the
Financial Times 
Intellingence Strategy
category and
is considered
one of smartest cities in #Europe


3:44 AM - 24 Apr 2019
Linas Linkevičius

Candid meeting with President @poroshenkoto discuss current political, economic and security situation in #Ukraine. Thanked President for excellent cooperation during his tenure in office.

8:31 AM - 25 Apr 2019

Did you know that Vilnius University professor Virginijus Šikšnys is one of the co-founders of #CRISPR gene editing technology? On #DNADay19 – we want to celebrate him and all other researchers who contribute to major breakthrough in this exciting field. http://bit.ly/Biotech-facts

7:32 AM - 25 Apr 2019
Minister Linkevičius congratulated Ukrainian president-elect Zelenski in Kiev

On 25 April, Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevičius congratulated Volodymyr Zelenski, who has been elected President of Ukraine, in Kiev.

“Big support of the nation in all regions of Ukraine offers you a unique opportunity to consolidate the country for ensuring Ukraine’s territorial integrity and independence, for continuing reforms, combating corruption, and implementing the Association Agreement between the European Union and Ukraine,” said Mr Minister and wished the new Ukrainian head of state attainment of aspired goals. 

Mr Minister handed over a periscope, a gift from Lithuanian volunteers, to the president-elect. Acquired on the funds donated by Lithuanian people, such periscopes have saved dozens of lives of the Ukrainian military on the frontline with Russia.

D. Grybauskaitė: more decisive action against social exclusion must be taken
President Dalia Grybauskaitė met with Marianne Thyssen, European Commissioner for social affairs.The development of the European Semester, employment and social affairs, as well as Lithuania‘s priorities for the multiannual financial framework were discussed at the meeting.

According to the President, the latest assessment of Lithuania‘s progress showed that the economy grew by 3.6 percent, investments increased and employment went down over the past year. Income inequality and social exclusion however remains problematic and among the highest in the EU, therefore more decisive reforms are needed in those areas.

A special celebration on the occasion of 15th EU membership anniversary

On Wednesday, May 1, at 12 a.m. an official commemoration and a public celebration will be held in Daukantas square next to the Presidential Palace to mark the 15th anniversary of Lithuania‘s membership of the European Union.

President Dalia Grybauskaitė, members of the Government and the Parliament, foreign ambassadors and defense attachés, youth and pupils’ organizations as well as city residents and guests will attend the celebration.

The commemoration will start with a solemn ceremony of hoisting Lithuanian and EU flags. During the official ceremony at the square, President Dalia Grybauskaitė, Speaker of the Parliament Viktoras Pranckietis and Foreign Affairs Minister Linas Linkevičius will congratulate all the people of Lithuania.

Public committees to vie for Lithuanian MEP seats for 1st time

Public election committees will run in the European Parliament elections in Lithuania for the first time this year, reported LETA/BNS.

Laura Matjosaityte, head of the Central Electoral Commission (CEC), noted this during Tuesday's ceremony of drawing lots for the ballot order for the May 26 elections.

In the previous European Parliament elections in 2014, an election committee was issued with sheets for collecting voter signatures, but failed to collect the minimum 10,000 signatures, she said.
Lithuanian can boast having narrowest gender employment gap

In 2018, the employment rate of people aged 20 to 64 in the European Union (EU) stood at 73.2%, up compared with 2017 (72.2%). The Europe 2020 strategy target is to reach a total employment rate for people aged 20 to 64 of at least 75% in the EU by 2020, releases Eurostat.

This objective has been translated into different national targets in order to reflect the situation and possibilities of each Member State to contribute to the common goal.

The upward trend in the employment rate is visible both for men and women. The employment rate for men hit 79.0% in 2018, and has increased steadily since 2013.
Transport sector to be presented in China
Deputy Transport and Communications Minister Ricardas Degutis is visiting China this week to present Lithuania's transport sector to the Asian country.

"In China, Degutis will present the Lithuanian transport sector, its possibilities and available infrastructure, and development plans in order to expand cooperation in the transport sector and attract more cargo from China," the ministry told BNS.

The vice-minister is scheduled to take part in a presentation in Henan on Wednesday and attend the second Belt and Road forum in Beijing on Thursday and Friday.
European Commission approves €385 million support for production of electricity from renewable sources in Lithuania

The European Commission has approved, under EU State aid rules, a scheme to support electricity production from renewable energy sources in Lithuania. The measure, open to all types of renewable generation, will contribute to the EU environmental objectives without unduly distorting competition.

Performances by Lina Lapelytė continued “Lithuanian Story“ in Tel Aviv

A ballet dancer of the “state pension age“ pirouetting for ten minutes and a famous jazz musician whose virtuosity is limited to a single note. Female musicians from the “Lithuania“ ensemble playing kanklės, a Lithuanian plucked string instrument, and hypnotising hand choreography. The rap hit “Candy shop“ turned into a lullaby. 

The evening of three performances by the performance artist and creator of contemporary opera, composer, sound artist, violinist and vocalist Lina Lapelytė at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art told the story about beauty, status, facade and the behind the scenes, body reality and its cultural images, power play, tradition, classics, pop and many other. All these stories are part of the Lithuanian culture festival taking place in Tel Aviv from March until the end of May under the title “Lithuanian Story“.

Introducing Gramophone's May 2019 issue

Featuring Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla, Kristian Bezuidenhout, Harry Christophers, and – in the Gramophone Collection – Nielsen’s Violin Concerto.

In the May issue of Gramophone, on sale now, we bring you a fascinating cover feature on Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla, the conductor whose exclusive signing to DG will allow the world to witness her unique relationship with the CBSO.

Lithuanian Film Centre launches a project to prevent sexual harassment in the film industry

The Lithuanian Film Center, together with the Center for Equality Advancement and the Lithuanian Center for Human Rights, is launching a project which aims at ensuring that the film industry is a safe environment for all those involved.

The Film Center has received demands to ensure women’s equality in the film industry. During the 2017 #metoo movement, certain cases in the Lithuanian film industry and responses to them demonstrated that it is necessary to take specific measures to assess the extent of sexual harassment in the film industry, to increase its recognition, to take effective preventive measures and to make agreements that would secure the principles for a safe creative and working environment.

Arunas Matelis's film WONDERFUL LOSERS: A DIFFERENT WORLD has been voted Honorable Mention by the audience of the 22nd Annual Chicago European Union Film Festival

This year, CEUFF presented films by the leading European filmmakers, many of which were nominated and/or already recognized by the Oscars, Cannes, Venice and Berlin film festivals. CONGRATULATIONS to film director Arūnas Matelis, film producer Algimantė Matelienė and the Team for winning a prestigious Honorable Mention title. It was a true honor to present this unique film, a “bible of cycling”, here in Chicago. Thank you to the Chicago Lithuanians and all cinefiles of Chicago for coming out to see the film and for your votes! We look forward to new exciting films next year!

Apr 29 2019

Weekly News From Lithuania 12 April 2019

Lithuania MFA

In 2019 #Vilnius
will become a
platform for some
of the largest and
the most exciting
innovation events
in the #Baltic Sea
region. You should
check out at least
one of the five
innovation and
technology forums hosted in 

9:23 AM - 8 Apr 2019
Linas Linkevičius

Debates on the #FutureOfEurope
continues in Kaunas & Vilnius today. Despite all the challenges, #EU is undoubtedly one of the greatest success stories in the modern history, so let’s continue to stand by the integrity of our European Project & defend fundamental European values.

5:44 AM - 12 Apr 2019
Lithuanian MOD

STARTEX #LockedShields 
2019: Lithuania's team of @cert_lt & 
@LTU_Army#cyber specialists start their tasks to keep critical IT systems running. This year team works closely & w/ support from our counterparts US & Sakartvelo.

2:02 AM - 10 Apr 2019
Ukraine’s NATO and European integration is the choice of this country which we support and will help in achieving, Minister of National Defence R. Karoblis says

“The stance of the whole state, its institutions, businesses and society is crucial for the implementation of Ukraine’s choice to integrate in NATO and the European Union. At the same time it is a common and long-term commitment to work towards it despite obstacles and difficulties. It is Ukraine’s choice and we support it and will help to reach this goal,” Minister of National Defence Raimundas Karoblis said at the Kyiv Security Forum on April 11.

At the meeting with Minister of Defence of Ukraine Stepan Poltorak Minister R. Karoblis reiterated Lithuania’s continued support to Ukraine’s defence reform. He also pointed out the importance of the command and control chain reform, development of the NCO corps, and officer training system reform in the Armed Forces of Ukraine. “Lithuania is also ready to develop cooperation in cyber defence,” Minister R. Karoblis said at the meeting.

L. Linkevičius: We have to create the future of Europe together with our Eastern partners

On 8 April, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania Linas Linkevičius participated in the Foreign Affairs Council in Luxembourg. The Council exchanged views on the Eastern Partnership. Ministers also discussed the future of the Eastern Partnership and reviewed the implementation of the Eastern Partnership's 20 deliverables for 2020.

Lithuania’s Foreign Minister stressed the need for a long-term vision for the Eastern Partnership: “Each partner country must be provided a perspective in line with its ambitions. Thus, the Eastern Partnership can under no circumstances be based on the lowest common denominator. It must be the real motivation behind reforms and allow the potential of countries seeking closer relationship with the EU to blossom”.

Strengthening EU resilience to hybrid threats is Lithuania’s priority

On 10 April, the Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania Darius Skusevičius attended the Stratcom Summit in Prague, where he presented Lithuania’s contribution to the strengthening of the European Union’s resilience to hybrid threats and disinformation.

“We live in the age of fake news. Disinformation and other hybrid threats present a very serious challenge for Western unity and security. Hostile third countries, first and foremost Russia, systematically use propaganda to divide us, undermine mutual trust, influence democratic and decision-making processes. The country invests huge financial resources into propaganda,” said Lithuania’s Foreign Vice-Minister.

Last year, Lithuania allocated almost EUR 50 million to developing countries

On 10 April, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) published the “Official Development Assistance 2018 – Preliminary Data”.

Last year, Lithuania's official development assistance amounted to EUR 49.93 million or 0.11 percent of gross national income (GNI). Lithuania has allocated EUR 39.87 million for multilateral aid and EUR 10.06 million for bilateral aid.

In 2018, foreign aid from international donors fell 2.7% from 2017. However, the European Union together with the member states has allocated more than EUR 74.4 billion (almost 57% of global aid). Thus, the EU remains the world's largest donor.

Rail Baltica will ensure smooth military freight movement

The pan-Baltic European standard-gauge railway project Rail Baltica will help to ensure smooth military freight movement across the whole region, Lithuanian Transport Minister Rokas Masiulis says LETA/BNS.

"Having strategic significance, the Rail Baltica project will contribute to smooth military freight movement in the whole region, and Lithuania is ready to provide comprehensive assistance to NATO troops and ensure a well-developed multimodal transport system and safe infrastructure," the minister, currently on a visit to the United States, was quoted as saying in a statement.


US pharmaceutical giant setting up service center in Vilnius
US-based pharmaceutical giant McKesson is setting up a service center in Vilnius.
According to information from the Center of Registers, McKesson Business Services Lithuania was registered on Wednesday with an authorized share capital of 5 million euros and Ildiko By as its CEO.
The new company is wholly owned by McKesson's European unit, Germany-registered McKesson Europe Holdings.
Lithuania floats a solar-powered future

A floating photovoltaic power plant at the Kruonis hydroelectric facility in Lithuania is the first of its kind in the Baltic region. The market is growing worldwide, and smaller countries like Lithuania can benefit.

The Lithuanian Business Support Agency (LBSA) recently granted €235,000 ($270,000) to support construction of an experimental floating solar photovoltaic power plant at the 900-megawatt (MW) Kruonis hydroelectric plant.

Lithuanian company set to export electric boats to Scandinavia
Vm Production, a Kaunas based producer of entertainment and sports boats, says it is finishing the assembly of the world's first electric boat and garage with wind turbines and solar panels.
The company says it plans to test them shortly and then export to Scandinavia.

Having produced diesel- and petrol-fueled boats, Vm Production now says it plans to only produce boats and garages powered by wind and solar energy and it also be used to charge electric cars, boats and provide power to fish farms.

Dual citizenship as a key agenda at Seimas and Lithuanian World Community meeting

A joint commission of the Seimas and the Lithuanian World Community (LWC) is starting its meeting in Vilnius on Tuesday, with May's dual citizenship referendum being a key issue on the agenda, the parliament said.

In the May 12 referendum, voters will be asked to decide whether to allow dual citizenship to citizens of countries meeting "Euroatlantic integration criteria", with a list of such countries to be set by a law.
First Lithuanian Film Days kicks off in Kiev

The first Lithuanian Film Days kicked off Thursday night in Kiev, Ukraine. Ukrainian cinema-going public will have the chance to explore 12 films, including contemporary production, classics and animation that will be screened for free in Lyra and Dnepro cinemas. The event takes place 11 to 14 of April.

The opening of the Lithuanian Film Week invited members of Ukraine’s cultural community, film lovers and representatives of foreign diplomatic missions residing in Ukraine to see Mantas Kvedaravicius’s celebrated documentary Mariupolis. The guests were greeted by Lithuanian Ambassador to Ukraine Marius Janukonis, Representative of the Municipal Culture Department Diana Popova, cultural attaché of the Embassy of Lithuania in Ukraine Ina Kniūrienė, national and internation project coordinator Lena Babij (Kiev Kino Film) and others. The opening film was presented by film producer Anna Palenchuk and camerman Viacheslav Tsvetkov.

Lithuanian Jewish Community Chairwoman Visits South African Litvak Community

Lithuanian Jewish Community chairwoman Faina Kukliansky is currently visiting the largest Litvak community in exile, the South African Jewish community, from April 8 to 13.

Although the Community and chairwoman Kukliansky have long maintained close ties with Litvaks in the Republic of South Africa, this is the first official visit by the LJC.

In meetings with South African Litvaks scheduled for the morning of April 10 at the Johannesburg Holocaust and Genocide Centre, Kukliansky planned to discuss issues surrounding historical justice, restoration of Lithuanian citizenship and possible joint projects to celebrate 2020 as the Year of the Vilna Gaon and Jewish History in Lithuania.

Apr 15 2019

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