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Weekly News From Lithuania 22 February 2019

Dainius Kamaitis

Kingly message from
the King of the Opera
@PlacidoDomingo to 
#Lithuania : "May your
freedom last forever-you
deserve it!" Magnificent
performance in 
gracias para todos vosotros 

12:55 PM - 17 Feb 2019
Linas Linkevicius

Friendly & constructive
mtng with Chief 
@MichelBarnier: stressed full solidarity with #EU over #Ireland, deal on the table & political declaration could pave the way to close relations w #UK in the future. We must be prepared for all options, including No-Deal.

4:21 AM - 18 Feb 2019
Lithuania MFA

President Valdas Adamkus is now part of the @illinoistech Hall of Fame. He had a 27y career with the #US@EPA, after which he returned to to his homeland to serve as the President of #Lithuania. He is a recipient of many honours including the Truman-Reagan Medal of Freedom.

1:56 AM - 20 Feb 2019
President's visit to Poland: consolidation of achieved results

President Dalia Grybauskaitė met with Polish President Andrzej Duda. The President of Lithuania is in Poland on a two day state visit to consolidate the results achieved over the past ten years, take stock of the work done and set the guidelines for future cooperation. This year marks the 450th anniversary of the Union of Lublin – which places a symbolic emphasis on the timing of the visit.

According to the President, even in those distant times, the Lithuanian and Polish nations knew very well that their survival was possible only through unity in the face of geopolitical challenges. Today, Lithuania and Poland are close neighbors, committed EU partners and NATO allies working together to ensure the security and well-being of their people.

February 16: messages of congratulations from all over the world

President Dalia Grybauskaitė received messages of congratulations from world leaders on February 16, Independence Day, wishing the people of Lithuania concord, peace and prosperity.

Congratulations on Lithuania’s Independence Day were extended by Pope Francis, U.S. President Donald Trump, Queen Elizabeth II, Emperor Akihito, French President Emmanuel Macron and many other leaders.

NATO forces conduct cold weather training in Lithuania

Dutch and Czech forces from one of NATO’s battlegroups in the eastern part of the Alliance are taking part in cold weather training in Lithuania. This month, soldiers are learning how to survive in extreme weather conditions.

Brexit negotiations and Lithuania’s key interests discussed in Brussels

On 18 February, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania Linas Linkevičius discussed the course of the negotiations and Lithuania’s key interests in the meeting with the EU chief negotiator on Brexit, Michel Barnier in Brussels.

The Foreign Minister expressed his support for efforts to find a creative solution to the Irish border, which would help to maintain the United Kingdom's withdrawal deal and, at the same time, would receive the necessary support in the UK’s Parliament.

Lithuania already meets its 2020 renewable energy target

Lithuania is one of the 11 EU member states that have already hit 2020 renewable energy targets, World Economic Forum reports.

Almost half of EU 28 member states have already hit, or are close to hitting, their 2020 renewable energy targets. Lithuania, along with Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Italy, Hungary, Romania and Sweden, is at the top of the class. Austria, Greece and Latvia also look certain to hit their targets.

FinTech companies showed avid interest in Bank of Lithuania LBChain project

The LBChain project - the world’s first blockchain-based sandbox developed by a financial market regulator (the Bank of Lithuania) - has garnered significant attention among European FinTech companies. From 21 applicants from countries such as Belgium, Poland, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Finland, Serbia and Sweden, no more than 6 will be deemed eligible to move forward.

“The initiative of the Bank of Lithuania to develop blockchain-based products and solutions has been well received. This is also evidenced by the rather considerable amount of applications that were sent in,” said Andrius Adamonis, Project Manager at the Bank of Lithuania.

World’s most popular crypto platform opens a new office in Vilnius

Blockchain, the world’s most popular and trusted crypto platform, announced the opening of a new office in Vilnius, Lithuania. The office, which is Blockchain’s fifth location, will be home to dozens of designers and customer success agents as well as engineers who will work alongside colleagues in London, New York and San Francisco engineering offices on strategic customer facing projects.

“For our next expansion project, we looked at several options in Europe. Vilnius quickly rose to the top of the list because of its mature talent pool and commitment to innovation,” said Peter Smith, CEO of Blockchain.

Architects from all over the world invited to design new National Concert Hall in Vilnius

An international architectural idea competition for the National Concert Hall, to be built on the Tauras Hill in central Vilnius, was launched on Monday. Architects from all over the world are invited to design one of the most important future spaces in the capital city of Lithuania and to submit their proposals to Vilnius City Municipality.

The contest expires in June, and it is estimated that the construction of the building should start in 2021. According to initial plans, Vilnius city dwellers and city guests would be invited to the new hall in 2023 on the occasion of celebration of the 700th anniversary of Vilnius city.

Kaziuko mugė: 416 years of history alive in the streets of Vilnius

It’s not with the first flowers, the returning of birds, or the warmer temperatures that spring starts in Vilnius – Kaziukas Fair (Kaziuko mugė) marks its beginning on 1-3 March. Filled with songs, crafts, and scrumptious food, the city’s oldest and largest fair is an experience to remember.

Taking over the streets of the Old Town, the fair cherishes some of Vilnius’ ancient traditions while also embracing modern ones, making for an adventure that is both dynamic and unique. From culinary heritage and innovative food experiments, traditional performances and modern entertainment, to archaic crafts and contemporary design pieces – there’s so much to explore.


20th Vilnius Book Fair kicks off

The 20th Vilnius Book Fair kicked off in the Lithuanian capital on Thursday.

The four-day book fair, the largest of its kind on the Baltic countries, will offer a broad cultural program including almost 550 events and more than 200 meetings with authors, and will welcome over 50 foreign guests.

Mindaugas Kvietkauskas, a literary critic and poet now serving as Lithuania's culture minister, opened the fair by quoting Italian writer and philosopher Umberto Eco, who said "the book is like the spoon, scissors, the hammer, the wheel. Once invented, it cannot be improved".

Feb 25 2019

Weekly News From Lithuania 15 February 2019

Lithuania MFA

While @Freedomhouse
observes general
democracy decline in the world, #Lithuania 
remains high
ranked scoring
91 points out of
100 in the annual 

1:20 AM - 9 Feb 2019
LT MFA StratCom

On the 16th of
February we'll
mark the
Day of Restoration of #Lithuania's Independence. We'll remember Act of Independence,
signed in 1918,
together with
Partisans (Minaičiai) Declaration, signed 70y ago - in 1949. Both embody Freedom as our highest value.

6:26 AM - 10 Feb 2019
Linas Linkevicius

Good chance to
discuss further
strengthening of
our bilateral
relations with
bin Zayed at the
Ministerial on
Peace and Security
in the Middle East in
 #Warsaw, including opening #Lithuania’s
embassy in #UAE soon. 

12:58 AM - 14 Feb 2019
A. Zananavičius: Embassy in London strengthens capacities in the run-up to Brexit

On 13 February, the Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania Albinas Zananavičius presented steps taken by the Lithuanian diplomatic service to prepare for the United Kingdom’s forthcoming withdrawal from the EU without a withdrawal agreement on 29 March 2019.

“As the Brexit day approaches, the Lithuanian Embassy in London strengthens capacities of its consular unit. We began the selection procedure of two new consular officers, set citizen’s reception hours on weekdays, and extended working hours on weekdays. There will be additional consular missions in King's Lynn and Leeds,” said the Foreign Vice-Minister.

Lithuanian-Polish parliamentary assembly resumes work after decade-long break

The Lithuanian-Polish Parliamentary Assembly has resumed work after a decade-long break.

According to Arvydas Nekrošius, the leader of the Lithuanian Seimas' delegation, a declaration adopted during lawmakers' meeting in Warsaw stressed the importance of this format and the need to continue meetings in the future.

"We could talk about cooperation in the areas of security, defense, energy security, various infrastructure projects, and also issues related to the situation of ethnic minorities," Nekrošius said.

Lithuania’s first Honorary Consulate opens in Paraguay

On 12 February, the Honorary Consulate of Lithuania was opened in Paraguay. The Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania Darius Skusevičius attended the official opening ceremony.

“Today, we are taking a new step in the bilateral relationship between Lithuania and Paraguay. We believe that the new Honorary Consulate will contribute to the development of our relationship in the fields of politics, economy, tourism, education, and other areas, ”said the Vice-Minister Skusevičius.

Lithuanian government holds training on election cyber threats

The Chancellery of the Lithuanian Government held training and tabletop exercises earlier this week, dedicated to countering cyber threats during elections.

Experts from Sweden, Finland and Poland shared their insights into the importance of public resilience during election time, and also shared their experience of deterring third-country attempts to negatively affect the election process. The seminar focused on the 2018 election to the Swedish parliament.

Microsoft shared its thoughts about cooperation between the public and private sectors and the existing instruments to ensure the security of information networks during elections.

Lithuania attracts London fintech firms as Brexit looms

Worried over Brexit uncertainty, dozens of fintech companies have applied for licences in Lithuania to secure access to the EU market, France 24 reports.

"We expect to receive around 100 applications from fintech companies this year," Marius Jurgilas, a member of the board at the central bank, told AFP.

The Lithuanian fintech cluster already includes over 110 licensed companies, second only to Britain in the European Union, while another 61 applications are under review, according to central bank figures.

Vilnius University scientist Dr Urtė Neniškytė to receive a prestigious international award

On February 11th, 2019, the L’Oréal Foundation and UNESCO For Women in Science programme announced the list of International Rising Talents. The list features 15 most promising researchers, and among them is Dr Urtė Neniškytė, a neuroscientist at Vilnius University’s Life Sciences Centre (VU LSC).

She will accept the award together with other talented scientists during a ceremony at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris. The ceremony is a part of the “For Women in Science” week, during which eminent international scientists come together to celebrate the contribution of women to the development of science.

Lithuania is top EU member state by proportion of women scientists and engineers

Marking the International Day of Women and Girls in Science, celebrated on 11 February, Eurostat released a report on the proportion of women in science and technology in EU member states.

In 2017, of almost 18 million scientists and engineers in the EU, 59% were men and 41% women. However, in five EU Member States, the majority of scientists and engineers were women: Lithuania (57% female), Bulgaria and Latvia (both 53%), Portugal (51%) and Denmark (just over 50%).

Lithuania's total exports of goods increased by 7.3% over 2018

According to Statistics Lithuania, total exports of goods increased by 7.3 per cent over 2018 to EUR 28.3 billion. 

The greatest contributors to the growth in exports of goods of Lithuanian origin (excluding energy products) were the chemical industry (about 3 pp), the engineering industry (2.1 pp), the tobacco products industry (1.9 pp) and the furniture industry (1.1 pp).

Vilnius is inviting you to celebrate the Restoration of the State of Lithuania Day together!

Vilnius is going to have a memorable celebration of the Day of Independence of Lithuania – a unique sense of unity, events, concerts and 70 fires will be waiting in the city centre!

Moreover, the traffic lights of the capital will be lit in the Lithuanian Tricolour. The same colours will be used to light the monument of Three Crosses and three main bridges in Vilnius: Mindaugas, Green and White bridges, as well as the Town Hall, Philharmonic and the Cathedral’s Belfry.

Three main streets of the capital – Gedimino and Konstitucijos avenues and Pilies street – will be decorated festively.


20th Vilnius Book Fair will invite guests to watch literary duels

The international Vilnius Book Fair, which marks 20th anniversary this year, will feature a novelty – literary duels between creators and critics.

Held on February 21-24, the largest event dedicated to literature, music and cultural discussions, promises 200 meetings with various authors, 18 events at five spacious halls and over 50 foreign guests.

International music incubator Novus is looking for new talents

Based in Vilnius, Art Factory Loftas promises an impressive summer experience and is now open for the up and coming band applications to participate in the international band competition Music Incubator Novus.

Music Incubator Novus is an international young bands competition and is held for four straight years at Art Factory Loftas. The project encourages to participate bands of any music genre.

Novus is looking for the most exciting acts from Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania. This year’s competition will be held in June-July at Art Factory Loftas summer terrace supported by Lithuania’s national radio “LRT Opus” and television.

Lithuanian security service makes documentary on interwar intelligence

The Lithuanian State Security Department (VSD) has collaborated with a team of film professionals and historians on a new documentary entitled "The Shadow Front".

The documentary uses previously unshown photos and video material from the archives and modern movie animation to look at the behind-the-scenes work of Lithuania's interwar intelligence. Five historians helped the creative team in the production of the documentary, which took more than a year to make.

Coin dedicated to Užgavėnės features a flaming Morė

The Bank of Lithuania has issued into circulation two collector coins dedicated to the end-of-winter celebration Užgavėnės – a €1.5 coin from a copper-nickel alloy and a €5 silver coin featuring the legendary Morė, the effigy of winter, and masqueraders. The coins will be issued into circulation on 19 February.

Feb 19 2019

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