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Weekly News from Lithuania, May 8

Lithuania allocates funds for humanitarian aid to Palestine refugees


The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania allocated EUR 50, 000 in humanitarian aid to Palestine refugees, in order to help reduce the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and to demonstrate solidarity with the international community.

This act is the country’s contribution to the implementation of the 2020 funding appeal launched by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), totaling USD 453.27 million.



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Lithuania will contribute to the global efforts to develop a vaccine against COVID-19


The Government has approved of the allocation of at least EUR 100 000 for the development of a COVID-19 vaccine and ensuring universal access to it. Alongside the previously donated EUR 100 000 to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, Lithuania is thereby contributing to the fundraising initiative by President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen and several global organizations in response to COVID-19, donating funds to the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI).


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EU Ministers of telecommunications discuss possibilities of digital solutions to overcome COVID-19 crisis


The ministers of the European Union, responsible for telecommunications,discuss possibilities of digital solutions to overcome crisis caused by COVID-19. It is planned to discuss use of mobile applications and impersonalized data to overcome the crisis, importance of digital solutions for restoration of the EU economics, and investments into a new digital infrastructure – introduction of broadband communication networks of especially high permeability.


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Twenty lung ventilators flown to Lithuania after Turkey lifts export ban



Twenty lung ventilators were flown from Turkey to Lithuania on Friday after Ankara lifted export restrictions on medical supplies.

“We understand Turkey's position in the wake of the coronavirus, as many countries in the world, including Lithuania, have introduced restrictions on exporting medical supplies," Rasa Jakilaitiene, spokeswoman for the Lithuanian foreign minister, previously told BNS.


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Aerocinema at the Vilnius airport      |      Credits @ Go Vilnius

Lithuania 'more entrepreneurial' and will rebound faster than Europe – finance minister


Lithuania's economic recovery after the coronavirus crisis will be more rapid than in other EU countries, since its businesses are “more entrepreneurial,” according to Finance Minister Vilius Šapoka.

“Given that our business is definitely more entrepreneurial than that in older EU member states, Lithuania’s recovery will surely be more rapid and substantial, even though the economic decline will be broadly similar [in all EU countries],” he told the Žinių Radijas radio.

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Lithuanian app helped connect world leaders in the global response conference

Lithuanian-based remote interpretation platfrom Interactio has partnered with European Commission to connect political leaders and philanthropists in the international pledging conference "Coronavirus Global Response." In the midst of the global crisis, Interactio assisted European initiative in the joint effort to raise 7.5 billion EUR in donations to Gali, the vaccine alliance fighting the COVID-19.


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#ZalgirisVirgin named most effective sales encouragement campaign

The Year’s Marketing Awards, Zalgiris’ popular #ZalgirisVirgin campaign was named the most effective sales encouragement campaign. The award winners were announced during the Password 2020 conference.

In the 17th edition of the Year’s Marketing Awards, Zalgiris’ popular #ZalgirisVirgin campaign was named the most effective sales encouragement campaign. The award winners were announced during the Password 2020 conference among 49 campaigns participating in the Password 2020 competition.


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The Seimas approves liberalisation of the electricity market, presenting new opportunities for electricity consumers


The Seimas unanimously approved the amendments to the Law on Electricity prepared by the Ministry of Energy – the regulation of retail electricity prices for household consumers will be abandoned in stages by 2023. This means that there will be a transition from a regulated retail electricity market to one that is based on competition.



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  Invest Lithuania
10:25 AM - May 4, 2020

Congratulations to Lithuanian Fintech Bankera, who won first place in the digital finance category of the pan-European hackathon #EUvsVirus, hosted by the European Commission! Bankera’s winning entry, chosen from a total of 117, was an innovative solution to provide SMEs with short-term financing to cover their liquidity needs during times of crisis. Take a look at the full report: https://bit.ly/3aXr7V3 #ChallengeLithuania

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6:38 AM - May 7, 2020

Today Lithuania celebrates the day of Press Recovery, Language and Book. #OTD in 1904 tsarist Russia lifted the ban on publications in Lithuanian language (the ban was imposed since 1860s, after the insurrection against tsarist occupation). Dozens of thousands of LT books were smuggled annually, many of them printed in USA. Underground schools were set up that used the smuggled books to teach in Lithuanian language, often after-school-activity, organized by teachers, in churches, at home. Book smugglers became a symbol of Lithuanians’ resistance to russification. Photo credits: rarehistoricalphotos.com

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Quarantine library boom: Vilnius residents order over 300 books per day


During quarantine, residents of Vilnius have been ordering more than 300 books from the city’s libraries per day, according to a press release by the municipality.

“We are very happy to see that we can brighten the daily lives of our readers and encourage them to stay at home during this unusual period,” Rima Gražienė, director of Vilnius Central Library, is quoted in the press release.

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A new season of the heritage management program is starting: special attention is being paid to the icons of Kaunas architecture

The old building facades left in Kaunas will acquire fresh colors with the help of the city. The unique heritage management program, which has been in place for 5 years, has made a significant contribution to the refurbishment of over a hundred buildings and continues this mission. Kaunas City Municipality plans to partially finance a record amount of façade renovation works – almost half a hundred. It is planned to allocate the largest amount so far – 855 thousand euros – for the arrangement of architectural objects in the Old Town, the central part and in more remote places.

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Virtual doubles of culture - stunning peformance by Vilnius city chorus Jauna muzika,
Vaclovas Augustinas "Da Pacem, Domine"       |        Credits @ Choras Jauna Muzika

Creativity Cannot Be Masked: Vilnius Presents Mask Fashion Week


The streets of Vilnius streets are currently dotted with giant photos of people wearing protective masks made in creative way. The images are part of a new project called Mask Fashion Week, which drew its inspiration from members of a Facebook group known as Mask Your Fashion.

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Waiting (by LK) For (by PP) What There Is Of Poetry (by GK)


A conversation between Lithuanian poets Laima Kreivytė, Paulina Pukytė and Giedrė Kazlauskaitė on "poetry in the time of quarantine and banality": is this an opportunity to develop new ways of thinking?


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Highlight of the Week
Mask Fashion Week kicks-off in Vilnius

Photo credits @ We Love Lithuania

May 09 2020

Weekly News from Lithuania, April 30


Although the Second World War ended in 1945, the terror in some states continued, claiming millions more victims. "In a way, WWII didn’t end for the Baltic states until 1991 and the restoration of the independence that they had lost in 1940"      |        Credits @ MFA

Coronavirus response: Lithuania assists Italy and Spain in response to global pandemic

On 27 April 2020, a plane from the Spanish Air Force took off from the Lithuanian Air Force Base near Šiauliai (Lithuania) to deliver critical medical supplies to Spain, as part of ongoing Allied efforts to contain the COVID-19 pandemic.

The delivery consisted of Lithuanian-made facial protection shields, medical gloves and disinfectant fluid and was provided through a bilateral arrangements between Lithuania and Spain.



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Baltic states could reopen borders in mid-May, says Lithuanian foreign minister


The borders between Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania could reopen in mid-May, Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevičius told BNS on Wednesday, following the conversation with his Latvian and Estonian counterparts.

"Preliminary, we could imagine that happening as of May 18, but nothing has definitely been decided yet," Linkevicius said.

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  NATO enhanced Forward Presence Battlegroup Lithuania
9:33 AM - Apr 26, 2020

Sometimes we can help the local community with our knowledge and our means. This time they asked us to remove some trees and widen the road. Of course we will help, was our answer to the local entrepreneur, it is an easy task for the Heavy Engineering Vehicle of the Norwegian army. Glad to have helped, it was fun to do, see you next time. #TOGETHER #STRONG #WeAreNATO #eFP #TogetherWeServe #WEARENATO NATO Force Integration Unit Lithuania Allied Joint Force Command Brunssum Forsvaret Hæren

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Live Q&A I Leading tech companies through change: management, teamwork, culture      |
Credits @ Invest Lithuania

Lithuanian-made app connects communities for emotional support amid global crisis

Everyone’s mental health is being severely challenged during the global pandemic, and access to emotional support is scarce compared to pre-quarantine times. The new Lithuanian-made AOC (Act On Crisis) mobile app aims to fill this gap by providing a package of emotional support tools that includes breathing techniques, anonymous support communities and free therapy sessions with certified professionals.

“In the face of this crisis, the need for community,  especially on an emotional level, is growing,” says Ieva Vaitkeviciute, author of the app idea. According to her, with a fifth of the world’s population currently under lockdown and facing the same challenges at the same time, the situation is unprecedented.

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Lithuania to allow renewable energy communities, more opportunities for businesses to use green electricity


Yet another step is being taken towards the development of renewable energy – the Seimas has approved draft laws prepared by the Ministry of Energy which will allow residents to cooperate and establish renewable energy communities. Producers of electricity from renewable energy sources (RES) will also be allowed to directly conclude contracts and sell energy to end users. This should make green energy even more attractive among companies. 

“<...>Today, energy communities are still a novelty not only in Lithuania, but in other European countries as well, but in the future they will become a fairly common phenomenon, just as renewable energy has already become in many households today,” says Minister of Energy Žygimantas Vaičiūnas.


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Pandemic brought new opportunities for plastics companies

Plastics companies operating at Klaipeda Free economic zone (FEZ) have experienced minimal impact by the COVID-19 outbreak so far. On the contrary, plastics companies are facing increasing demand, opening the new product and sales segments and gaining new arguments within the society. However, their turnover already was and can be further impacted by falling raw material and oil prices.


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Klaipėda is building the most ambitious IT ecosystem in the country

A few years ago Klaipėda was the first city in Lithuania to confirm and start developing an ambitious economic development strategy for the city, which has a special focus on strengthening the ecosystem of information technologies. The first results are already evident today. According to the city development agency Klaipėda ID, local businesses are going through rapid digitalization processes, a new generation of IT talent is growing, startups coming from Klaipėda are gaining world-wide recognition.



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Flemish journalist, culture specialist and author of the book "Lithuania: a travel to unknown" Kurt van Eeghem shares some of the moments of his quarantine life while writing a new book about Lithuanian composer and artist M. K. Čiurlionis       |
Credit @ Lithuanian Embassy to Belgium and Luxembourg

What artists are doing now. Aidas Bareikis in New York


Every morning I throw a few cards up into the air and slowly watch them fall. Scattering is an essential part of any art making with different degrees of tolerance. Installation art has a high degree of tolerance for scattering. This city (NY) has been propelled upwards by an enormous energy for so long, now it’s in a free-fall… It so happens that last month, I had been working on these small installations with the birds. They stand in my studio unfinished - yet another essential part of an installation - abandoned, still...

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During quarantine, residents of Vilnius order from libraries more than 300 books per day


Delivery of library books directly to your home in Vilnius has become a very popular quarantine entertainment – residents of Vilnius liked the new service so much that they ordered more than 300 books to be sent to their homes in the first five hours of the opening of the service. Librarians have to move quickly and to deliver orders to readers in the specifically created routes. Those, who long for library books, can order them once a week. The service is especially popular among seniors.

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Drive-in concerts bring outdoor music back to Lithuania


Drive-in concerts in Lithuania kicked off last weekend, offering people a unique experience and a chance to hear live music amid the nationwide quarantine.

“It's something unreal. You can’t imagine how it all looks from the stage,” called out Giedrė Kilčiauskienė during the inaugural show.

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3D project revives Great Synagogue of Vilna


The destroyed Great Synagogue of Vilna has been revived for new life in a series of videos showing one of the treasures of Litvak heritage, according to a press release by Go Vilnius, the city's development agency.

Once the heart of Judaism in Lithuania, the Great Synagogue of Vilna was founded at the end of the 16th century, but heavily damaged during World War Two and completely razed to the ground under the Soviet rule.

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Unfolding empty streets of Vilnius within its architecture,
stagnated sculptures in parallel with the town itself        |        Credits @ Gintas Kvedaras

May 28
Save the Date: Business Cases from Across the Globe

Global Lithuanian Leaders continues the series of ONLINE SWAPS - fast exchanges of ideas, insights and first hand information among Lithuanian business leaders working in various countries across the globe.


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Highlight of the Week
Vilnius Film Festival and Vilnius Airport have created the world's first drive-in cinema set up on an airport apron

Photo credits @ GoVilnius

May 06 2020

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