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  • Baltic countries join Ukraine to call for EU, UN action
    to deal with the situation It becomes increasingly obvious that pro Moscow terrorist groups with their attacks in Mariupol and elsewhere in eastern Ukraine by targeting civilians in an inhumane and cynical manner also demonstrate beyond doubt that Russia is not interested in a peaceful resolution of the conflict the Foreign Ministry said in a statement The peace initiatives proposed by Russia and its involvement in multilateral negotiations have possibly been only pretence intended to mask the action it is taking the ministry argued Those who trigger aggression must be aware that the international community will react decisively and firmly to escalations of the conflict These developments are expected to be discussed by the UN Security Council and Latvia calls for urgently convening an extraordinary meeting of the EU Foreign Affairs Council the Latvian Foreign Ministry added Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko declared yesterday 25 Jan a national day of mourning in the country Commemorative events will also be held in the Baltic capitals in Vilnius there will be a ceremony held outside the national parliament the Seimas People are invited to bring candles which will be lit and placed forming the name of Mariupol Afterwards a procession will walk from the Seimas to the Embassy of Ukraine where candles will be lit as well A protest will also take place today outside the Russian Embassy in Riga The rocket attack on the eastern Ukrainian city of Mariupol left 30 people dead and at least 95 wounded According to Kiev pro Russian fighters used Grad multiple rocket launcher systems and fired on a market and residential areas However the separatists denied responsibility and called the accusations disinformation Comments Related Articles Linkevicius to replace Grybauskaite at London conference Ukrainian NSDC Secretary Russia waging hybrid warfare on EU Lithuanian Health Minister to resign

    Original URL path: http://www.baltictimes.com/baltic_countries_join_ukraine_to_call_for_eu__un_action/ (2016-02-13)
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  • Dutch company offers to replace Latvia's pavilion at Expo 2015 with park
    According to Diena the park would have a wooden footbridge with screens on both sides which would display an interactive exhibition The board of Gestalt Communications have also worked on other countries Expo pavilions in previous years Last week Latvia s Economics Minister Dana Reizniece Ozola called for the cancellation of Latvia s participation in the event citing excessive costs This outraged the project leaders Elina Vikmane and Girts Majors who described her behaviour as disgusting and pointed out that tens of thousands of euros had already been spent on specially commissioned music and film for the project as well as social media campaigns Prime Minister Laimdota Straujuma also told Reizniece Ozola that as the leader of the presiding country of the Council of the European Union she would find it unpleasant should Italy object to Latvia s withdrawal from the event Reizniece Ozola continues to object to the idea saying that Latvia s participation in World Expo 2015 will cost far too much 7 3 million euros in total Furthermore the minister said that the preparation period has been too short and tense for successful implementation of the project A final decision will on this issue will be made by the government tomorrow 27 Jan Comments Related Articles U S heavy weaponry to be deployed in Latvia from autumn 2015 Latvia Lumbers Towards Higher Spending on Defence Russia Today requests permission to establish Latvian subsidiary Subscribe Advertise Log In Please enter your username and password Forgot your password Login Related Articles Latvian government reaches for guns over health care Crude oil leaks from Latvia s VNT terminal Latvia and China discuss bilateral cooperation Drunk AirBaltic crew sentenced to jail in Norwegian court Subscribe A subscription to The Baltic Times is a cost effective way of staying in touch with

    Original URL path: http://www.baltictimes.com/dutch_company_offers_to_replace_latvia_s_pavilion_at_expo_2015_with_park/ (2016-02-13)
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  • NATO reassurances and Baltic defence cooperation: getting the balance right
    deeper Baltic defence cooperation towards a bottleneck On 2013 figures Estonia meets the NATO required 2 of GDP on defence while Latvia and Lithuania lag well behind at 0 9 and 0 8 respectively showing that an unpleasant divide has emerged Interoperability and a reliable scheme of military specialisation can only be enabled if the trust to do so exists between allies In the Baltic context the lack of trust arising from the spending gap stalls potential for greater smart defence Tallinn s policy makers will hold little confidence in a system where they rely on their southern neighbours ability to invest in delegated defence capabilities Hence while the Baltic states share the same security space their respective militaries develop largely as jacks of many trades but masters of none The second layer affecting Baltic cooperation concerns defence relations with the CEE region more broadly With Baltic militaries roughly at the same level there is no frontrunner to lead Thus it has been advocated that the Baltic states integrate under wider initiatives led by larger more experienced allies From the CEE perspective as the region s largest ally holding a stellar defence investment track record encouraged by NATO Poland is the sole candidate able to assume the region s defence leadership However Polish leadership alone will not be enough for the Baltic states If Polish led CEE defence cooperation should take shape the Baltic States may fear that the major Western allies such as the US the UK and France will misperceive the region as fixed and hence decide against further assurance measures These doubts dis incentivise the cooperation required to build regional defence cohesion Hence tackling this cooperative security dilemma requires a balance where NATO s major powers encourage greater CEE defence cooperation while guaranteeing that their strong presence supporting the region s security will remain Attractive to Estonia in particular increased Nordic Baltic defence cooperation represents a further option This suggestion earns merit through long term Nordic engagement in assisting Baltic defence capacity since the 1990s Moreover given Estonian doubts over inter Baltic defence cooperation a link with Finland emerges as an alternative As Pauli Järvenpää a former high level Finnish defence official pointed out Finland and Estonia are standing to gain greater cost efficiency through joint procurements in such an alternative defence acquisition partnership Nevertheless a number of difficulties still surround Nordic Baltic defence cooperation Firstly while the Finns and Swedes have been active in assisting Baltic defence capacity building within the relatively benign security environment since the 1990s the continued involvement of both in defence cooperation remains questionable should the regional security situation deteriorate The tradition of military non alignment in both states could in a crisis situation prompt an inward focus advocating minimal regional defence partnerships Furthermore on the Baltic side while enhanced Nordic cooperation appeals to Estonia the positions of Latvia and Lithuania remain unclear An Estonian pivot to the north could push Lithuania to sway more towards Poland leaving Latvia thin in terms

    Original URL path: http://www.baltictimes.com/nato_reassurances_and_baltic_defence_cooperation__getting_the_balance_right/ (2016-02-13)
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  • Former president Adamkus Lithuania's most popular public figure; Grybauskaite approval rating falls
    Democrats TS LKD Andrius Kubilius 71 percent the Chairman of the Supreme Council Reconstituent Seimas and Honorary Chairman of the TS LKD Vytautas Landsbergis 65 percent Arturas Zuokas the mayor of Vilnius 60 percent and the Honorary Chairman of the Labour Party Viktor Uspaskikh 60 percent According to Associate Professor Dr Tomas Janeliunas lecturer at the Institute of International Relations and Political Science of Vilnius University a fall in Grybauskaite s ratings was observed during the presidential election It is obvious that she is now less popular compared to the beginning of her first presidential term in 2009 he said I would associate the change with people s expectations or slight disappointment Every time politicians who are at first greatly trusted and create great expectations fail to 100 percent satisfy those expectations Naturally some people lower their expectations or feel disappointed in the politician And the presidential election campaign showed that it was more difficult for Grybauskaite especially as there were more candidates The fact that a run off voting round was also needed demonstrated that there was more disappointment Janeliunas told the ELTA news agency Talking about Paksas s ratings the political scientist said that Paksas has been appearing in national politics although his attempt to return to the top positions by playing the presidential election card failed completely We were reminded again that he was accused and punished baselessly allegedly This simply did not bring any major support and I imagine that people have written him off as a top level politician because at the moment he is only a Member of the European Parliament as he has been for the last few years Even though he leads the party he is being criticised by its members Naturally disappointment in the leader is growing even among Order and Justice s supporters said the political expert The political scientist believes that Grybauskaite s ratings have stabilised People do not have major expectations of her she is active in foreign policy and her level of support has remained stable Her ratings will most probably remain stable unless unexpected incidents or scandals occur Janeliunas predicted The political scientist called European Commissioner Andriukaitis a phenomenon as he was well evaluated among the social democrats The scientist said that Andriukaitis strongly supported social democratic ideas when he was minister of healthcare even though he was criticised by healthcare experts and politicians The public met his stance positively As regards Parliament Speaker Loreta Grauziniene the political scientist said that over the last year to six months people had got used to her being in this position Even though her appointment was met with criticism at first especially in the media she is no longer being criticised nor has she been involved in scandals or misunderstandings Even the president no longer ignores the the Seimas speaker so obviously she was invited to the State Defence Council and participated in bilateral meetings Comments Related Articles Kaunas municipality begins refurbishment work on Jewish cemetary Lithuania supports Georgia

    Original URL path: http://www.baltictimes.com/former_president_adamkus_lithuania_s_most_popular_public_figure__grybauskaite_approval_rating_falls/ (2016-02-13)
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  • Letter from Riga: what next for Latvia's foreign policy?
    as they appear making plans on a yearly rather than a multiannual basis This means more reactivity but also greater flexibility Third Latvia follows the rule of trust but verify The country generally views the EU especially its institutions as a trustworthy partner The importance of joint EU policies is undoubted Indeed despite its small size Latvia would like to see itself firmly at the EU s core however unrealistic this may seem At the same time Riga is increasingly trying to formulate its own vision and new priorities for instance on Central Asia Fourth Latvia seeks to diversify its foreign policy across regions and areas Latvia aims to develop a comprehensive approach covering security values and the economy and to reach out beyond its traditional partners of the EU the United States its Eastern neighbors and Russia Although Latvia has been highly proactive throughout the Ukraine crisis it did not stop working on other dossiers like India or Afghanistan These principles form the basis of Latvia s relations with several regions of the world The Baltic Sea region along with the neighboring countries of Germany and Poland is one of Latvia s main priorities Despite some bilateral competition with Estonia and Lithuania Latvia has a strong Baltic identity and an interest in economic and security cooperation with its two EU neighbors Transatlantic relations are indispensable for Latvia and encompass not only various aspects of security but also economic cooperation The proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership TTIP is a high priority politically and Latvia has few concerns about the deal s substance possibly due to the country s low volume of trade with the United States Riga already maintains a close and trusting dialogue with Washington and would like to see the United States increase its military presence in Europe on its own territory and in the immediate neighborhood In regard to the EU s Eastern Partnership Latvia has moved beyond pro democracy declarations and now has an ambitious goal to revive and revamp the initiative through small but logical steps These include tying in all six partners through significantly diversified forms of cooperation increasing assistance for the implementation of the EU Association Agreements with Georgia Moldova and Ukraine paying more attention to security and making progress on visa liberalization and other practical issues Relations with Russia deteriorated significantly in 2014 Although some economic interests remain these are now seen as inevitable not desirable Latvia has been consistently pushing for a transatlantic consensus on Russia that would couple sanctions with security and financial support to those EU member states worst affected by Russian aggression Latvia also seeks greater backing for energy interconnectors and new independent media channels for Russian and Russian speaking minorities in the EU s Eastern neighborhood At the same time Riga is becoming more diligent in doing its homework diversifying away from Russian markets Central Asia is another priority and a policy area where Latvia takes the lead Its role there is driven mostly by economic

    Original URL path: http://www.baltictimes.com/letter_from_riga__what_next_for_latvia_s_foreign_policy_/ (2016-02-13)
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  • News search
    legalising it The Estonian Parliament Riigikogu on Wednesday voted for amendments to the law enforcement act which will prohibit drinking alcohol in public Read More Usakovs Saeima spitting in face of Riga residents on transport The Saeima s decision not to allot state subsidies for Riga public transport is equivalent to spitting in the face of Riga s resid Read More A fond farewell to the litas but clear off Farage At the stroke of midnight on New Year s Day 2015 the bell will toll heralding the start of a new year and a new era fo Read More Jurmala could lose New Wave festival due to Moscow decision Vesti reported today that it is possible that the New Wave pop music festival held in Jurmala since 2002 will not be able to organise their ev Read More Estonia s GDP per capita 14 218 euros in 2013 42 higher in Harju County According to Statistics Estonia Harju County accounted for 61 3 of the gross domestic product GDP of Estonia in 2013 Harju County th Read More Success in the Euro area will require constant hard work from Lithuania As celebrations around the globe usher in 2015 a few extra champagne corks will pop in Vilnius Lithuania is join Read More Latvian women most entrepreneurial in Europe new study Latvian women are the most active business founders in Europe 10 percent of women aged between 18 and 64 in the country have started their own Read More Previous 145 146 147 148 149 150 151 152 153 154 Next Subscribe Advertise Log In Please enter your username and password Forgot your password Login Subscribe A subscription to The Baltic Times is a cost effective way of staying in touch with the latest Baltic news and views enabling you

    Original URL path: http://www.baltictimes.com/search/jcms/start/1440/ (2016-02-13)
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  • Seamless data transmission network links Tallinn and Frankfurt via Baltic capitals
    implemented by three partners Data Logistics Centre Lithuania Latvenergo Latvia and Televork Estonia Development of the data network took more than five years and cost more than 1 5 million euros Baltic Highway is the first and so far the only seamless i e not made up of different segments of operator networks network using the infrastructure of a single manufacturer Moreover it is the shortest span data highway connecting Eastern and Western Europe and creates the possibility of reaching St Petersburg via 100G connections or Belarus via 10G connections This network is highly relevant to big data operators as well as financial institutions and banks which consider fast data exchange important It is important to the megadata centres of Microsoft Google and Yandex established in Finland up to this day they used to employ the 10G data transfer networks Baltic Highway is like a freeway to Frankfurt only without border crossings or controls said Juozas Rumbutis the Head of the Sales Department of Data Logistics Centre Baltic Highway uses optic fibres laid into high voltage lines and gas pipelines managed by energy companies Comments Related Articles Lithuania will host innovation experts and creators from around the globe Transport Ministry Sacks Chairman of Latvian Railways Office launch party of Latvian Asian Chamber of commerce Subscribe Advertise Log In Please enter your username and password Forgot your password Login Related Articles Goliath Wind signs 100 million euro deal in India Estonia Merko signs contract on construction of Tallinn tram line extension Russian Roulette the shot of vodka heard round the world Estonia was Europe s biggest exporter of wooden houses in 2014 Subscribe A subscription to The Baltic Times is a cost effective way of staying in touch with the latest Baltic news and views enabling you full access from anywhere

    Original URL path: http://www.baltictimes.com/seamless_data_transmission_network_links_tallinn_and_frankfurt_via_baltic_capitals/ (2016-02-13)
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  • The real problem with Mogherini's Russia paper
    by the EU as Russia s interests only two technology transfers and exemptions for Russia s state owned energy company Gazprom from the requirements of the EU s Third Energy Package could be truly attractive to the Kremlin But even these two are still not attractive enough to cause Russia to abandon its basic worldview Quite the contrary technology and particularly exemptions are needed precisely in order to retain and increase Russia s leverage over its neighbourhood Talks between the EU and EEU are proposed these days by many in Europe as a potential basis for a new grand bargain But it remains unclear what the talks would actually achieve As recently as a year ago Moscow would probably have been thrilled about such an offer After all the Eurasian Union was designed as a means to increase Russia s economic clout and thereby to make it an equal partner to the EU and other trade blocs in ways that Russia could not be on its own But things have changed after the events of 2014 Moscow s loss of Ukraine and the other EEU members increased reservations Russia will by no means abandon the EEU project but for now Moscow seems unclear as to how exactly it should proceed and to what it should aspire So the EU s offer may be too little too late At the same time and contrary to the EU s hopes this kind of cooperation would not really solve the dilemmas associated with the countries in between Of course even though the paper fails to mention them Moscow does also have real interests vis à vis the EU and they belong in the same category as those listed in the paper as the EU s interests They concern the rules of the game in Europe Ever since April Moscow has signalled to the West that it is prepared to talk and that it wants to reach an agreement But agreement for Moscow means recognition of spheres of influence on the ground as well as and more importantly as a principle of international life Understandably the EU cannot enter a dialogue on these terms Thus the disagreement between the West and Moscow is a fundamental one and there is no easy solution to it But trying to circumvent it by focusing on trivialities a measure that sometimes indeed can be useful in this case runs the risk of being counterproductive because it may overburden the agenda with irrelevant topics and obscure both sides understanding of the situation Therefore given that the EU and Russia at the moment have little basis for agreement the EU should consider doing more to arrive to a common understanding on the nature of the disagreement among the EU member states as well as between the EU the West and Russia This is something that is currently missing and the resulting misunderstandings could lead to or may already have led to very dangerous situations The EEAS paper does not promote

    Original URL path: http://www.baltictimes.com/the_real_problem_with_mogherini_s_russia_paper_129143380454c2477e67d7b/ (2016-02-13)
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