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  • Lithuania remembers January events
    who lost their lives for Lithuania s independence will be paid at the Antakalnis Cemetery in the Lithuanian capital At the parliament the Seimas leadership and members of the government will meet with families of those killed and those who were affected by the Soviet aggression A service will be held at the Vilnius Cathedral in the evening while scores of sky lanterns will be released from the Vinco Kudirkos Square Events are also planned to mark the occasion are planned across the country January 13 is commemorated as Freedom Defenders Day to remember those who died during the Soviet army s actions in Vilnius on January 13 1991 The Soviets then attempted to overthrow Lithuania s legally elected administration that had declared independence from the USSR on March 11 1990 The attempts of the Soviet army and OMON special units to take over the TV tower and the Lithuanian Radio and Television building claimed the lives of Loreta Asanaviciute Virginijus Druskis Darius Gerbutavicius Rolandas Jankauskas Rimantas Juknevicius Alvydas Kanapinskas Algimantas Petras Kavoliukas Vytautas Koncevicius Vidas Maciulevicius Titas Masiulis Alvydas Matulka Apolinaras Juozas Povilaitis Ignas Simulionis and Vytautas Vaitkus Vytautas Koncevicius and Stasys Maciulskas died of injuries in February and April that year Although the troops managed to seize the TV Tower and the Radio and Television building they did not attack the building of then Supreme Council the now Lithuanian Parliament which was surrounded by thousands of peaceful protesters Comments Related Articles Kaunas municipality begins refurbishment work on Jewish cemetary Lithuania supports Georgia s NATO aspirations NATO to halve Baltic air policing mission four jets to remain in Siaulai Subscribe Advertise Log In Please enter your username and password Forgot your password Login Related Articles Mixed hopes in Vilnius for Belarus reset Lithuanian MEP migrant crisis will be a

    Original URL path: http://www.baltictimes.com/lithuanian_remembers_january_events/ (2016-02-13)
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  • Two jailed over terrorism in Estonia
    set as April 13 2015 when the men were detained as suspects According to the charges the pre trial investigation established that Abdurrahman Ivan Sazanakov a former resident of Estonia planned in summer 2013 to travel to Syria through Turkey with the aim of joining a terrorist organization active in that country He executed his plan in July 2013 and carried out his plan in July of the same year Khalilov who was aware of Sazanakov s plan and purchased him a ticket on a Turkish internal flight from Antalya to Hataya next to the Syrian border He also printed the travel document proving the booking and explained to him how to use it at the airport thus enabling the man to reach Syria and join the terrorist group Khalilov also collected money for Sazanakov from his acquaintances including 600 euros from Manko in autumn 2013 In October 2013 he visited Sazanakov in Syria to deliver the funds Besides giving Khalilov 600 euros for Sazanakov in 2013 Manko visited Riga in February 2014 and solicited funds to support Sazanakov Both men pleaded not guilty at the trial Comments Related Articles Concept of foreign policy has changed for Estonia Medieval ships uncovered beneath Tallinn building sites Go Rail ends Tallinn Moscow service for economic reasons Subscribe Advertise Log In Please enter your username and password Forgot your password Login Related Articles Japan follows Estonia s lead with electronic ID cards Right wing parties launch 24 hour anti migrant rally Right wing parties launch 24 hour anti migrant rally in Tallinn The battle for the Estonian coastline 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 with an Internet connection Subscribe Now

    Original URL path: http://www.baltictimes.com/two_jailed_over_terrorism_in_estonia/ (2016-02-13)
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  • Here’s How the Poles Can Help Ukraine Decentralize
    any Potential problems notwithstanding there Poroshenko has stated unequivocally his intention to carry out the decentralization reforms According to the plan the institutional foundation of Ukraine will shift from a strong centralized unitary state to one based on the principle of subsidiarity It places the responsibility of providing and maintaining day to day public goods and services on the shoulders of the hromadas the villages towns and cities that make up Ukraine s basic governing units Today the central government in Kyiv carries out most governance but in a decentralized Ukraine locally elected councils will direct local governing bodies on issues ranging from land use and utilities to healthcare and law enforcement The President will be able to terminate the authority of any hromada council or board and appoint his own commissioner until an election can be called The next levels of state power the raion or district and then the oblast or region ostensibly carries the same powers and duties as before However they will answer to a prefect or civil servant to quote Article 106 of the proposed amended constitution appointed by the President to oversee government business enforce federal legislation and guard against constitutional violations Between this power and the fact that the prefect answers not to the Cabinet of Ministers but directly to the President some experts worry the new system unfairly adds an extra card to the President s political hand However no system is totally immune to abuse especially one grounded in a political culture that has historically lacked strong formal institutions Institutional design alone cannot morph a neo patrimonial regime into one based on the rule of law Only a precedent set by people willing to play by a new set of rules can do that The proposed setup creates problems that could hamper the development of an effective state Fortunately legislation can fix them The Poles would be wise to advise the Ukranians to make enact three major sub constitutional reforms to ensure decentralization succeeds First Ukraine s 15 000 plus hromadas must be consolidated into larger communities of at least 20 000 inhabitants each Many of these hromadas are villages with fewer than 500 people and lack the capacity to provide the goods and services that Ukraine s new Constitution demands of them Reformers should follow the advice of a 2014 report by the US Agency for International Development suggesting hromadas be grouped into 1 200 larger units Second the Rada must enact legislation solidifying the mechanisms that financehromadas The current amendments only stipulate that they ll be funded through a mix of federal allocations and local taxes But the smallest most rural hromadas which have the least political influence in Kyiv require legal protection to ensure that they ll receive their fair share of funding so that they can develop the governing infrastructure needed to carry out their new responsibilities Finally local governing bodies and town councils will need education and training to do the job properly Community leaders will

    Original URL path: http://www.baltictimes.com/here___s_how_the_poles_can_help_ukraine_decentralize/ (2016-02-13)
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  • 25 years on from Riga Barricades, Latvia’s goal is OECD
    between January 13 and January 27 of 1991 Rasnacs was organizing barricade guards in Riga providing firewood fuel places to sleep transportation and gasmasks from the coordination center of the Latvian Popular Front That same year Latvia joined the United Nations on September 17 1991 On March 29 2004 NATO expanded to include Latvia along with the rest of its Baltic neighbors In May of the same year the European Union also welcomed all three Baltic States into the bloc However while Estonia s rate of development earned the country an OECD membership in 2010 Latvia was not invited to open an OECD accession process until 2013 and accession talks are still ongoing as of the 25th anniversary of the 1991 Barricades It has been a dramatic journey one which Rasnacs has witnessed and participated in throughout in a variety of prominent positions in Latvian politics but he is wary of idealising Latvia s early independence period There were a lot of mistakes made during the early era after the Soviet Union admitted Minister Rasancs He insisted that the mistakes have since been corrected For example the minister spoke proudly of the Justice Department s potentially controversial new legal mechanism to limit the actions of organizations that are opposed to the sovereignty or security of Latvia and its citizens His experiences at the Barricades have perhaps made him wearier of Russian aggression in Latvia and Europe The same type of war that is happening in Donbas is possible in Latvia said Minister Rasnacs we very much know what the Russian bear is doing to Latgale Twenty five years on from the events of January 1991 Minister Rasnacs says we actually didn t have any concrete goals at the time We just wanted to get out get out of the empire

    Original URL path: http://www.baltictimes.com/25_years_on_from_riga_barricades__latvia___s_goal_is_oecd/ (2016-02-13)
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  • Lithuanian athletes able to postpone national service
    their service Major Zygimantas Adamonis the head of the Conscription and Manning Unit told BNS that around 8 000 males aged between 18 25 were put on 2015 s conscription lists Some of the names also featured on 2016 s call up The 2016 lists contain the names of basketball players Jonas Valanciunas who plays for the Toronto Raptors and Gediminas Orelik who belongs to the Lietuvos Rytas basketball club If there is a public interest the Minister Of Defence s order is in force said Adamonis They have to request a postponement but perhaps they want to serve We cannot answer that for them According to Adamonis athletes and other persons promoting Lithuania on an international level and are not in the country at present will be able to submit a request for their service to be postponed Comments Related Articles Kaunas municipality begins refurbishment work on Jewish cemetary Lithuania supports Georgia s NATO aspirations NATO to halve Baltic air policing mission four jets to remain in Siaulai Subscribe Advertise Log In Please enter your username and password Forgot your password Login Related Articles Mixed hopes in Vilnius for Belarus reset Lithuanian MEP migrant crisis will be a lingering issue Refugees to be questioned on religion and previous military activities by Lithuanian authorities Former KGB spy given Lithuanian residence permit 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 with an Internet connection Subscribe Now About The Baltic Times The Baltic Times is an independent monthly newspaper that covers latest political economic business and cultural events in Estonia Latvia and Lithuania Born of a merger between The Baltic Independent and The Baltic Observer in 1996 The Baltic Times continues

    Original URL path: http://www.baltictimes.com/lithuanian_athletes_able_to_postpone_national_service/ (2016-02-13)
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  • Lithuania publishes 2016 conscription lists
    all those listed Instead they will be sent their call up depending on whether they will begin their service in April or later on in the year Those on the lists who have not received their conscription notices will have to contact the nearest army staffing unit Following the publication of the list young men and women will still be able to voluntarily join the army and do mandatory service Minister of National Defense Juozas Olekas who is in favor of a professional army hopes that just like last year all those doing mandatory service will do so voluntarily From the experience we have with last year s conscription it is likely that we might not even need the conscription lists at all the minister told BNS We already have over 600 volunteers and we had that number last April That means that we still have three months to invite more Lithuania re introduced conscription in 2015 following the Kremlin s annexation of Crimea the previous year Since then around 3 000 men are annually invited to do mandatory military service The first 2016 conscripts will start their service on April 4 2016 The last stages of conscription will take place in October Comments Related Articles Linkevicius to replace Grybauskaite at London conference Ukrainian NSDC Secretary Russia waging hybrid warfare on EU Lithuanian Health Minister to resign over corruption scandal Subscribe Advertise Log In Please enter your username and password Forgot your password Login Related Articles NATO to bolster presence in Eastern Europe Lithuanian Foreign Minister slams Ukraine over insufficient anti corruption measures Refugee family relocated to Latvia left one child behind in Eritrea Report NATO would lose against Russia in invasion of Baltic states Subscribe A subscription to The Baltic Times is a cost effective way of staying in

    Original URL path: http://www.baltictimes.com/lithuania_publishes_2016_conscription_lists/ (2016-02-13)
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  • Latvian Institute of International Affairs to host “Latvian External Policy and the New European Union Global Strategy” discussion
    for 2016 The second part of the event will focus on the New EU Global Strategy and the challenges and opportunities this strategy offers to Latvia Simultaneously LIIA will present the new Latvian Foreign and Security Policy Yearbook which is traditionally published shortly before the Foreign Policy Debate in the Parliament 22 January 2016 Participants of the discussion Sandra Kalniete Vice Chair of the Group of the European People s Party European Parliament Rapporteur on the EU Global Strategy Ojārs Ēriks Kalniņš Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Latvian Parliament Head of the Latvian delegation to the NATO Parliamentary Assembly Jānis Kažociņš Adviser to the President Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Minister of Defence of the Republic of Latvia Atis Lejiņš Member of the Latvian Parliament Werner Rechmann Coordinator Friedrich Ebert Stiftung Baltic Anke Schmidt Felzmann Researcher Swedish Institute of International Affairs Viljar Veebel Chair of Humanities and Social Sciences Estonian National Defence College Andris Sprūds Director LIIA Māris Andžāns Researcher LIIA Kārlis Bukovskis Deputy Director LIIA Comments Related Articles Moscow lacks available forces to seize and hold Baltics Estonian defence expert Searching for energy independence in the Baltic forests The challenge of Russia s decline Subscribe Advertise Log In Please enter your username and password Forgot your password Login Related Articles LIIA examines NATO relations with Central Asia Discussing the EU and Russia s soft power in the Baltic States and the Eastern Neighbourhood The Russians are coming to occupy the Baltic States At the faultlines of Ukraine s war 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 with an Internet connection Subscribe Now About The Baltic Times The Baltic Times is an independent monthly newspaper

    Original URL path: http://www.baltictimes.com/latvian_institute_of_international_affairs_to_host____latvian_external_policy_and_the_new_european_union_global_strategy____discussion/ (2016-02-13)
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  • Putin's Next Potential Target: The Baltic States
    delay a Russian invasion Similarly if Finland and Sweden s collaboration with one another and with NATO grows the strategic equation in the Baltics might change as well Poland and Lithuania are opening LNG terminals and a series of interconnectors to reduce Gazprom and Moscow s power and gain genuine energy security based on diversification of supply Latvia is also pondering new energy legislation and is building storage infrastructure To the degree that exporters send more LNG and shale gas to the Baltics and that Europe completes the program of interconnectors it will become possible to reduce Russia s leverage over gas supplies to Central and Eastern Europe All of these trends spell negative results for Moscow and heighten the possibility of some form of Russian strike against one or more Baltic state A main goal will certainly be to undermine these countries ability to defend their sovereignty and territorial integrity and ultimately to fracture the cohesion of European integration in the EU and within NATO as well as Baltic peoples belief in those institutions It is important to think about how a Russian attack might begin Russia might launch a concerted series of probes initially of a non military and non kinetic nature to prevent the utilization of the new Lithuanian terminal at Klaipeda stop Latvia from passing new energy legislation or prevent deployment of larger and more capable NATO forces in any of the Baltic states Initially we might observe a massive press campaign against the Baltic states alleged violations of human rights attempts to place them in the dock of global opinion heightened efforts to make energy deals with Germany to bypass and isolate the Baltic states and other European nations that support them and a noticeable upgrade in intelligence collection in targeted areas As tensions rise we might conceivably see more overt rhetoric and exercises involving Russian long range bomber aircraft submarines and nuclear weapons directed against the United States Sweden Finland Denmark Germany the United Kingdom and the Baltic states as well as public rhetoric about nuclear deployment in Kaliningrad US intelligence capabilities will probably detect signs of mounting readiness And while all of this political and intelligence activity is going on non military operations might manifest a growing intensity leading to strikes demonstrations and even riots That might include the incitement of an incident directed against Russians to prove that the Baltic states have lost control thus justifying a Russian intervention Additionally a very large kinetic scenario is a real possibility That might include the use of all forms of electronic and information warfare to include denial of service cyber crime and takedowns of entire communities and even governments as Russia attempted in Estonia in 2007 and Georgia in 2008 Finally it is likely that we would see snap exercises plus some combination of Russia s power projection forces go into operation to seal the Baltic Sea and seize territories As those forces moved we would also see the concurrent formation of a supposedly

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