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  • Grybauskaite will not run for UN Secretary-General post
    a number of NGOs who support transparent elections and an increased number of females in high positions of political power These includes WomanSG org and 1for7billon org However the Lithuanian president s senior adviser Daiva Ulbinaite told BNS The president is not running Many observers also felt Grybauskaite would likely face a veto from the Russian Federation Previously UN Secretary Generals were usually selected in backroom negotiations among the world s most influential states However 2016 is the first year that countries have been invited to publicly propose their candidates In December 2015 Presidents of the UN General Assembly and Security Council urged member states to present their candidates in advance before the first hearings scheduled for March and April 2016 Ban Ki moon of Korea is the current UN Secretary General He has been in office since 2007 and his term will expire on December 31 2016 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 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

    Original URL path: http://www.baltictimes.com/grybauskaite_will_not_run_for_un_secretary-general_post/ (2016-02-13)
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  • 2015 saw lowest number of road traffic victims killed since 1990
    Soviet Union in 1990 In 2015 241 people were killed on Lithuania roads In 2014 267 were killed while in 2013 256 lost their lives Last year s number of victims included 81 pedestrians It is not known how many BMW drivers were involved in these incidents 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

    Original URL path: http://www.baltictimes.com/2015_saw_lowest_number_of_road_traffic_victims_killed_since_1990/ (2016-02-13)
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  • Vike-Freiberga: Latvia's "unimportance" will ensure its security
    relatively unimportant role on the international stage Her comments came in an interview with Latvian national television on January 4 2016 Vike Freiberga stated Latvia s relative unimportance can help protect it from possible attacks from the Islamic State terrorist group Vike Freiberga also believes that wearing of face covering clothes in public should be banned in Latvia She feels it would be too easy for potential terrorists to hide weapons under traditional Muslim garments The Latvian government has supported the plan proposed by the President of the European Commission Jean Claude Juncker for dealing with the migration crisis in Europe By the end of 2017 Latvia will admit up to 776 asylum seekers who have fled from Africa and the Middle East 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 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 to bring objective comprehensive and timely information to those with an interest in this rapidly developing area of the Baltic Sea

    Original URL path: http://www.baltictimes.com/vike-freiberga__latvia_s__unimportance__will_ensure_its_security/ (2016-02-13)
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  • Russia’s Hold on the Baltics Loosens
    of 2015 After 2015 Lithuania s import terminal could begin to drive important changes The terminal itself has an annual capacity of 4 bcm which if utilized could meet all of Lithuania s natural gas needs The terminal could also at least partially supply neighboring Latvia and Estonia which have an annual consumption of only 1 08 bcm and less than 500 mmcm respectively Such supply flows would only be achievable with upgrades to pipeline interconnectors between Lithuania and Latvia though those upgrades are scheduled to be completed by the end of 2015 Given that Lithuania would no longer be contractually obligated to import supplies from Russia at that point the Baltic countries energy paradigm could look very different in 2016 This is not to say that Lithuania and the other Baltic states will necessarily completely diversify away from Russia in 2016 Rather the new terminal gives them a credible alternative and leverage to renegotiate prices with Russia as German and Italian companies have done in the past few years Indeed Lithuania already secured a 20 percent discount from Gazprom in May because of its upcoming LNG terminal debut bringing its price down from 500 per thousand cubic meters mcm one of the highest in Europe to 370 per mcm In comparison the price of LNG imports from Statoil would likely be in the range of 328 to 366 per mcm Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite has said that any future agreements with Gazprom would be conditional upon changing the pricing formula to better reflect the spot market where Vilnius will soon be able to buy LNG supplies to fill up storage supplies in Klaipeda or in the Incukalns underground gas storage sites Lithuania can make this demand as concerns over supply cuts diminish However the spot market is not always cheaper than contractual prices and can spike during times of inclement weather in Europe Likely Outcomes It is particularly important for Lithuania to have such leverage in light of the current crisis in Ukraine which has led to among other things a cutoff of Russian natural gas supplies to Ukraine since June This cutoff has caused fears among European countries downstream that their own supplies will be affected and EU countries neighboring Ukraine including Poland Slovakia and Romania are already experiencing partial decreases in supply flows The LNG terminal would thus shield Lithuania and potentially the other Baltic states from the effects of any future politically motivated energy supply disruption Lithuania s LNG import terminal is also significant beyond the energy realm especially as the Baltic states find themselves on the front line of the broader competition between Russia and the West which has spilled over into much of the former Soviet periphery The Baltic states led by Lithuania have been vocal supporters of Ukraine s Western integration efforts and of greater regional energy cooperation but their energy dependence on Russia has limited their ability to actually act Making significant headway on interests in Ukraine or in support of the

    Original URL path: http://www.baltictimes.com/news/articles/35705/ (2016-02-13)
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  • Wake Up, Europe: George Soros on the Ukraine crisis and Russia
    reduce the chance of a sovereign default discouraging capital flight and arresting an incipient run on the banks This would make it easier to persuade the owners of Ukraine s banks to inject urgently needed capital into them RESTRUCTURE NAFTOGAZ FOR GREATER INDEPENDENCE If it were restructured the Ukrainian state owned energy company Naftogaz could reduce household gas consumption by half totally eliminating Ukraine s dependence on Russia for gas At present people cannot control the temperature in their apartments Households should be charged the market price for gas meters installed in apartments and cash subsidies distributed to needy households Though there is a will to reform from the incoming government the expertise to do so is inadequate A project development team could bring together international and domestic experts to convert the existing political will into bankable projects The initial cost would exceed 10 billion but it could be financed by project bonds issued by the European Investment Bank and it would produce very high returns Mr Soros in his article writes Wake up Europe Europe is facing a challenge from Russia to its very existence Neither the European leaders nor their citizens are fully aware of this challenge or know how best to deal with it I attribute this mainly to the fact that the European Union in general and the eurozone in particular lost their way after the financial crisis of 2008 The fiscal rules that currently prevail in Europe have aroused a lot of popular resentment Anti Europe parties captured nearly 30 percent of the seats in the latest elections for the European Parliament but they had no realistic alternative to the EU to point to until recently Now Russia is presenting an alternative that poses a fundamental challenge to the values and principles on which the European Union was originally founded It is based on the use of force that manifests itself in repression at home and aggression abroad as opposed to the rule of law What is shocking is that Vladimir Putin s Russia has proved to be in some ways superior to the European Union more flexible and constantly springing surprises That has given it a tactical advantage at least in the near term Europe and the United States each for its own reasons are determined to avoid any direct military confrontation with Russia Russia is taking advantage of their reluctance Violating its treaty obligations Russia has annexed Crimea and established separatist enclaves in eastern Ukraine When the recently installed government in Kiev threatened to win the low level war in eastern Ukraine against separatist forces backed by Russia President Putin invaded Ukraine with regular armed forces in violation of the Russian law that exempts conscripts from foreign service without their consent It is easy to foresee what lies ahead Putin will await the results of the elections on October 26 and then offer Poroshenko the gas and other benefits he has been dangling on condition that he appoint a prime minister acceptable to

    Original URL path: http://www.baltictimes.com/news/articles/35700/ (2016-02-13)
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  • Future engineers battle it out in Europe’s largest competition
    Team Design and Case Study This year 30 of the most creative and innovative teams of 4 students each who pass through one of 87 local rounds and 15 national regional rounds will have the chance to prove themselves in the EBEC Final The Final is the most grandiose part of the Engineering Competitions organized by BEST all over Europe with this year s being the 6th edition The EBEC Final 2014 is supported by organizations such as Riga Technical University UNESCO Latvian National Commission and International Federation of Engineering Education Societies IFEES BEST is a constantly growing non profit non political volunteer organization that celebrates its 25th Anniversary this year By maintaining and developing its core activities it enhances mobility of over a million students and provides them with opportunities for complementary education educational involvement and career support Partners include FIMA Deutsche Bahn and the European Patent Office with promotional partners including SKODA Auto Yildiz Technical University Lviv Polytechnic National University Graz University of Technology and many others For further information visit the Web site www ebec best eu org or www best eu org Comments Related Articles Russia s Hold on the Baltics Loosens Wake Up Europe George Soros on the Ukraine crisis and Russia VIDEO Latvian football club releases documentary charting history Subscribe Advertise Log In Please enter your username and password Forgot your password Login Related Articles Crimes during punishment Re Baltica investigates life in Baltic prisons Euro bank notes reach Lithuania under high security measures Estonia President As soon as Russia becomes a democratic country its best relationship will be with Estonia Grim Diplomatic Farce and Futility at the UN s Security Council Subscribe A subscription to The Baltic Times is a cost effective way of staying in touch with the latest Baltic news and

    Original URL path: http://www.baltictimes.com/news/articles/35246/ (2016-02-13)
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  • Crimes during punishment Re:Baltica investigates life in Baltic prisons
    that there is a informal hierarchy in the prison system but the Ministry of Justice replied in writing that the system has existed for decades Artis went to court with his complaints He demanded they destroy the hierarchy where prisoners have the right to decide on and punish other prisoners and demanded compensation of LVL 240 000 EUR 377 550 The Ombudsman came to the same conclusions as Artis When officials inspected Jekabpils prison in 2008 they reported that they are convinced that the prison management has legalized the prisoner hierarchy The prisoners settle their disputes between themselves and the management does nothing The management even used the internal hierarchy to discipline inmates and extort information about things like possession of drugs or mobile phones both of which are forbidden Refusal to comply would boot the prisoner down to the bottom tier Even if the management tried to disrupt the informal hierarchy it could fail Artis noted in his letter to court that even if he was got the job there would probably be a backlash from the other inmates When someone in the upper tiers of the hierarchy didn t approve the new cook in Jekabpils prison he was quickly fired They would ruin the food by secretly contaminating it with dirt or inedible items If the psychological bullying fails inmates start hunger strikes as happened in Centralcietums or Central Prison in Latvia s capital Artis did not receive his compensation but he did bring the issue to light District court refused his case because the castes are a societal structure made by the inmates themselves and the administration has no responsibility for it When the case was resubmitted the court added that all societal structures that segregate people create inequality between members of it Such is the case in prison as well and there is no authority to blame for it according to the court The Supreme Court disagreed In 2012 it stated that it is the country s responsibility to prevent violence in prisons as well as the informal hierarchy because it is one of the main reasons for violence The court cited CPT reports which emphasize that the possibility of being a victim of battery sexual assault extortion and other forms of abuse is everyday life for many prisoners Violence but no perpetrators The prison administration explains its reluctance for change by the fact that there is not enough money But that is just one side of the problem Academic studies in Scandinavia and Estonia both show that change requires the strong will to make it Latvia lacks this as proven for example by the reluctance to investigate crimes in prisons which would decrease violence In his court application Artis writes that the violence I ve been subjected to was not just beatings but also sexual assault He had not spoken about it with the prison management because over the years I ve realised that there will not be any help and I want to stay alive The complaints prisoners write to the ombudsman are usually general and do not decribe the attacks in enough detail for prosecution The inmates either do not believe that the investigations will be fair or are afraid of revenge Latvian prisons hold between 5000 6000 prisoners Every year on average 16 criminal investigations are opened Estonia has about 80 cases a year and its prison population is smaller About 90 of the cases never reach the court as the evidence during investigations is deemed inconclusive Usually the final conclusion is that prisoners hurt themselves by accident Over the last seven years only two sexual assault cases have made it to court Investigations are done by prisons administrations Both the inmates and CPT do not believe that they are properly done and often resemble cover ups CTP has suggested an independent inquiries as a solution but the government s promises have never been followed by action Ilvija Puce a representative of the Committee recalls how during the conference few years ago a representative of the state prosecutor s office asked Why don t we trust each other Why do we suspect that the investigations in prisons are not objective Investigating officer chimed in We investigate objectively it s just that they are always guilty And then I thought about how impossible would it be to investigate your co workers if the prisoners are the ones always at fault if one believes they always provoke the situations Puce said Sergejs Danilins a former policeman who had been sentenced to life imprisonment for the kidnapping and murder of a teenager met his end by provoking the prison guards In September of 2008 the guards made a full inspection of Danilins cell in Daugavpils prison This meant that he had to fully undress The guards claim that Danilins refused and attacked He hit one guard in the face and knocked the other one down on the floor where he started to choke him To stop Danilins the guards hit with their sticks at least 25 times across the body and head Danilins crawled under the bed and then the guards hit him at least 17 times in ribs and stomach until they could drag him out Danilins threw up and choked on his own vomit The autopsy could not explain what induced the vomiting For their crime the two guards were sentenced to a financial penalty around 10 minimum monthly salaries around 2560 euro at the time for excessive use of force The CPT said it was unsure the punishment properly reflects the crime committed The refusal to create an independent investigation unit for prison crime in Latvia almost led to an international scandal in 2013 The CPT was so angered by the unkept promises that it was considering issuing a special statement about the state of prisons in Latvia The CPT has previously issued such condemning statements only regards the three countries Russia Turkey and Greece Latvia is discussing a plan to trust

    Original URL path: http://www.baltictimes.com/crimes_during_punishment__re_baltica_investigates_life_in_baltic_prisons/ (2016-02-13)
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  • Euro bank notes reach Lithuania under high security measures
    important moment for the economy At the same time it was also a great challenge for the police and it was able to deal successfully with this challenge says Saulius Skvernelis the Lithuanian Minister of Internal Affairs The operation was carried out in accordance with particularly strict security requirements The public was informed of the banknote delivery ahead of time Such operations are very carefully planned Our officers participated not only as security for the column transporting the banknotes We also used snipers who acted as security from the buildings and helicopters An additional group of mobile officers was also prepared to react in case of an incident told Viktoras Grabauskas Chief of the Lithuanian Police Anti terrorist Operations Unit Aras revealing some details from the operation From 1 November the banknotes will be distributed to banks while from 1 December they will be delivered to retailers and service providers Although this is a large scale logistic process it is automated enough and managed effectively Now we need much less physical labour than with the adoption of the litas when the Bank of Lithuania s employees had to carry by hand bags with the new currency We do not doubt that the amount of banknotes and coins necessary for the euro adoption will reach commercial banks at the scheduled time says the Head of the Bank of Lithuania s Cash Service s Euro Project Gintaras Moška who also participated in the litas adoption process The Bank of Lithuania is borrowing the euro banknotes from Germany s Central Bank Bundesbank According to the agreement the banknotes will be returned once they will be printed at a European Union certified printing house In parallel the Bank of Lithuania continues its acquisition of Lithuanian euro coins The Lithuanian Mint is minting them in

    Original URL path: http://www.baltictimes.com/news/articles/35821/ (2016-02-13)
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