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LITHUANIA


 

 

In-depth Business Intelligence

Key Economic Data 
 
  2003 2002 2001 Ranking(2003)
GDP
Millions of US $ 18,213 13,796 12,000 74
         
GNI per capita
 US $ 4,490 3,660 3,350 74
Ranking is given out of 208 nations - (data from the World Bank)

Books on Lithuania

REPUBLICAN REFERENCE

Area (sq.km)
65,200 

Population 
3,607,899 

Principal 
ethnic groups 
Lithuanians 81.3%
Russians 8.4%
Poles 7.0%

Capital
Vilnius 

Currency 
Litas

President
Valdas Adamkus



Update No: 296 - (26/08/05)

The Lithuanians are always aware of the machinations of the Russian special services in the Baltic states. Russia's FSB and Foreign Intelligence Service have as many residents in such small countries as Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, as in the largest European states, and in a much more concentrated form.
Their activities brought to an end the career of Rolandas Paskas last year, who had been elected president, after being first the mayor of Vilnius and then premier of the Baltic state. He was implicated in a complex scam, involving a local Russian tycoon with FSB connections and had to resign.
Increasingly losing influence in former Soviet republics, Russia received an additional trump card with the looming crisis with the EU constitution due to the French and Dutch 'No'. Gazprom is now threatening to raise its prices for gas exports to Lithuania (and Estonia), on which it is highly dependent. This would gravely threaten Lithuania's ambition to join the Euro by 2007, making it difficult to meet the budgetary requirememt of Euroland.
Gazprom has a point. Why should it subsidise the independent Baltic states, as if they were close allies like Belarus?

Saakashvili praises Lithuania
Indeed, Lithuania is in the forefront of those countries condemning neighbouring Belarus as Europe's last dictatorship. Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili has stated support for Lithuania's proposal to mention the situation in Belarus in a Kishinyov declaration. Saakashvili was speaking at a meeting of the heads of the so-called GUAM group - Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan and Moldova - that started in the Moldovan capital. The meeting was attended by Lithuanian President Valdas Adamkus. 
"Lithuania has always been a democratic process leader in the region," the Georgian leader said welcoming the attendants of the meeting. Saakashvili said he supported Adamkus' proposal to mention Belarus in the declaration as, in the Georgian leader's words, "the country's people have a right to freely express their will as well." 
In his speech Saakashvili also thanked Lithuania and the other Baltic states which, in the Georgian president's words, "are actively helping us to integrate and make our voice be heard." 

Zuokas not to resign as Vilnius mayor
Adamkus is falling out with yet another mayor of Vilnius. He is deeply distrustful of the origins of the wealth of Lithuania's new power-brokers.
Mayor Arturas Zuokas has been bogged down in a war of accusations with Viktor Uspaskich, who has resigned from his positions as economy minister and MP. The two men, both millionaires, accused each other of using his public office for supporting private interests; and their exchange became so vitriolic that the president felt compelled to ask both men to resign for the sake of the country. 
Zuokas has said that he has no intention to resign as Vilnius mayor despite having fallen out of favour with President Adamkus. "Firstly, I have suspended my powers as party leader, as it was mentioned in the president's statement," he said in a radio interview. "And what concerns my position at the municipality, this, without a doubt, will depend on the faction's and council members' confidence and joint work. For me personally and for my colleagues, it is of utmost importance to retain Vilnius City Council's capability of working," Zuokas said. 

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FOREIGN COOPERATION

Lithuania, Ukraine to cooperate 


Lithuania signed an agreement on economic, industrial, scientific and technical cooperation with Ukraine recently at the Lithuanian Ministry for Foreign Affairs, New Europe reported. 
The agreement was initialled by Alexander Rybiy, deputy chief of Department of Law of Ministry of Economy of Ukraine and Andrius Namavicius, minister of exterior affairs of Lithuania. Ukraine is the first CIS state which has cooperated with Lithuania on free trade before its entrance in the EU. Officially Vilnius backs Ukraine in Euro and NATO integration.

Lukashenka on ties with Lithuania 

Belarussian President, Alexander Lukashenka, told Petras Vaitekjunas, the new Lithuanian ambassador at Minsk, that Belarus is prepared to normalise relations with Lithuania, RIA Novosti reported.
"If the Lithuanian leadership wants normal relations in the political and diplomatic spheres, we are ready for this anytime," Lukashenka was quoted as saying, adding that Belarus did not impose its friendship or partnership on Lithuania and other neighbours, such as Poland, Ukraine, etc.

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FOREIGN TRADE

Lithuania foreign trade results 

Statistics Lithuania said in its latest report that exports in the first half of 2005 equalled 14,452.0 million litas in terms of commodity value, while imports to Lithuania totalled 18,765.8 million litas, New Europe reported.
Lithuania's foreign trade deficit made up 4,313.8 million litas and was 2.5 per cent higher than last year. Over January-June 2005, compared with January-June 2004, exports and imports grew 24.2 and 18.4 per cent, respectively. Over June 2005, against June 2004, exports and imports rose 10.9 and 17.2 per cent, respectively. In June 2005 against May total Lithuania's exports decreased 8.2 per cent and total imports were down 7.1 per cent.

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TELECOMMUNICATIONS

Telcordia wins Lithuania deal 

Lithuania's Communications Regulatory Authority, RRT, selected Telcordia's solution to support number portability requirements for fixed line and mobile providers, Telcordia Technologies announced recently, New Europe reported.
Telcordia's Number Portability Clearinghouse solution, operated by Mano Numeris, enables Lithuania's RRT to promote expanded competition among operators through new market opportunities, creating new revenue streams while providing increased choices for subscribers. With more than three million phone subscribers and 12 active service providers, Lithuania's RRT awarded a 10-year contract to Mano Numeris who will act as the in-country data centre and operations support provider.

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