Week in Lithuania: draft constitution for referendum adopted; adjusted budget for 2021 put into effect – Baltic News Network

Last week, the top news in Lithuania was the adoption of a draft constitution on the referendum, missile movement in Belarus and national climate management.

The Lithuanian leadership refuses to recognize Minsk’s decision to establish the Eastern Partnership

The Lithuanian leadership refused to recognize the decision of the Belarusian authorities to suspend participation in the Eastern Partnership program of the European Union (EU) on Monday June 28, stating that the decision was made by an illegitimate regime. The decision of the Minsk regime to suspend participation in the Eastern Partnership initially punished the Belarusian population and the regime continued to isolate itself, emphasized the Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis. President Gitanas Nausėda also condemned the decision.

President, Speaker of the Polish Parliament discuss defense, security issues, security

Lithuanian President Gitanas Nausėda met Elzbieta Witek, spokeswoman for the Polish Parliament, Sejm, on Tuesday, June 29, to discuss bilateral relations between Lithuania and Poland, defense-related matters and the security situation in the region, the press service said President with. The President praised the excellent relations between Lithuania and Poland and also underlined the need to strengthen interparliamentary cooperation. The focus of the meeting was on regional security issues.

Lithuania will buy modular units for migrants

Lithuania’s Interior Ministry announced on Tuesday, June 29th, that it would purchase modular units in August for 150,000 euros to accommodate illegally entered migrants. Such units would accommodate up to 800 people and would be set up on the territory of the Border Guard School in Medininkai. Around 600 illegal migrants, mostly Iraqis, have so far been arrested in Lithuania after entering from Belarus, nearly 7.5 times more than in all of 2020. Lithuanian officials suspect the Belarusian regime is behind the recent surge in the influx of illegal border crossings.

President signs adjusted budget for 2021

President Gitanas Nausėda put the amended state budget 2021 into effect on Wednesday, June 30th. The adjusted government budget has revenues of EUR 12.437 billion, of which EUR 2.777 billion is from EU funds and other international financial aid, and expenditure is estimated at EUR 16.615 billion. The budget deficit will be 4.177 billion euros.

Seimas adopts National Agenda for Climate Change Management

The Lithuanian Parliament passed a National Agenda for the Management of Climate Change on Wednesday, June 30th, with 120 votes in favor and 3 abstentions. The agenda sets short-term (up to 2030), medium-term (up to 2040) and long-term (up to 2050) goals for climate protection as well as goals for individual sectors that use fossil fuels, pollute the atmosphere with CO2 emissions and have the greatest impact on climate change. The main goals include reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 85 percent by 2040 and by 100 percent by 2050 compared to 1990.

Also read: BNN ANALYZES | Lithuania lifts the lockdown, but the spread of the contagious Delta Tribe and the lethargy being shot worry many

Seimas adopts draft constitution for referendum

On Wednesday, June 30th, the Lithuanian Seimas passed a draft constitution for a referendum at first reading with 109 votes in favor and one abstention. The draft law drafted as a follow-up to last year’s judgment of the Constitutional Court will now go to the parliamentary committees and will be presented for a second reading in the autumn. The Constitutional Court ruled last July that the new wording of the Lithuanian Referendum Law 2018 was adopted in an unconstitutional process as this law had to be adopted as a constitutional law. The current law, which would expire on July 1, was passed in 2018 by simple majority with a quorum, the usual procedure for passing new laws. As a result, a group of MPs said the procedure for passing a constitutional law must be followed and asked the court to look into the matter.

Seimas refuses to ratify the EU-Cuba pact

The Seimas of Lithuania, the country’s legislative body, adopted a resolution on Wednesday June 30th that considers it politically inappropriate to ratify the European Union (EU) cooperation agreement with Cuba. The resolution was passed with 82 votes in favor and 17 abstentions. The draft resolution was presented by 35 MEPs from different parliamentary groups. The US government had previously asked Lithuania not to ratify the EU-Cuba pact. Lithuania remains the only EU member state that has ratified the agreement signed in 2016.

Election Guard cancels the Kelmė District Mayor’s mandate

The Lithuanian Central Electoral Commission (CEC) unanimously decided on Thursday July 1st to revoke Vaclovas Andrulis’s mandate as mayor of Kelmė District after he was convicted of corruption. New mayoral elections would take place in the district on October 10, the commission said. Andrulis’ mandate was canceled following the final verdict of the court convicting him of bribery.

Lithuania’s Swedbank releases accounts of the Belarusian spa

Swedbank released the accounts of Belorus, a Belarusian spa in the southern Lithuanian spa town of Druskininkai, this week and will be able to resume operations after more than six months. Swedbank froze sanatorium accounts in response to EU sanctions imposed in response to crackdown on protesters and the country’s opposition after the elections. Belarus is controlled by the GHU and was run by Sheiman until mid-June when he retired. The GHU reports directly to the authoritarian leader of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko. Sheiman was put on the EU sanctions list more than a decade ago.

Defense Ministry downplays reported missile movements in Belarus

Lithuanian Defense Minister Arvydas Anušauskas said Thursday July 1 that he did not consider the recently reported missile system movement in Belarus to be anything out of the ordinary. His comment came in response to recent media reports of the movement of S-300 missile systems and military equipment near the Belarusian border with Lithuania. The minister says these units are moving quite a distance from the Lithuanian border, adding that this may have to do with the Russian-Belarusian army Zapad exercise planned for September. The independent Belarusian broadcaster Nexta previously reported on the movement of military equipment in Belarus.

Lithuania reports 30 new coronavirus cases, one death

Lithuania has recorded 30 new coronavirus infections and one death from COVID-19 in the past 24 hours on Friday, July 2, the country’s statistics office said. Lithuania’s 14-day coronavirus infection rate is currently 20.4 cases per 100,000 population and the rate of positive tests in the last seven days is 0.4 percent. A total of 278,826 people have tested positive for COVID-19 in Lithuania since the pandemic began, of whom 607 are still infected. The total number of deaths directly or indirectly related to the coronavirus has reached 8,923.


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