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Lithuania News

Norwegian freed in Moscow spy swap 'deceived' by secret services

Oslo - A Norwegian man freed by Moscow from an espionage jail term as part of a spy swap between Lithuania and Russia said on Tuesday he felt "deceived" by his country's intelligence service.

Lithuania, Norway swap spies with Russia at border

Vilnius - Russia on Friday returned two Lithuanians and a Norwegian convicted of espionage to Vilnius while NATO and EU member Lithuania freed two Russians jailed for spying in an exchange reminiscent of the Cold War.

Lithuania pardons Russian spies ahead of possible swap with Moscow

Vilnius - Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda on Friday pardoned two Russians jailed by Vilnius for espionage, an official statement said, paving the way for a possible spy swap with Moscow.

Lithuania summons Chinese envoy over Hong Kong incident

Vilnius - Lithuania on Monday summoned China's ambassador over the involvement of embassy staff in an incident at a rally in Vilnius last month backing Hong Kong's pro-democracy protesters.

Baltic human chain still inspires activists 30 years on

Vilnius - From Catalan separatists to Hong Kong pro-democracy activists, the human chain that helped the Baltic states win independence from the Soviet Union three decades ago still inspires freedom-seekers the world over.

Lithuania Jewish Community closes Vilnius synagogue over threats

Vilnius - Jewish leaders in Lithuania announced Tuesday they were temporarily closing the Vilnius Synagogue and the community's headquarters due to threats, citing an "atmosphere of rising tension".

Lithuania's new president sworn in, vowing to tackle inequality

Vilnius - Pro-EU centre-right economist Gitanas Nauseda was sworn in as Lithuania's new president on Friday, vowing to tackle inequality in the Baltic eurozone state.

Lithuania declares emergency as drought hits farmers

Vilnius - Lithuania declared an emergency on Wednesday as a severe drought hit the Baltic EU state, threatening to slash this year's harvest by up to half.

UK holds largest Baltic naval drills in century to deter Russia

Klaipeda - The UK on Friday pledged to boost defence of the Baltic states to deter a "more assertive" Russia as the British navy held its largest drills in the Baltic region, which includes a Russian territory, in more than a century.

Political novice wins Lithuania presidential race

Vilnius - Gitanas Nauseda, a centre-right independent and political novice, won Lithuania's presidential runoff in a race marked by low populist sentiment and concerns over inequality in the Baltic eurozone state.

Pro-EU rivals eye Lithuanian presidency

Vilnius - Lithuanians voted on Sunday in round one of a presidential election after a campaign dominated by concerns over growing social inequality in the eurozone Baltic state.

Lithuania presidential run-off pits novice against ex-minister

Vilnius - An economist and political novice, Gitanas Nauseda, took a thin lead in the first round of Lithuania's presidential election on Sunday and will face Ingrida Simonyte, a conservative ex-finance minister, in a May 26 run-off set to focus on inequality an...

Inequality tops agenda as Lithuania elects new president

Vilnius - For all its economic growth, income inequality and poverty are top election issues as Lithuanians vote on Sunday for a new president in round one of a tight race in the Baltic eurozone state.

EU Commission frontrunner backs slashing EU funding for rule of law breaches

Vilnius - European Commission presidential candidate Manfred Weber is in favour of cutting funds to member states that fail to meet EU standards on the rule of law, he said in an interview published Friday.

Lithuania convicts Soviet-era officials of 1991 'war crimes'

Vilnius - A Lithuanian court on Wednesday convicted a former Soviet defence minister and dozens of other Russian citizens in absentia of war crimes over Moscow's deadly 1991 crackdown on the Baltic state's independence movement.

Lithuanian leader mulls moving embassy to Jerusalem

Vilnius - Centrist Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis said Tuesday he would consider moving Lithuania's embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to the disputed city of Jerusalem, should he win May's presidential elections.

Lithuania attracts London fintech firms as Brexit looms

Vilnius - Worried over Brexit uncertainty, dozens of fintech companies have applied for licences in Lithuania to secure access to the EU market, the Baltic state's central bank said Tuesday.

Lithuania faces second suit over CIA 'black site'

Vilnius - A Saudi terror suspect held in Guantanamo has filed a lawsuit against Lithuania alleging that he was tortured at a secret CIA jail in the Baltic state, a senior government official said Monday.

China denies 'ridiculous' spying allegations by Lithuania

Vilnius - China on Friday denied what it termed "ridiculous" allegations of spying levelled by Lithuania as the Baltic eurozone state joined other western nations in expressing concerns about Chinese telecoms giant Huawei.

Lithuanian PM Skvernelis enters tight presidential race

Vilnius - Lithuanian Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis on Thursday announced he will run for president this year, saying his election would lead to "more harmony" and less intrigue in the Baltic eurozone state.

Lithuania's top court rejects anti-gay discrimination

Vilnius - Lithuania's top court ruled on Friday that the Baltic EU state must grant residence permits to foreign spouses of gay citizens even though same-sex unions are not recognised by law.

European court rejects appeal by Lithuania, Romania on CIA prisons

Strasbourg - The European Court of Human Rights said Tuesday that it had rejected appeals lodged by Lithuania and Romania over its ruling they were complicit in a controversial programme of secret CIA detention centres on their territories.

Pope honours victims of Holocaust, Soviet terror in Lithuania

Vilnius - Pope Francis on Sunday paid homage to Holocaust victims who perished in the Vilnius ghetto, 75 years to the day after the Nazis liquidated it, and remembered those who risked and lost their lives to challenge the Soviet regime in Lithuania.

Vatican announces historic deal on bishops with China

Vatican City - The Vatican on Saturday announced an historic accord with China on who appoints bishops in the Communist country, paving the way for rapprochement between the Catholic Church and the world's most populous country.

Pope honours Baltic martyrs as bishops quit over abuse

Vilnius - Pope Francis began a Baltic tour in Catholic Lithuania on Saturday, honouring victims of the region's Nazi and Soviet occupations as the Church scrambles to contain the fallout from fresh clerical abuse scandals.

Pope to honour Baltic martyrs amid abuse crisis

Vilnius - Pope Francis kicks off a Baltic tour in Catholic Lithuania on Saturday where he will honour victims of the region's Nazi and Soviet occupations as the Church reels from fresh clerical abuse scandals.

Baltic pagans ask pope for help over religious status battle

Vilnius - Latvian and Lithuanian neo-pagans have called on Pope Francis to end local Catholic opposition to their quest for religious recognition in the Baltic states, ahead of the pontiff's visit to the region Saturday.

Lithuanian Soviet, Nazi victims await pope's 'never again'

Vilnius - Thirty-five years ago, Father Sigitas Tamkevicius was detained and repeatedly interrogated at a KGB prison for protesting Soviet religious discrimination.

Pope to pay tribute to Baltic freedom amid abuse crisis

Vilnius - Pope Francis will start a Baltic tour in Lithuania on Saturday during which he will pay homage to the history of a region that still bears the scars of its Nazi and Soviet occupations.

German troops face Russian 'hybrid war' in Lithuania: Merkel

Rukla - German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Friday Berlin was boosting military cyber capabilities to respond to Russian hybrid warfare that is targeting its troops deployed on NATO's eastern flank.
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