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Lithuania News

Olympic swimmer helping dissident Belarus athletes

Vilnius - A few weeks ago, Aliaksandra Herasimenia was a retired Belarusian Olympic swimmer with a stellar career.

Belarus opposition leader gives Lukashenko ultimatum to resign

Minsk - Belarus's exiled opposition leader on Tuesday gave strongman President Alexander Lukashenko a deadline of two weeks to resign, halt violence and release political prisoners, warning he would otherwise face a crippling general strike.

Virus, inequality top agenda as Lithuania votes

Vilnius - Lithuanians vote Sunday in the first round of a general election overshadowed by a record spike in coronavirus cases, with the ruling centre-left coalition defending its handling of the pandemic in a tight race with opposition conservatives.

UK, Canada slap sanctions on Belarus strongman Lukashenko

London - Britain and Canada on Tuesday became the first major nations to slap sanctions on Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko over the country's seething political crisis.

Belarus opposition leader to address French parliament

Vilnius - Belarus's main opposition leader on Tuesday said she would address France's parliament after talks with President Emmanuel Macron in which he promised to help mediate in the political crisis.

Belarus vote challenger urges sanctions in UN address

Moscow - Belarus opposition challenger Svetlana Tikhanovskaya on Friday appealed for help from the United Nations and called for sanctions against those responsible for alleged electoral fraud and rights violations in her ex-Soviet country.

Fearing persecution, Belarus activists flee to Lithuania

Vilnius - A few weeks ago, Belarusian sound engineers Vladyslav Sokolovsky and Kirill Galanov were arrested for playing an iconic Soviet-era protest song at a pro-government rally in Minsk.

Beleaguered Belarus opposition finds Baltic refuge

Vilnius - Waves of repression in Belarus have turned its EU neighbours into places of refuge for pro-democracy Belarusians, with presidential challenger Svetlana Tikhanovskaya only the latest to shelter there.

Baltic states reopen shared borders for travel bubble

Kiemenai - Baltic states Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania reopened their shared borders on Friday, allowing citizens to move freely for business and pleasure in a travel bubble after two months of coronavirus restrictions.

Lithuania capital embraces al fresco dining as lockdown eases

Vilnius - Just over a week after open-air dining was allowed to resume in the Lithuanian capital, a public square named after a doctor and independence activist was hopping with diners at several dozen tables.

Baltics bring home citizens stuck at Polish border

Vilnius - Baltic states on Wednesday deployed ships, a train and a plane to repatriate hundreds of citizens stuck at the border between Germany and Poland after Warsaw banned foreign nationals over the coronavirus.

Lithuania shuts borders to foreign visitors as Balts expand virus fight

Vilnius - Lithuania said Saturday it would shut its borders to most foreign visitors while fellow Baltic EU members Estonia and Latvia imposed security measures of their own to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Lithuania marks 30 years since split that doomed Soviet empire

Vilnius - Lithuania on Wednesday celebrated the 30th anniversary of its secession from the Soviet Union, a move that heralded the beginning of the end of the sprawling Eurasian empire.

Lithuania seeks to heal Soviet trauma after 30 years of freedom

Vilnius - Seeking justice for victims of the Soviet regime to heal historical trauma has become a top priority for Lithuania as it marks 30 years since it became the first republic to break away from the USSR.

Lithuania seeks to heal Soviet trauma after 30 years of freedom

Vilnius - Seeking justice for victims of the Soviet regime to heal historical trauma has become a top priority for Lithuania as it marks 30 years since it became the first republic to break away from the USSR.

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.
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