Last week, the top news stories in Lithuania were quarantine celebration of the anniversary of signing of the Act of Independence, cyber criminals leaking data of 110,000 Lithuanian-registered users and Chinese luggage scanners being banned at airports.
Avia Solutions Group reveals plans in Vilnius airport
Avia Solutions Group, an aviation business group, announced Monday, February 15, it has asked Lithuania’s government for permission to reconstruct a hangar at Vilnius Airport where aircraft are serviced and repaired. The company plans invest 7 million euros and expand the hangar’s area from the existing 2,898 square meters to 5,500 square meters, creating 200 new jobs. The project is now being looked into by the government commission vetting deals important to national security. In recent years, Lithuania’s national security institutions have been cautiously assessing investments by Avia Solutions Group, owned by Lithuanian businessman Gediminas Žiemelis, due to its prior activity at Moscow’s Zhukovsky Airport.
Lithuania marks 103 years since the Independence Proclamation
Lithuania marked on Tuesday, February 16, 103 years since the signing of the Act of Independence of February 16, 1918, but the celebrations were scaled back due to the coronavirus pandemic. All major official Restoration of the State Day events and festive concerts were broadcast live on television. The state’s leaders traditionally paid tribute to the signatories to the Act of Independence at Vilnius’ Rasos Cemetery.
Read also: BNN ANALYSES | Lithuanian government under pressure to allow to reopen much more widely
Cyber criminals leaked data of 110,000 Lithuanian-registered users
Cyber criminals have leaked data of 110,000 Lithuanian-registered users of the car-sharing service CityBee, but no payment card details have been compromised, the company’s chief executive officer said on Tuesday, February 16. The data were released in two portions, which suggests that the cyber criminals are watching for reactions, he said. CityBee was informed on Monday evening that some of its customers’ names, e-mail addresses, personal codes and encrypted passwords had been released on a hacker forum.
Lithuania is stepping up control of border
Lithuania announced on Wednesday, February 17, it was stepping up controls on the roads from Poland as of Wednesday morning in a bid to stem the spread of coronavirus mutations. The State Border Guard Service will assist the National Public Health Centre (NPHC) to carry out checks on the border roads. Border guards are currently helping public health officials at airports and the seaport of Klaipeda.
Lithuania posts Baltics’ biggest drop in new car sales
Lithuania posted the biggest drop among the Baltic states and one of the biggest drops among EU member states in new car sales for January, according to the latest figures from the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) released on Wednesday, February 17. New passenger car registrations in Lithuania slumped 45.6 percent to 2,306 units in January. Latvia recorded a decrease of 33.4 percent to 989 cars, and registrations in Estonia went down by 12.7 percent to 1,982 units.
Seimas committees to draft resolution on Uyghur situation in China
The Committee on National Security and Defence and the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the Seimas of Lithuania agreed on Wednesday, February 17, to draft a resolution on the Uyghur situation in China. After the initiative received joint backing, lawmakers are being invited to present their comments. The bill should be drafted by the start of the parliament’s spring session on March 10. Human rights groups say at least one million of Uyghurs and other Turkic-speaking Muslims are imprisoned at the so-called re-education camps in the northwestern region of Xinjiang. China is also being accused of forcible sterilisation of Uyghur women.
Government puts off further easing of lockdown restrictions
The Lithuanian government on Wednesday, February 17, put off the further easing of lockdown restrictions for a week. The government will have to decide in principle which restrictions to relax after the current lockdown expires on February 28, Prime Minister Ingrida Šimonytė told the Cabinet. The ban on non-essential travel between municipalities has been place since mid-December.
Lithuania bars Chinese luggage scanners at airports over security concerns
The Lithuanian government decided on Wednesday, February 17, to bar China’s state-controlled Nuctech from supplying X-ray scanning equipment to the country’s airports over national security concerns. Nuctech bid for a contract to install luggage scanners at Lithuanian airports. Lietuvos Oro Uostai (Lithuanian Airports), the state-owned operator of Lithuania’s three international airports, and Laurynas Kasčiūnas, chairman of the parliamentary Committee on National Security and Defence, asked the governmental commission to look at whether the Chinese investment was in line with Lithuania’s national security interests.
Mayors criticise cabinet for postponing easing of travel restrictions
The mayors of Siauliai, Panevėžys and Alytus have criticised the government for postponing decisions on easing travel restrictions between the cities and surrounding municipalities. Currently, only people going to work, visiting doctors or attending funerals are allowed to travel between municipalities. Alytus Mayor Nerijus Cesiulis says that people going out of the town, for example, on a fishing trip lie to the police when stopped at a roadblock.
Lithuania signs contract to buy 300,000 COVID-19 rapid antigen tests
Lithuania’s National Public Health Surveillance Laboratory said on Thursday, February 18, it had signed a 552,000-euro contract to purchase 300,000 COVID-19 rapid antigen tests. The contract was awarded to Biovita through a three-part public procurement procedure that attracted a total of 43 bids. The laboratory expects to receive the first batches of rapid antigen tests by the end of February.
Lithuania records 663 new coronavirus cases, 13 deaths
Lithuania has registered 663 new coronavirus infections and 13 deaths from COVID-19 over February 18, the country’s statistics office said on Friday, February 19. Lithuania’s 14-day coronavirus infection rate currently stands at 243.2 per 100,000 people. Overall, 192,986 people have tested positive for COVID-19 in Lithuania since the start of the pandemic. Some 178,126 people are considered as having statistically recovered from COVID-19, and 8,365 as statistically ill, meaning that they have tested positive for the virus in the past 28 days. A total of 3,145 people have died from COVID-19 in Lithuania so far. The overall number of deaths directly or indirectly related to the coronavirus has reached 6,105.