Week in Lithuania: border guards turn back 23 irregular migrants; US serviceman drowns after car swerves off bridge in Klaipėda – Baltic News Network

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Last week, Lithuanian and Polish troops took part in joint drills in Alytus, the Football Federation called political PR criticism

Lithuania’s economic sentiment weakens in July

Lithuania’s economic sentiment indicator, which measures confidence in the economy of producers, consumers and investors, fell to minus 3.3% in July, from minus 2.5% in June, figures show. from Statistics Lithuania published on Friday 29 July. Month-over-month, services confidence weakened to 0.7% from 3.3%, construction confidence fell to minus 13.1% from minus 11.4% , and consumer confidence fell to minus 11.7% from minus 10.9%. Industrial confidence improved to minus 1.4% from minus 2%, and retail confidence was unchanged.

Lithuania adds 1,279 new Covid-19 cases, one death

Lithuania recorded 1,279 new coronavirus infections and one death from Covid-19 on July 28, according to official statistics released Friday morning. Some 936 of the new cases were primary, 326 were secondary and 13 were tertiary. The number of hospitalized patients now stands at 126, including four cases in intensive care. The 14-day primary infection rate has increased further in the past 24 hours to 478.4 cases per 100,000 people, with the percentage of positive tests over seven days reaching 51.2%. However, the daily number of new coronavirus cases is still well below the peak of more than 14,000 reached in early February. More than 1.1 million people in Lithuania have tested positive for Covid-19 at least once.

Border guards deter 23 irregular migrants from crossing the border

Lithuanian border guards turned back 23 migrants on Thursday (July 28th) who were trying to enter the country illegally from Belarus, the National Border Guard Service announced on Friday (July 29th). Lithuanian border guards have returned more than 11,000 people to Belarus since August 3, 2021, when they won the right to refuse entry to irregular migrants. This number includes repeated attempts by the same people to cross the border. Nearly 4,200 irregular migrants entered Lithuania illegally from Belarus last year.

Lithuania ranks 14th in EU Digital Economy and Society Index

Lithuania was ranked 14th in the EU’s 2022 Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI), unchanged from last year, with a score above the bloc average. Lithuania obtained 52.7 points, against an average of 52.3 for the EU, the Ministry of Economy and Innovation announced on Thursday (July 28th). According to the European Commission, Lithuania performs very well in digital public services, where its score is almost double the EU average, rising from 12th to 10th place. The number of e-government users has steadily increased to reach 70% of Internet users. Estonia is ranked 9th in the index, Latvia is at number 17 and Poland is at 24th place. The European Commission has been monitoring Member States’ digital progress since 2014.

Nausėda says Lithuania will support Ukraine until victory

Lithuania will support Ukraine until it wins the war against Russia and will redouble its efforts for the West to focus on limiting Russia’s ability to continue its invasion, President Gitanas Nausėda told Kyiv Thursday 28 July. Lithuania has been united by a strong desire to help Ukraine since the beginning of the war, the President said, noting that not only state authorities and municipal institutions, but also ordinary Lithuanian citizens, businesses and non-governmental organizations have joined in the effort to help the war-torn country.

IMF sets Lithuania’s GDP growth forecast for 2022 at 1.8%

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) kept its economic growth forecast for Lithuania for 2022 unchanged from April at 1.8%, with growth expected to accelerate to 2.3% in 2023. In its report released on Thursday July 28, the IMF expects inflation in Lithuania to reach 17.9% this year before decelerating to 8.5% next year. The fund’s experts have warned that high uncertainty and geopolitical risks could negatively impact economic growth trends and lead to persistently high inflation, mainly due to external factors such as the recent surge in global oil prices. energy and foodstuffs in the context of Russia’s war against Ukraine.

US soldier drowns after car drives off bridge in Klaipeda

A US serviceman died after his car fell off a drawbridge into a river in the Lithuanian port city of Klaipeda, police reported Thursday (July 28th). According to the sources, the 30-year-old American serviceman was in civilian clothes. He had come from Latvia in a rental car and stayed in a hotel in Klaipeda. At the time of the accident, the drawbridge was up and the barrier down.

Lithuanian and Polish troops take part in joint exercises in Alytus

Lithuanian and Polish troops participated in a joint exercise in the southern Lithuanian town of Alytus from July 25-27, the Lithuanian army announced on Thursday (July 28th). It included members of Grand Duchess Birute Uhlan’s Battalion, Poland’s 15th Mechanized Brigade, Polish Forward Presence Battle Group and Multinational Division Northeast Headquarters, MND-NE. The exercise included the deployment of the MND-NE headquarters, joint operations and live-fire exercises for Lithuanian, Polish, American, British and Romanian troops.

Football Federation calls criticism political public relations

Recent criticism of the Lithuanian Football Federation and calls for direct management are part of political public relations, the federation’s general secretary Edgaras Stankevičius said on Tuesday (July 26th). Earlier today, Mykolas Majauskas, Chairman of the Lithuanian Parliamentary Budget and Finance Committee, proposed to introduce direct management of the Lithuanian Football Federation, saying it needed a normalization phase and the appointment of a temporary regulator for this period. In addition, the politician said that an independent audit of the activity and financial performance of the federation is also necessary, as well as a modification of the statute in accordance with FIFA standards and new democratic elections of the bodies of the federation. .

Ignitis Renewables begins construction of €70 million wind farm in Poland

Ignitis Renewables, part of Lithuanian state-owned energy group Ignitis Grupe (Ignitis Group), announced on Tuesday (26 July) that it has started construction of a 50 MW wind farm in southwestern Poland and plans to invest 70 million euros. Located near the village of Bakowo in Lower Silesia, the wind farm is expected to start producing electricity in the last quarter of 2023 and is expected to produce around 122 GWh of electricity per year, Ignitis Group said. CJR Renewables will install fourteen 3.6 MW wind turbines from Nordex on the new wind farm and will be responsible for all major engineering and construction work.

Nausėda says Lithuanian-Polish unity is ‘vital’ in the face of Russian aggression

President Gitanas Nausėda told his Polish counterpart Andrzej Duda on Monday (July 25) that he expected the two neighboring countries to remain united on defense and security in the face of Russia’s continued invasion of Ukraine. . Lithuanian and Polish leaders agreed on the need to continue military assistance to Ukraine as the arming of Ukrainians will ultimately determine the outcome of the war, according to the press release. The presidents also discussed the reconstruction of Ukrainian cities and infrastructure destroyed by Russian forces.

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