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April 24, 2020            

Lithuania extends €100,000 coronavirus aid to Armenia, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine

The Lithuanian government has approved 100,000 euros in humanitarian aid for Armenia, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. 

The cabinet of ministers decided on Wednesday to allocate 40,000 euros to Ukraine and 20,000 to each of the other countries.

Lithuania's Foreign Ministry has been put in charge of purchasing the supplies and arranging their transportation.

“We'll seek to purchase protective equipment from Lithuanian producers,” Foreign Minister Linas Linkevičius told the cabinet.

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L. Linkevičius: Vilna Gaon – most prominent Litvak cultural representative

On 23 April, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania Linas Linkevičius, Chair of the Jewish (Litvak) Community of Lithuania Faina Kukliansky, and Israel's Ambassador to Lithuania Yossef Levy honored the memory of the Vilna Gaon (Rabbi Eliyahu ben Shlomo Zalman) in the Jewish Cemetery of Vilnius on the occasion of his 300th birth anniversary.

The Parliament (Seimas) of Lithuania designated 2020 as the Year of the Vilna Gaon and the History of the Jews of Lithuania. The 300th birth anniversary is also included in the UNESCO list of anniversaries for 2020–2021. The aim is to commemorate the glorious contribution by the Vilna Gaon to the religious, cultural, scholarly and social heritage of Lithuania and the world.

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Eastern Partnership must remain ambitious, says minister L. Linkevičius

On 22 April, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania Linas Linkevičius participated in a video conference of the EU Foreign Affairs Ministers, who discussed how to better support Ukraine and other countries in the Eastern partnership in times of Covid-19 pandemic.

“The Eastern Partnership must remain the EU’s strategic policy. The EU must maintain ambitious Eastern Partnership agenda, as it is necessary to inspire long-term motivation among the Eastern partners, affirm the pro-European direction they have chosen, and provide the EU’s support for achieving these goals," the Foreign Minister L. Linkevičius said.

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Foreign Vice-Minister A. Zananavičius: Effective response to COVID-19 requires coordinated action by EU and solid investments

Around noon on April 17 a military aircraft requested by the Ministry of National Defence and the Lithuanian Armed Forces landed at Vilnius International Airport with medical protective supplies from China aboard. This is the second time this week the Ministry of National Defence and the Lithuanian Armed Forces used a Boeing 747F aircraft as part of the military lift cooperation platform to bring medical protective supplies. The aircraft was booked through the Movement Coordination Centre Europe (MCCE) on the basis of a request from the Ministry of Health.

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First 2020 NATO live-fly event in Baltic region       |         Credit @ NATO Allied Air Command

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12:33 PM - Apr 17, 2020

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ECB's Vasiliauskas says it's time for coronabonds

It is high time euro zone governments issued joint debt to finance their response to the coronavirus pandemic, complementing a package agreed last week, European Central Bank policymaker Vitas Vasiliauskas told Reuters.

“We should use all ESM instruments but also think about further steps if needed and by that I mean first of all coronabonds,” Vasiliauskas said in a phone interview. “I think it’s the right time to discuss those issues.”

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Mikron to create portable mini-factories making masks to protect health workers

Mikron, an automation specialist with a production facility in Kaunas, is one of the partners in Project CAROLA, a new initiative creating portable mini-factories making masks to protect health workers against COVID-19.

The portable unit uses cutting-edge automation and fits into a shipping container, so it can be moved on-site to hospitals and other facilities where it’s needed most. Each mini-factory can produce 50 masks per minute – that’s up to two million per month – and can be built and delivered in 3-6 weeks.

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Will Fintech weather the storm?

Although the impact of the COVID-19 crisis will be seen for many months to come, some Fintechs might find new business development opportunities, new markets, or even funding. A new wave of mergers might arise, as innovative companies will be looking to establish partnerships in order to up consumer trust. These are just some of the takeaways from Invest Lithuania’s very first Fintech Webinar that I had the pleasure to host. This article would not have been possible without the insights of Marius Jurgilas (Member of the Board at the Bank of Lithuania), Nigel Verdon (CEO of Railsbank), and Leslie Leaf (Chief Customer Officer at Revel Systems), all of whom had joined me in a lively discussion on Remote Economy, opportunities for Fintechs, Crisis Management.

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Lithuania lures tech investors in post-Brexit environment

Back in 2016, government officials gathered in the Lithuanian capital Vilnius to plan their investment strategy. Top of the agenda were the opportunities and challenges of the UK’s decision to leave the EU.

Following several discussions, fintech was identified as presenting a potentially lucrative opportunity, kickstarting a coordinated effort to attract companies into the sector. Today, Lithuania is one of the EU’s foremost fintech hubs and ranks fourth globally in Findexable’s Global Fintech Index 2020.

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Lithuanian author wins prestigious UK Literary Award

UK publishing house, Noir Press, announced that Lithuanian author Grigory Kanovich has just won the €20,000 EBRD Literature Prize - a prestigious award celebrating literature in translation.

Devilspel by Grigory Kanovich, translated by Yisrael Elliott Cohen, tells the story of the small Lithuanian town of Mishkine as it is invaded by Germany in 1941. The novel follows the fate of various Jewish and non-Jewish characters, including the local grave-digger, a farmer, the tailor and a madman.

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Kaunas repeats successful move: lecturers are again invited to reorient to teachers and supervisors

Today’s demographic situation and changes in the education system are dictating new trends. There is a growing need for teaching staff in schools across the country. There is a lack not only of teachers of various subjects, but also of heads of educational institutions. Kaunas City Municipality in the summer of 2018 has made an unprecedented decision, inviting university lecturers to acquire additional competencies, to work as teachers and to seek the position of school leaders. The project was successful, so another group of lecturers is being elected this year.

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Vilnius Breathes Life into The Great Synagogue of Vilna

April 23, 2020, marks the 300th birth anniversary of Vilna Gaon Elijah ben Solomon Zalman. On this occasion, the city of Vilnius offers a new possibility to explore one of the treasures of Jewish heritage in Vilnius – the Great Synagogue of Vilna. These days, when travel possibilities are limited, the new project, placed entirely in virtual space, offers a possibility to explore the famous synagogue from any corner of the world.

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Hotels in Kaunas light up symbols of unity

The windows of Kaunas hotels shone with the inscriptions 4U!, thus expressing strength and unity with other European cities in the face of the COVID-19.

The international initiative #Light4U, which inspires not to lose the spark of hope, was mentioned in Kaunas on April 16. From 9.30 P.M. to 10.30 P.M., the lights in the non-residential rooms of Kaunas hotels lit up the symbolic 4U! note.

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Kaunas 2022 efforts to bring culture closer to people during quarantine        |
Credits @ Kaunas 2022

May 31
Accessibility in Mobility - Online Hackathon

"Accessibilty in Mobility" hackathon invites to search for solutions of accessible public transport for people with special needs. 

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Episode 3: Interview with ambassador Asta Skaisgiryte [in Lithuanian]

Listen to the episode

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Lithuania sends humanitarian aid to Italy

Photo credits @ J. Azanovas / MFA

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