Week in Lithuania: Film Runner bags top prize at Riga film festival, Lithuania opens embassy in South Korea

Last week, the top news in Lithuania were strong economic growth in 2021, the opening of an Embassy in South Korea and the success of the film Runner in the competition of the Riga International Film Festival.
Lithuania launches its 1st 5G frequency auction
The Lithuanian Communications Regulatory Authority (RRT) on Monday, October 25, announced an auction for three 700 MHz radio frequency blocks to be used to deploy next-generation 5G mobile networks and provide 5G e-communication services in the country. Up for auction are three 20-year radio frequencies blocks: one 2×10 MHz and two 2×5 MHz from the 713-733 MHz and 768-788 MHz bands. The starting price is 5 million euros for the 2×10 MHz block and 3 million euros for the 2×5 MHz blocks each. A bidder will only be allowed to bid for one block of radio frequencies. The winners will have to roll out services in at least one of the country’s five major cities and towns within six months from the date of licensing and in all five of them from the beginning of 2024.
Oil extractor to appeal decision
Minijos Nafta, a Lithuanian-Danish joint venture, announced on Monday, October 25, it will appeal against the Environment Ministry’s decision not to issue it a permit to extract oil in Kintai, in the western district of Šilutė, without a tender. Minijos Nafta is now using eight oil fields in Klaipeda and Šilutė Districts and is extracting oil from 15 wells. The company says it extracted 45,100 barrels of oil in the first nine months of this year, compared to 50,600 barrels extracted during the same period last year Minijos Nafta has been seeking to extract oil in Kintai without a tender since 2003. But Environment minister Simonas Gentvilas says that promoting oil extraction is not in line with the Green Deal’s priorities and the goal of producing energy from renewable sources.
Lithuanian drama Runner bags top prize at Riga film festival
Runner, a love drama directed by Lithuanian director Andrius Blaževičius, has won the main prize of the eighth Riga International Film Festival, film production company M-films said on Monday, October 25. This year, the film festival’s winners were picked out of more than 100 films in ten sections. A thriller-like love drama, Runner tells the story of Maria (Žygimantė Elena Jakštaitė), a long woman looking for her missing lover (Marius Repšys).
Lithuania’s cheese maker exports to China via Poland
As Lithuanian-Chinese relations have strained and Chinese partners are cutting ties with Lithuanian businesses, Rokiškio Sūris, one of the largest dairy processors in Lithuania, has managed to resume exports of lactose to China by changing its delivery path and sending it via Poland. Meanwhile, the CEO of Vilvi Group, another dairy processing group, says trade with China has stopped and products initially meant for this market are being exported to other markets. Dalius Trumpa, CEO of Rokiškio Sūris, says the group has managed to resume exports without cutting volumes. In his words, costs have not risen significantly due to goods being sent via Poland. Moreover, the company used to export like this before.
Read also: BNN ANALYSES | Workforce depletion grips Lithuania, while job available to every second jobseeker
Lithuanian president met with a world-renowned orangutan specialist
President Gitanas Nausėda met on Tuesday, October 26, with Birutė Galdikas, a world-renowned anthropologist, environmentalist and orangutan specialist of Lithuanian descent. During the meeting, Nausėda spoke about the latest environmental challenges, including a worsening biological diversity situation and the human liming quality that depend on that, as well as a clear link between the health state of people and ecosystem, disclosed by the pandemic, the presidential press service said. This year marks 50 years since Galdikas set up the first orangutan observation centre in Tanjung Puting National Park, on the Indonesian island of Borneo.
Lithuania opens embassy in South Korea
Lithuania’s Embassy in South Korea started operating after Lithuania’s chargé d’affaires Vilijus Samuila arrived in Seoul, Lithuania’s Foreign Ministry announced on Tuesday, October 26. It also added the embassy’s official opening is scheduled for the end of this year. Lithuania opened its embassy in Seoul to bolster the country’s international positions, political and diplomatic ties with like-minded partners in the Asia-Pacific region, and to open up new opportunities for Lithuanian exporters to export to the most advanced global markets.
Taiwan to open its representation in Lithuania by end of 2021
Taiwan’s Minister of National Development Kung Ming-hsin said on Wednesday, October 27, in Vilnius that Taiwan should open its economic representation in the Lithuanian capital by the end of this year. Meanwhile, Lithuania plans to open its representation in Taiwan in early 2022, Economic Minister Aušrinė Armonaitė says. Lithuania’s decision to allow Taiwan to open its representation in Lithuanian under the name Taiwan angered China.
Avia Solutions Group buys airport terminal, hangar in London
Avia Solutions Group (ASG), an aviation business group owned by Lithuanian businessman Gediminas Žiemelis, has acquired Biggin Hill Hangar Company Limited, the owner of Hangar 510, a premium Fixed Base Operations (FBO) and Maintenance Repair & Overhaul (MRO) centre of operations at London Biggin Hill Airport, for an undisclosed value, Vygaudas Ušackas, a board member at Avia Solutions Group, announced on Thursday, October 28.
Officers use tear gas to quash unrest at migrant centre
Lithuanian officers used tear gas against migrants after unrest broke out at the Foreigners’ Registration Centre in Pabradė, near Vilnius, on Wednesday, October 27, the State Border Guard Service (SBGS) said on Thursday, October 28. Border guards, helped by interpreters from the European Asylum Support Office, met with asylum seekers in one of the sectors where migrants live to inform them about the administrative procedures and the procedure for granting asylum in Lithuania. However, this irritated the migrants, according to the service.
Lithuania’s nine-month GDP up 5.2 percent
Lithuania’s seasonal and calendar adjusted gross domestic product grew 5.2 percent in the first nine months of this year, compared to the same period last year, to 40.5 billion euros at constant prices. In the third quarter alone, the GDP stood at 15.1 billion euros at constant prices, and the real GDP increase, seasonal and calendar adjusted, stood at 0.05 percent, the country’s statistics service, Statistics Lithuania, said on Friday, October 29.
Lithuania reports 3,303 new coronavirus cases, 26 deaths
Lithuania registered 3,303 new coronavirus infections and 26 deaths from COVID-19 over the past 24 hours, the country’s statistics office said on Friday, October 29. Seventeen of the fatalities were either not vaccinated or only partially vaccinated.