Week in Lithuania: Lithuania reappears on China’s customs systems, Nausėda speaks of Russia’s direct threat

Last week, the top news stories in Lithuania were 20% corporate tax for some banks made permanent, Lithuania reappearing on China’s customs systems, Nausėda speaks of Russia’s direct threat.
President Nausėda remains most popular politician
President Gitanas Nausėda remains the most popular politician in Lithuania as his popularity rating has not changed over a month, according to the latest survey by Vilmorus. In all, 54.5 percent of the people surveyed had a positive opinion about the president in November, compared to 53.9 percent in October. And 25.2 percent had a negative opinion about the head of state. Vilija Blinkevičiūtė, leader of the Social Democratic Party of Lithuania, came in second with a popularity rating of 44.1 percent (47.2 percent). Prime Minister Ingrida Šimonytė has a popularity rating of 33 percent, unchanged from a month ago, and 49.6 percent (51.4 percent in October) had a negative opinion about her. Economy Minister Ausrinė Armonaitė, leader of the Freedom Party, had the highest negative rating of 63.5 percent (59.8 percent), followed by Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis, leader of the Homeland Union – Lithuanian Christian Democrats, with 59.8 percent (57.2 percent).
Power grids operate synchronously for first time
A part of Lithuania’s electricity system operated synchronously with the Polish synchronous area and through it with the continental European area in an exceptional test carried out last Saturday by the two countries’ power transmission system operators, Lithuania’s Litgrid said on Monday, December 6. In the autumn, Kreivys and Polish Climate and Environment Minister Michal Kurtyka agreed to carry out the test in December. The Baltic countries aim to the Baltic countries plan to fully disconnect from the BRELL system and start operating synchronously with the continental European system by late 2025.
Lithuanian citizenship restored for world-renowned architect
Massimiliano Fuksas, a world-renowned architect of Lithuanian descent, has had his Lithuanian citizenship restored. The architect received his Lithuanian passport in a ceremony in Vilnius’ embassy in Rome on Monday, December 6. Fuksas was born in Rome in 1944 to Raimondas Fuksas, a doctor from Kaunas, and an Italian mother of Austrian and French descent. Studio Fuksas, which he runs in partnership with his wife, is a leading international architecture firm.
KN posts quarter-less revenue in January-November
Lithuania’s state-run oil product and liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals operator Klaipėdos Nafta saw its revenue for January-November 2021 fall by 24.9 percent year-on-year to 53.4 million euros. Monthly revenue for November dropped by 20 percent from a year earlier to 4.8 million euros, the company said on Tuesday, December 7. In November month-on-month, revenue dropped by 17.4 percent to 1.9 million euros and by 22.9 percent to 2.7 million euros, respectively. Revenue was affected both by lower regasification volumes, compared to the same period last year, and by the proportionate reduction of the security supplement in 2021.
Proposal on state of emergency at border with Poland failed
The Lithuanian parliament will not consider declaring a state of emergency on the border with Poland, at least for now, and will only vote on extending the legal regime on the border with Belarus, Viktorija Čmilytė-Nielsen, the speaker of the Seimas, said on Tuesday, December 7. The state of emergency was declared on November 10. Almost 4,200 irregular migrants have crossed into Lithuania from Belarus illegally so far this year, and almost 7,900 more have been turned away by border guards.
Read also: BNN ANALYSES | Belarus’ Belaruskali threatens Lithuania’s Conservatives-led Cabinet
Lithuania reappears on China’s customs systems
Lithuania reappeared on China’s customs systems on Tuesday, December 7, and several Lithuanian companies have already managed to send their shipments to China, the president of the Lithuanian Confederation of Industrialists (LCI) says. But new Chinese pressure measures on Lithuanian businesses have also emerged, Vidmantas Janulevičius head of the LCI said.
Taiwan opens up its market to Lithuanian cereals
Taiwan announced on Wednesday, December 8, it was opening up its market to some cereal imports from Lithuania. Taiwan’s Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine (BAPHIQ) announced last week that it had permitted the import of Lithuanian-origin common wheat, barley and oats, and peas for consumption, the Agriculture Ministry said. For the Taiwanese market to open to Lithuanian-origin triticale, rye, oilseed rape and beans, additional data must be submitted to BAPHIQ for pest risk analysis, the ministry said.
Lithuania makes 20 percent corporate tax for some banks permanent
The Lithuanian parliament voted on Wednesday, December 8, to make permanent a 20 percent corporate income tax that was introduced for some profitable banks as a temporary measure several years ago. The amendment to the Law on Corporate Income Tax was passed in a vote of 103 to two with 16 abstentions.  The standard income tax rate in Lithuania is 15 percent. The higher rate will continue to apply to banks and credit unions earning more than 2 million euros in profit. The higher tax rate, in place since 2020, has already brought an additional 35.2 million euros into the state’s coffers.
Lithuania posts highest annual inflation in Baltics for November
Lithuania last month posted the highest annual inflation rate among the three Baltic countries, according to figures from the national statistics offices. Lithuania’s consumer prices jumped by 9.2 percent in November from a year ago, compared to 7.5 percent in Latvia and 8.8 percent in Estonia.
Nausėda says Baltics feel Russia’s direct threat
The Baltic states feel Russia’s direct threat and can expect military backup from the United States, Lithuanian President Gitanas Nausėda said following US President Joe Biden’s conversation with the leaders of Central and Eastern European countries on Thursday, December 9. During the conversation with Biden, the Lithuanian president also stressed the importance of unity of NATO partners in the face of military threats from Russia.
Lithuania reports 1,576 new coronavirus cases, 8 deaths
 Lithuania registered 1,576 new coronavirus infections and eight deaths from COVID-19 over the past 24 hours, the country’s statistics office said on Friday, December 10. Six of the fatalities were either not vaccinated or only partially vaccinated. The 14-day infection rate has edged down to 835.6 per 100,000 people, and the seven-day percentage of positive tests has inched down to 11.5 percent. A total of 488,000 people in Lithuania have tested positive for COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic. The death toll has exceeded 6,900.