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Lithuania

Yearbook 2005

Lithuania. At New Year, the oldest reactor in the Ignalina nuclear power plant was closed. The second reactor will be closed in 2009. The EU has called for shutdowns because the reactors are of the same type as the Chernobyl accident reactor. The decision has aroused opposition in Lithuania, and Prime Minister Algirdas Brazauskas said in January that the country intends to seek international assistance to build and finance a new nuclear reactor in Ignalina.

2005 Lithuania

According to countryaah, President Valdas Adamkus declined the invitation of his Russian colleague Vladimir Putin to participate in the 60th anniversary of the Soviet Union's victory over Nazi Germany in May in Moscow. There was a strong political pressure in Lithuania for Adamkus to stay home, as the end of World War II marked the beginning of nearly half a century of Soviet occupation in the Baltic States. The decision had a negative impact on Lithuanian-Russian relations.

Yet another crisis in relation to Russia occurred when a Russian fighter plane crashed outside Kaunas in September. The head of the Lithuanian Air Force was dismissed, according to media reports because of "inappropriate" behavior in contacts with Russian representatives in connection with the crash.

President Adamkus, during his visit to Germany in October, strongly criticized Germany's and Russia's plans for a gas pipeline through the Baltic Sea, a project which Adamkus says poses an environmental threat to the region.

Domestic political crisis threatened in the fall after Prime Minister Brazauskas was accused of corruption. He was suspected of having, during his time as president in the 1990s, influenced the privatization of a large hotel so that his girlfriend and future wife were favored. The wife eventually became the main owner of the hotel. The opposition demanded parliamentary scrutiny, which made Brazauskas threaten to resign. President Adamkus then called on the ordinary judicial body to investigate the charges, and a prosecutor in November launched a preliminary investigation into the privatization of the hotel.

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