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Chinese investments must be carefully assessed, Lithuanian PM says

VILNIUS - China's proposed investments in Lithuania and threats they may pose must be carefully assessed, Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis said on Thursday after intelligence agencies warned in their annual report about increasing activity by China's intelligence and security services in the country. 

"It's difficult to comment on the details, because I have access both to the public report and to non-public information, but we do assess these threats, especially when it comes to potential investments," Skvernelis said on Ziniu Radijas. 

"There has been a lot of speculation and legends about someone coming to the Klaipeda port," he added. 

The prime minister noted that Lithuania has adopted a law and has a working group that is assessing investments in terms of national security threats. 

"We have had no major attempts so far, no real investments (from China). And if we had, we would really assess them in a very responsible way," he added.

In their National Threat Assessment 2019 report released on Tuesday, the State Security Department (SSD) and the Second Investigation Department under the Defense Ministry, for the first time, named Chinese espionage as a threat to national security. 

SSD Director Darius Jauniskis said on Tuesday that China was mostly interested in Lithuania's transport and energy sectors. 

Bilateral relations between Lithuania and China, the world's second-biggest economy after the United States, are not very intensive. Discussions are currently mainly focused on possible Chinese investments in the seaport of Klaipeda.

Lithuania to donate EUR 255,000 worth of ammo to Ukraine • 2019-02-06

VILNIUS - The Lithuanian government has decided to donate over a million cartridges, worth 255,000 euros, for Soviet-made Kalashnikov machine guns to Ukraine. 

Lithuania has already donated ammunition and certain weapons and elements of weaponry to Ukraine. 

The first such shipment reached Ukraine in 2014 after Russian annexed Crimea and started supporting separatists in the eastern part of the country.

From February 14, citizens of Lithuania can travel to Thailand with a new eVisa On Arrival (eVOA), just in time for St Valentine celebrations

VILNIUS - No more long waiting at the border. To boost tourism, Thailand is offering citizens of Lithuania a new “0ne minute” express eVisa On Arrival (eVOA) service from Feb 14, just in time for St Valentine celebrations. 

The new service is provided by VFS Global, the world leader in government services technology, with the Immigration Bureau of Thailand. The eVOA service will be available as of 14 February 2019.

In three simple steps, eligible travellers can apply online for eVOA for Thailand by visiting anytime, anywhere or get assistance at VFS Global visa application centres across the globe.

Lithuanians can apply on-line and make an e-payment any time regardless of embassy working hours, and the Thai government also waived a 2,000-baht, visa-on-arrival fee for visitors from Lithuania and other 20 countries until April 30 in a bid to boost the number of tourists. 

Once the tourists arrive at airports, they can show their passports at specific counters to obtain a visa in just one minute, rather than a one-to-two-hour wait, at Suvarnabhumi and Don Mueng airports in Bangkok, as well as at Phuket and Chiang Mai airports flying by Thai Airways and other airlines.

Under the new system, people can receive their travel authorisation online prior to departure within 24 to 72 hours. Visitors will be able to use the eVOA service from 30 days to at least 24 hours before arriving in Thailand.

Thailand last year welcomed a record 38.27 million tourists, up 7.5% from 2017.

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