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Lithuania Country Report

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Risk Level

Low
Moderate
Elevated
High
Very High
Severe
Extreme

Overview

Executive Summary

A new governing coalition agreement was signed in July by ruling LVŽS and three more parties. The increased number of coalition partners would probably affect passage of legislation in 2019, which is likely to be slowed down by the need for more extensive negotiations. The next general election is scheduled for October 2020. Disagreements within the ruling coalition are unlikely to significantly obstruct policies aimed at attracting investment and developing the regional capital market. At most, they are likely to generate delays of a few months in planned initiatives. Investment in the energy and transport sectors is likely to remain a priority. The government is likely to continue focusing on reducing bureaucracy and improving tax collection. The 2020 budget is likely to include measures to enhance the progressivity of personal taxation and increase funding for social spending. Even though Lithuania still re-exports large volumes of goods to Russia, its economy has become less vulnerable to further deterioration in EU-Russian relations, as local producers and the transport sector have diversified their trading activity towards Western countries. Lithuanian economic growth is supported by strong domestic demand and healthy growth in exports of Lithuanian goods and services. The GDP outlook remains strong, expanding by 3.3% in 2019, but gradually slowing afterwards due to weakening global demand and rising unit labour costs. Lithuania will maintain strong co-operation with the EU and NATO: this is unlikely to be affected by changes in government. Russia is likely to introduce sporadic border blockades against imports from Lithuania. Airspace and maritime violations by Russian military planes and ships are likely to continue, intensifying before and after NATO military exercises in the Baltic region. Russia also may use radio jamming during both Russian and NATO military exercises, posing elevated risk of disruption to civil aviation and marine navigation in the Baltic Sea.
Last update: September 19, 2019

Operational Outlook

Lithuania aims to attract more foreign investments, particularly from the West and China, especially for its expanding financial technology sector. The country's strategically important location on the Baltic Sea offers great potential as a transport hub for goods coming from China and Central Asia. Lithuania has been one of the most proactive countries to implement the EU third energy package. Institutional efficiency and transparency have been improved, and red tape is likely to be reduced. Large-scale industrial action is unlikely. Risk of bribery by public officials is likely to decrease.

Last update: August 3, 2019

Terrorism

Moderate

The terrorism threat in Lithuania is low and primarily external; Lithuanian politicians and diplomats could be targeted by pro-Russian individuals. There are no known indigenous terrorist groups in Lithuania. Still, in the event of a terrorist attack, probable perpetrators would be self-radicalised lone actors, while targets would include NATO military facilities and assets and government buildings. Cyber-attacks, perpetrated by pro-Russian individuals or groups, are likely in the one-year outlook against critical infrastructure and government websites. Private companies are also likely to be affected if not specifically targeted. In recent years, Lithuania has made efforts to increase cyber capabilities across state institutions.

Last update: August 1, 2019

Crime

Organised crime in Lithuania, particularly violent confrontations between gangs, is on a downward trend. More lucrative opportunities outside Lithuania and a concerted effort by law enforcement agencies to crack down on inter-gang violence have reduced the presence and activity of organised crime groups. Yet the country's location between Belarus and the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad, both major sources of organised crime, prompts significant smuggling activities, primarily involving cigarettes, petrol, and alcohol. Local groups have also shifted their focus to cyber and financial crime, with national authorities' still lacking in capacity for tackling the issue robustly and despite undertaking measures to boost cyber-security capabilities in recent years. Some groups are also employing more discreet forms of extortion and racketeering. Lithuania is used primarily as a transit hub either to smuggle goods and traffic women from Russia to Western Europe or to transport stolen cars from Western Europe to Russia and Central Asia. Under these circumstances, foreign-owned businesses in Lithuania are highly unlikely to encounter problems arising from organised crime. Targets often have criminal records or are engaged in low-level criminal activity, preventing them from approaching the police.

Last update: October 19, 2019

War Risks

Although fear of Russian expansionism has increased, direct military intervention by Russia is unlikely. Nevertheless, the perceived threat from Russia will prompt increased arms purchases and cyber-security efforts by Lithuanian security authorities, and a greater NATO presence on Lithuanian soil. Lithuania is likely to continue strengthening bilateral and regional co-operation in the security and defence sector with other states in the Baltic Sea region. Russia will likely continue to manifest power in the Baltic region and the occasional airspace incursions will probably continue. However, hybrid warfare through instigation of civil unrest within the Russian minority in Lithuania is unlikely.

Last update: October 18, 2019

Social Stability

Moderate

Demonstrations, if they occur, are likely to be limited to the capital Vilnius, attracting up to several thousand people at most, and regions with a sizeable Russian population, such as Klaipėda and Visaginas. Risks of violence and property damage during protests are low. There is a moderate risk of demonstrations by environmental groups, posing a low risk of asset damages. Large economically motivated protests are unlikely.

Last update: October 18, 2019

Health Risk

Very high

Vaccinations required to enter the country

No vaccinations are required to enter the country.

Routine Vaccinations

Hepatitis A: A vaccine is available for anyone over one year of age. The vaccine may not be effective for certain people, e.g. those born before 1945 and who lived as a child in a developing country and/or have a past history of jaundice (icterus). These people can instead get a shot of immune globulin (IG) to boost their immunity against the disease.

Hepatitis B: A vaccine is available for children at least two months old.

Diphtheria-Tetanus-Polio: A booster shot should be administered if necessary (once every ten years).

Yellow Fever: A vaccine is available for children over the age of one year.

Other Vaccinations

Typhoid Fever: If your travels take you to regions with poor sanitary conditions (for children two years old and up).

Rabies: For prolonged stays in an isolated region (for children from when they can walk).

Tick-Borne Encephalitis: For stays in rural zones and for hiking enthusiasts (for children over the age of one).

For Children: All standard childhood immunizations should be up-to-date. In the case of a long stay, the BCG vaccine is recommended for children over one month and the MMR (measles-mumps-rubella) vaccine for children over nine months.

Last update: April 5, 2019

Transportation

Elevated

Although they are in good condition, Lithuania's roads are among the most dangerous in the region. In 2012, the European average for road deaths was 55 per million residents; in Lithuania, it was 100.

Vehicles are required to be fitted with snow tires from November 1 until April 10. Studded tires are allowed during this period only.

Roads in remote areas can be in bad condition and dangerous. Extreme vigilance is advised at night due to the lack of proper street lighting. Horse-drawn carts, cyclists, and vehicles without taillights or reflectors often use roadways. Moreover, drivers can be very aggressive.

Reliable and regular bus networks connect the country's major urban hubs.

Taxis are inexpensive. Riders should check for a meter and ask for a price estimate before using the taxi. It is recommended not to use informal taxi companies. Official taxis have a logo and can generally be found at taxis stations or in front of famous hotels.

Train services operating in the country tend to be slow, aging, and uncomfortable. The fleet of trains is currently being updated, so there is an equal chance of riding on a brand new train or an old one.

Last update: April 5, 2019

Practical Information

Climate

The climate is continental in the interior of the country, tempered along the coast thanks to the influence of the Baltic Sea. Summers are relative hot and winters are cold, even harsh, with temperatures sometimes falling to -30°C. Precipitation is frequent in winter but the summer sees higher levels of rainfall. Snow falls for 3-4 months every year and the spring thaw often produces muddy conditions.

Useful Numbers

Country Code: 370
Police: 112
Fire Dept.: 112
Ambulance: 112

Electricity

Voltage: 220 V ~ 50 Hz

Outlets:

Last update: April 5, 2019