Lithuania. According to
CountryAAH, the judicial procedure against the country's
corruptly accused President Rolandas Paksas dominated the
first months of the year. A commission consisting of lawyers
and MPs stated that Paksas violated the Constitution and the
office of office. The Constitutional Court upheld the
statement, but Paksas denied all charges and claimed he was
In April, the president was put before parliament in
parliament. He was accused of giving Lithuanian citizenship
to Russian businessman Yuri Borisov as a thank-you for his
financial contribution to Paksa's election campaign. The
president would also have leaked state secrets by revealing
to Borisov that he was intercepted by the security service.
In addition, Paksas would have abused his position as
president to financially benefit people in his vicinity. The
president was considered a threat to state security through
his contacts with Borisov, who in turn was accused of arms
smuggling and suspected of ties to the Russian mafia.
The presidential scandal overshadowed the fact that L.
joined NATO in late March, but the judicial process was over
when the nation celebrated its entry into the EU on May 1.
Following Lithuania's NATO entry, the military alliance stationed
four fighter aircraft on a Lithuanian airbase.
New elections for the presidential post were held in June
in connection with Lithuania's first election to the European
Parliament. Paksa's representative as president, 77-year-old
Valdas Adamkus, was then re-elected head of state. Adamkus
won the second round of former Prime Minister Kazimiera
Prunskiene, who received strong support in the countryside
among Paksa's former supporters.
Ahead of the Lithuanian parliamentary elections in
October, the newly formed Labor Party promised better
financial conditions for those who were disadvantaged by
Lithuania's transition from planning economy to market economy. The
party's Russian-born and charismatic leader Viktor Uspaskitj, who became a multi-millionaire after successful
business, gained wide popularity among the rural poor
The Labor Party won the election, taking 39 of
Parliament's 141 seats. Prime Minister Algirdas Brazauska's
government coalition with social democrats and social
liberals lost their majority and plunged to 31 seats. The
Conservative Federation of Allies progressed strongly,
taking 25 seats while the Liberal Center Union received 18
seats. Brazauskas first tried to form a rainbow coalition
together with the bourgeois parties to close the new Labor
Party out of power. But the attempt failed and instead
created a left-dominated government with social democrats,
social liberals, the Labor Party and the Peasant Party and
the New Democracy Party's allies. Brazauskas continued as
prime minister, while Uspaskich became finance minister in
the new government.
Lithuania's strong economic growth continued during the year,
while unemployment was difficult in some regions. Foreign
policy deteriorated Lithuania's relationship with Russia. Russian
diplomats were expelled accused of espionage and Moscow
responded with similar measures. Russia also accused
supporting Chechen terrorism, as a controversial Chechen
Internet site had its server in Vilnius. Following pressure
from Moscow, the server was shut down by the Lithuanian