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Lithuania

Yearbook 2004

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 conspiring.

2004 Lithuania

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 population.

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 Lithuania of 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 security service.

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