Lithuania. In January, US data came out that Russia would
have introduced tactical nuclear weapons into the Russian
enclave Kaliningrad, bordering L. The measure would put
military pressure behind Russian opposition to NATO's
expansion into the Baltic States. L's defense minister
called for an international inspection to determine if there
were nuclear weapons in Kaliningrad. Moscow denied that
would be the case. At the same time, an opinion poll was
published in December, showing that support for Lithuanian
NATO membership has increased substantially; 48.9% said they
were for NATO membership, while 22.3% were against.
Countryaah, a growing number of crimes committed by Lithuanian
citizens in Sweden led to an agreement on cooperation
between Swedish and Lithuanian prosecutors during the
spring. Among other things, Sweden will, during a two-year
period, finance further training for Lithuanian prosecutors.
Swedish and Lithuanian police have also been forced into
increased cooperation because of the increasing crime of
members of the opposition party border, including smuggling
to Sweden of cigarettes, alcohol and drugs.
On June 14, the deportation of the Soviet occupation
force 60 years earlier was commemorated by nearly 17,500
Lithuanians. At the EU summit in Gothenburg in June, the
Liberian Lithuanian government received praise for rapid
advancement in the membership negotiations in the spring. L.
had largely captured the former sealing group among the
However, the week after the Gothenburg meeting, Prime
Minister Rolandas Paksas was forced to resign. The coalition
partner New League had then withdrawn its ministers from the
government after disagreement with Paksa's party Liberal
League on privatization, tax issues and pension reform.
President Valdas Adamkus approved the government's departure
from the hospital bed, after he was forced to seek treatment
for appendicitis. The president proposed his political
rival, the former communist leader and former president
Algirdas Brazauskas as new prime minister. The 68-year-old
Brazauskas has long been L's most popular politician. His
Social Democratic Party now formed a coalition with the
Social Liberal New League and the government was approved by
Parliament in early July by 84 votes to 45. Brazauskas
declared that the new government would pursue L:
The Butinge oil terminal on the Lithuanian coast was hit
by two serious oil spills during the year. In the first
case, Latvian areas were also contaminated. In November,
large quantities of oil leaked into the Baltic Sea, and the
Lithuanian environmental movement demanded that the
accident-affected terminal be closed.