With the first round of the 2019 Lithuanian Presidential elections completed on May 12th, the field has narrowed down to two candidates Ingrida Simonyte and Gitanas Nauseda, with Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis announcing his retirement in July, 2019. All three candidates continue the decades long policy of anti-Russian and anti-Communist actions and rhetoric, along with servile obedience to EU and NATO influence and control.
As FPRI points out, whether the race is won by Simonyte, “a tall, high-pitched economist squirming out of potentially uncomfortable positions” or Nauseda, “a rotund policeman baldly pushing through”, the next four years will not bring any new or significant foreign policy changes.
However, on the economic front, there is a potential hurricane on Lithuania’s horizon that while studiously ignored by the candidates and the media, will be one of the most important issues the new government and all Lithuanians will face in the near future.
On April 29th of this year, US law firm “Alston & Bird” and a Russian law firm “Egorov Puginsky Afanasiev& Partners”sent a Notice of Arbitration on behalf of the fund “Fund for Protection of Investor Rights in Foreign States” who is representing the interests of the main shareholder of the “Snoras” Bank, a Russian citizen Vladimir Antonov, against the government of Lithuania for the illegal expropriation of “Snoras” Bank in 2011. Snoras Bank was recognized as “The Best Bank in Lithuania” in 2006 and 2010, but on November 16th, 2011 100% of the bank’s shares were “nationalized”, and a week later, the bank was declared bankrupt. The market value of the bank’s shares at the time was about 2.5 billion Euros, and the outstanding debts stood at about 118 million Euros, a difference of 2 billion 382 million Euros. Where did the rest of the money go? It did not simply evaporate…
Someone still owns and controls the assets of “Snoras” Bank, and these assets will have to be returned to their rightful owners, or else the government of Lithuania and the people of Lithuania will be held responsible for the debt. At the time of the expropriation, the Head of the Central Bank of Lithuania, Vitas Vasiliauskas did not provide any evidence that the bank was insolvent, it was determined that the seizure of the bank was done on the personal initiative of President of Lithuania Dalia Grybauskaite.
The current claim against the government of Lithuania in this case is set at approximately 1.1 billion Euros, but the amount can, and probably will, rise to the full market value of 2.5 billion Euros during the arbitration. According to legal experts, it is unlikely that the government will be able to evade responsibility for the illegal expropriation of Snoras Bank. The annual GDP of Lithuania is about 47.5 billion Euros, so this lawsuit involves as much as 2% to 5% of the entire GDP, a huge liability for the economy of the nation as a whole.
This is a prime example of pro-Western puppets having carte blanche to loot businesses and national treasuries while the regular working people of the country are ultimately left on the hook for the crimes of their rulers.
This is a classic example of how the crimes of one generation of corrupt politicians, such as Dalia Grybauskaitė, IngridaShimonite, Vitas Vasilauskas, AndriusKubilius, can return decades later to haunt subsequent generations of citizens who themselves are innocent of the criminal acts of their previous rulers, but who can and will be forced to bear the responsibility of them.
Let it be a lesson to us all – As it is written in the Bible, “The sins of the fathers shall visited upon the sons.” Tolerating corruption today will only bestow suffering and deprivation on future generations. Let us be vigilant against corruption, for the sake of our children and the future of all Humanity.
Some may object to this lawsuit on the grounds that Vlaimir Antonov, the majority shareholder of Snoras Bank, is himself a convicted criminal and currently serving a two and a half year sentence for involvement in a scheme with others that embezzled about 2 million Euros from the Russian bank “Sovetsky Bank”. However, it is very important to understand that these actions of Mr. Antonov, do not in any way relate to the Snoras Bank. And it is worth mentioning, that Vladimir Antonov does not deny all his wrongdoings.
But 2 million is very a small sum compared to the expropriation of the 2.5 BILLION Euros lost by Antonov and his partner Raimondas Baranauskas in 2011. In a case of thieves versus thieves, (which this case seems to be) the amount stolen and degree of liability arenot quite relevant, and the amount for which Antonov has been convicted and punished for in Russia is 1/1000th the amount stolen by the Lithuanina expropriation of Snoras Bank in 2011.
The wheels of justice turn slowly, especially in the Baltic States, but turn they do, and there will soon be a day of reckoning for Lithuania and furthermore for Latvia and the missing billions.
It is an indication of the irresponsibility and perhaps culpability of the candidates in the current Lithuanian elections that they continue to try to ignore one of the most serious and inevitable challenges in modern Lithuanian history.