Each year Mission Siberia sends 15 young Lithuanians to Siberia and other areas in the former Soviet Union where Lithuanians were deported. They search for traces that Lithuanians left behind and tidy up cemeteries where Lithuanians are buried. But most of all they go to meet Lithuanians — and their children and grandchildren — who decided to stay even after it was possible to return in the 1950s.
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In 1996, a Special Economic Zone was created that made it favorable for both Russian and foreign companies to relocate production to Kaliningrad. Once the intentions were to make Kaliningrad known for more than just its military bases. But this is no longer the case. Kaliningrad, once again, is gliding away from being an economic zone to becoming a military zone.
Many who migrate are forced to leave their children in their home country. Children being left behind in this way has become a problem in the EU, as Påhl Ruin relates in a report from Lithuania. The children don’t thrive, and there is a risk that they will become social outsiders.
The Baltic countries have a larger percentage of people in prison than any other EU member state. The reason? A persistent Soviet legacy that decress criminals should be locked up.
The situation for human rights in Russia is worsening. Some now even compare the country with Belarus. Opponents of the Putin regime met on a conference ”Russia – a more repressive Kremlin” in Vilnius in the end of May 2013.
What was buried by Balts who were exiled to Siberia, before they were taken away? These finds are now being digged up as examples of modern archaeology. Helga Nõu remembers when, aged nine, she was told where a secret was buried and how she was sworn to never ever tell.
The expert seminar "Labor migration in the Baltic Sea Countries: Trends and prospects" April 25, took a closer look at migration-related challenges. Export of labor and lose of younger people are worrying problems for the Baltic States, noted key-note speaker professor Charles Woolfson. Other problems mentioned on the seminar were the labor migrants’ vulnerable situation, and the growing amount of abandoned children.
In order to ascend another rung on the development ladder, all three Baltic countries are engaged in higher education reform. Latvia has the furthest to go.