A power-sharing deal that promises to guarantee Lithuania’s pro-European policy has been struck. The country’s ruling alliance, led by Prime Minister Algirdas Brazauskas, has announced it is forming a new government with the Labour opposition. This after a week of talks following inconclusive elections last month. The current Social Democrat and Social Liberal alliance is expected to sign a coalition deal with Labour on Thursday.
Earlier some politicians had warned that Labour’s leader, the Russian-born millionaire Viktor Uspaskish, could push the former soviet state towards a pro-Moscow stance. He denied those claims. In the elections, Labour won most of the votes, but not enough for an outright win. Prime Minister Brazauskas is hoping to take Lithuania into the euro currency zone in 2006 or 2007. He says Labour will be a government partner but not a dominating force, and Brussels should have no reason for concern. The new coalition must first be approved by the country’s president before officially taking power.