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ELTA is a Lithuanian news agency based in the Lithuanian capital Vilnius. In a day, it receives about 5,000 news articles and produces about 300 articles in Lithuanian, Russian, and English. ELTA cooperates with foreign news agencies such as Reuters, ITAR-TASS, DPA, PAP, Xinhua, and others. [1]



ELTA was founded in March 1920 in Kaunas, the temporary capital of Lithuania, by Juozas Eretas, the first director of the agency, a literature professor, publicist, and public figure of Swiss descent who sought to make the ELTA news wire as efficient and reliable as a " Swiss watch ". ELTA was founded based on Lithuanian press bureaus that were established in Switzerland, Denmark, France, Sweden, Germany during World War I. The agency was owned by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. [1]

Between 1920 and 1940, ELTA cooperated closely with the most prominent foreign agencies – its five teleprinters used to send news from Reuters (UK), DNB (Germany), Havas (France), Stefani (Italy) and TASS (Soviet Union). ELTA employed correspondents in Moscow and Berlin. When Soviet troops occupied Lithuania in 1940, ELTA was incorporated into TASS and relayed news from Moscow. Lithuanians who escaped the Soviet occupation established a free ELTA in Germany. The Supreme Committee for the Liberation of Lithuania (VLIK) published various ELTA bulletins in Lithuanian, German, Italian, English, Spanish, Portuguese. [1]

When Lithuania declared independence in 1990, ELTA also re-established its independence from TASS and its direct contacts with the leading global agencies. In 1996, ELTA was partially sold by the government of Lithuania (the law required the government to retain at least 35% of the shares). In 2003, MG Baltic owned 50.86% and Achema Group owned 6.75% of the shares. [2] Companies controlled by Vitas Tomkus  [ lt ], publisher of the daily Respublika , acquired about 60% of ELTA in 2005. In 2006, Algirdas Pilvelis  [ lt ], publisher of the daily Lietuvos aidas , acquired 39.51% of shares that were owned by the government. [3] In August 2017, Gitana Markovičienė announced plans to purchase the controlling stake in ELTA and became the new CEO. [4] The deal for the purchase of 80% of the shares closed in February 2018. GM Media Invest, owned by Markovičienė, acquired the remaining 20% of shares in January 2020 to become the sole owner of ELTA. [5]


ELTA directors were: [1]

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  1. 1 2 3 4 Šniukas, Domas (2020-02-26) [2004]. "ELTA". Visuotinė lietuvių enciklopedija (in Lithuanian). Mokslo ir enciklopedijų leidybos centras.
  2. Baltic News Service (20 May 2003). "Elta likely to be fully private by year's end". The Baltic Times. Retrieved 4 March 2020.
  3. Baltic News Service (6 October 2006). "Leidėją A. Pilvelį FNTT pričiupo prieš pat baigiantis bylos senaties terminui" (in Lithuanian). Alfa.lt. Retrieved 4 March 2020.
  4. Baltic News Service (11 August 2017). "Buyer appointed as CEO of ELTA news agency". The Lithuania Tribune. Retrieved 4 March 2020.
  5. ""GM Media Invest" įsigijo likusius 20 proc. Eltos akcijų". Lrytas.lt (in Lithuanian). 30 January 2020. Retrieved 4 March 2020.