1. Heads of state in Europe mourn Prince Philip

    Belgium"s King Philippe and Queen Mathilde attend the official ceremony marking the fifth anniversary of the 2016 three suicide bombings, in central Brussels, Belgium March 22, 2021
    Image caption: King Philippe of Belgium (here with Queen Mathilde last month) intends to speak to the Queen when possible

    A number of European heads of state have expressed their sympathies on the passing of the Duke of Edinburgh.

    King Philippe of Belgium has conveyed the condolences of the Belgian Royal Family to the Queen in a private message. A public message will be released soon, but the King hoped to speak to the Queen in person when it was possible.

    King Carl Gustaf of Sweden has said he and Queen Silvia are "deeply saddened to learn of the death of His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh". "Prince Philip has been a great friend of our family for many years, a relation which we have deeply valued. His service to his country will remain an inspiration to us all".

    Taoiseach of Ireland Micheál Martin said he was "saddened to hear of the death of HRH, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. Our thoughts and prayers are with Queen Elizabeth and the people of the United Kingdom at this time”.

    Malta's prime minister, Robert Abela, said he was "truly saddened by the loss of Prince Philip, who made Malta his home and returned here so often. Our people will always treasure his memory".

    Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda said: "It is with great sadness that I learned about the passing of Prince Philip. May his soul rest in peace. I extend my deepest condolences to Queen Elizabeth II. In this hour of immense loss, my thoughts and prayers are with you & the people of the UK”.

    Latvian President Egils Levits said: “My deepest condolences to Her Majesty The Queen and the Royal Family on the passing of His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.”

  2. Covid-19: Lithuania now one of Europe's worst-hit countries

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    Video caption: After a remarkably controlled pandemic response, Lithuanian infection rates are rising

    After a remarkably controlled pandemic response, Lithuanian infection rates are rising significantly

  3. New lockdowns begin: Latest across Europe

    A security guard closes the iron gate of the entrance from the KaDeWe department store
    Image caption: The doors have been closed at this famous department store in central Berlin

    Germany has gone into a lockdown that will last until at least 10 January. Bavaria in the south-east is going even further with a night-time curfew from 21:00 to 05:00. Read more about Germany’s lockdown from our Berlin correspondent Jenny Hill.

    Lithuania has also gone into lockdown, with a ban on non-essential movement between towns. Contact between separate households is also banned.

    A Swedish commission into the high number of nursing home deaths in the pandemic has found that systemic shortcomings as well as inadequate government measures contributed to the death toll. Health agency head Anders Tegnell said this morning that it was clear from the start that everyone had to work very hard to ensure the elderly were not exposed to the spread.

    A goalkeeper in Belgium has lost his job amid reports that he organised a party for 10 people at his home in Ostend during lockdown conditions. Fabrice Ondoa’s club KV Oostende said it couldn’t tolerate such egotistical and irresponsible behaviour.

    Austria will set out its plans for Christmas today - and that includes extending rules on mask-wearing indoors. Private meetings are set to be limited to six people from two households but the rules will be relaxed for two days over Christmas.

    Dutch schools have closed and switched to online education as part of the tightest rules so far. Non-essential shops closed yesterday.

  4. Svetlana Tikhanovskaya on engaging with Russia

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    Video caption: Belarus opposition leader regrets Putin's decision to meet with Lukashenko

    Belarus opposition leader regrets Putin's decision to meet with Lukashenko

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    Video caption: Gitanas Nauseda: Why we must oppose Alexander Lukashenko

    Supporting the opposition in Belarus is about fundamental values, says the Lithuanian president.