VILNIUS - Former Foreign Minister Linas Linkevicius has "cooled off" enough to head an embassy, Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda says.
"Whole three years have passed, not a year, and I think that with his experience, and I think it's quite clear that he is not going to participate in political activities any more, I think that the preconditions have been created for Mr Linkevicius to lead one of the embassies," the president told BNS in Poland on Thursday.
Asked whether Linkevicius was being considered for ambassador to Sweden, the president reminded of the fact that this was not public information at this stage.
"You want to put me in trouble Anusauskas is having," he replied, referring to the ongoing investigation into the defense minister's alleged disclosure of information about the planned purchase of tanks for the Lithuanian army.
BNS reported earlier that the so-called "cooling-off" period imposed by the president on the former foreign minister several years ago is coming to an end and he is already mentioned among candidates for ambassadorial positions.
Linkevicius was approved as a candidate by the parliamentary Committee on Foreign Affairs on Wednesday, according to the information available to BNS.
Neither committee member, nor the Foreign Ministry, nominates ambassadors, however, have officially confirmed that the ex-minister is among potential candidates.
Back in 2021, there were plans to send Linkevicius to the US but President Nauseda said the time he did not see the possibility of appointing the former foreign and defense ministers as ambassadors to Washington and Brussels as they needed a period of "political cooling-off". Such a pause after political appointments was necessary to depoliticize the diplomatic service, the head of state said at the time.
Linkevicius is now being considered for the position of Lithuania's ambassador to Sweden, according to the information available to BNS.
The position has been vacant since diplomat Giedrius Cekuolis left the post August 31.
The process of appointing ambassadors usually becomes public after the government registers bills on the nomination of candidates to the president.
Linkevicius served as Lithuania's foreign minister for two consecutive terms from 2012 to 2020. He returned to the diplomatic service in January 2021, after a general election, and was appointed an ambassador-at-large.
In Lithuania, ambassadors are appointed and dismissed by the president on the nomination of the government and with the approval of the Seimas Committee on Foreign Affairs.