Lithuanian president expects to appoint new defense minister this week – aide

  • 2024-03-20
  • BNS/TBT Staff

VILNIUS – Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda expects to appoint the next defense minister this week, Kestutis Budrys, his chief national security advisor, said on Wednesday.

Nauseda asked special services for their assessment of the candidate after Wednesday's meeting with Laurynas Kasciunas, chairman of the parliamentary Committee on National Security and Defense. 

"The president will turn to the services, as provided by law, to obtain information under the Law on Corruption Prevention. As soon as this information reaches him, he will evaluate it and make his decision," Budrys told journalists after the meeting.

"There is a very clear interest from the president to finalize all decisions and formalities this week. We hope we'll be able to do so," he said.

Nauseda and Kasciunas discussed the most important tasks in the field of national defense, including implementing the principle of total defense, hosting Germany's brigade, developing national capabilities, creating an army division, and ensuring transparency in public procurement, according to Budrys.

The advisor said Nauseda and Kasciunas agreed on the priorities. 

"There is agreement on the priorities discussed with the candidate," he said. "I don't think anything new will come up for you here, but we have to follow the formalities."

Prime Minister Ingrida Simonyte last Friday asked Arvydas Anusauskas, the outgoing defense minister, to step down, because, she said, faster decisions and greater involvement in dealing with various national defense are needed at this stage.

Ministers are appointed and dismissed by the president on the prime minister's nomination.