Lithuanian president wants more ForMin flexibility on EU ambassador candidates

  • 2022-02-17
  • BNS/TBT Staff

VILNIUS – Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda says he's ready to speak with the Foreign Ministry about candidates for Lithuania's ambassador to the EU, stressing, however, that such a diplomat should be appointed based on mutual agreement.

Speaking about negotiations with the ministry on a candidate, Nauseda said he had proposed "candidates who could be considered".

"Unfortunately, the other side has stuck on one proposal, and I know that person now has other career plans," Nauseda told reporters in Brussels on Thursday. "I am also ready to speak about those candidates I proposed, as well as those presented to me. But one cannot say that 'either the way we want, or no way then'. We don’t make decisions that way. I want to state that very clearly for the other side to hear it."

The position of Lithuania's EU ambassador has been vacant since August, 2020 when Jovita Neliupsiene's term expired.

As the president and the government are now locked in a dispute on a candidature, the embassy is now being temporarily led by acting permanent representative Simonas Satunas but he has recently announced his plans to start heading European Commisioner Virginijus Sinkevicius' office in March.

In December, the president's chief foreign policy adviser Asta Skaisgiryte said the president was awaiting the government's decision on the appointment of ex-National Defense Minister Raimundas Karoblis to lead Lithuania's embassy in Brussels.

In Lithuania, ambassadors are appointed by the president upon the government's nomination and approval of the parliamentary Committee on Foreign Affairs.