VILNIUS - Alvydas Medalinskas, Presi-dent Rolandas Paksas' former foreign policy adviser who resigned in November, is once again working at the Presidential Palace. LNK television reported that Medalinskas would begin work as soon as Feb. 3 in an unspecified position.
The Baltic Times was unable to reach the president's press office to confirm what Medalinskas' responsibilities would be or the reason for his return.
His return was met with skepticism, as during his eight-month tenure as Paksas' chief foreign policy aide Medalinskas made enemies in virtually all branches of government.
After telling reporters during a routine press conference that he had tried to remove Foreign Minister Antanas Valionis from his post because of his "stubborn character," Medalinskas was accused by diplomats and parliamentarians of excessive meddling in their affairs.
Valionis later testified to a special parliamentary committee that the Foreign Ministry had obtained documents proving that Russian officials had been assured of a presidential foreign affairs adviser sympathetic to their concerns were Paksas to win the January 2003 presidential election.
Gediminas Kirkilas, chairman of the foreign affairs committee in the Seimas (Lithuania's parliament) told LNK that Medalinskas had spent his time on the job "not advising but settling scores with the Foreign Ministry."
Medalinskas resigned last autumn from his former position along with the majority of Paksas' senior staff, including press secretary Rosvaldas Gorbaciovas, internal affairs adviser Dalia Kutraite-Giedraitiene and security adviser Remigijus Acas, who is accused of maintaining connections to Russian organized crime.
Paksas ordered the resignations following revelations that some of the most prominent members of his advisory team, including Acas, may have abused their power.
The resulting parliamentary inquiry, which also brought into question Paksas' relationship with his largest campaign contributor, Yuri Borisov, has triggered an impeachment process that could remove the president from office.
The vacancy left by Medalinskas' departure was left unfilled for many months until the announcement in early January that Petras Vaitiekunas, Lithuania's former ambassador to Latvia, would join the president's team as chief foreign policy adviser.
Vaitiekunas' status in the presidential administration was questioned, however, after he "disappeared," a rumor confirmed by Paksas when he told reporters that Vaitiekunas was not returning the president's phone calls.