VILNIUS – President Gitanas Nauseda said on Wednesday that he is ready to "seriously consider" Raimundas Karoblis, a diplomat and former defense minister, as a candidate for the vacant post of the country's ambassador to the European Union.
"I acknowledge that the current situation is not normal," Nauseda told a news conference. "Therefore, to demonstrate my support and assistance in the search for a suitable candidate [...], I am returning to the short list that was given to me and I say that I am ready to seriously consider the candidacy of Mr. Raimundas Karoblis for the position of ambassador to the European Union."
Commenting on the reasons for his decision, the president noted that "it has been a year since the last [parliamentary] election."
"And we have to find the good will within ourselves and the willingness to compromise in order to make the necessary decisions together with the ruling coalition and to end the current vacuum," he said.
Early this year, Nauseda said that he would not appoint either Karoblis or Linas Linkevicius, the foreign minister in the previous Cabinet, as ambassadors to Washington and Brussels, because they needed a "political cooling-off" period.
"If we really want to depoliticize the diplomatic service [...], we should apply such a period of political cooling-off," he said at the time.
The post of Lithuania's ambassador to the EU has been vacant since the term of Jovita Neliupsiene ended in August 2020. Ambassador Simonas Satunas is now serving as the country's acting permanent representative to the EU.
In Lithuania, ambassadors are appointed by the president upon nomination from the government and approval of the parliamentary Committee on Foreign Affairs.