The Lithuanian government decided on Wednesday to relocate the post of agricultural attache from Russia to Japan.
© Reuters / Scanpix

After Foreign Minister Linas Linkevičius noted that it was too expensive for Lithuania to have an attache focusing on a narrow area of activities in the distant Asian country, Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis asked for the diplomat's functions to be expanded to include certain additional business areas.

Agriculture Minister Bronius Markauskas told the Cabinet that the position of agricultural attache to Russia was to be abolished due to a sharp decline in the workload in the wake of Russia's embargo on agricultural and food product imports from the EU and other Western countries.

"As a result of the Russian embargo on food and agricultural products, the scope of and possibilities for the agricultural attache's activities have decreased sharply. Meanwhile, trade relations in Japan, where are asking for the attache position to be established, have been expanding recently and Japan is a market that offers one of the greatest potentials," he said.

Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis asked the Agriculture Ministry to include the areas of tourism, logistic or investment into the diplomat's functions.

According to the Foreign Ministry, the post of agricultural attache in Japan will cost Lithuania 50,000 euros annually, compared with 6,000 euros in Russia.

Lithuania currently has agricultural attaches in the European Union, Russia, China, Germany and Italy, and an attache for agriculture and commerce in the United States.

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