Raimundas Karoblis, the man who is set to become Lithuania's next defense minister, has served as a diplomat for more than 20 years and, as the country's permanent representative to the European Union in Brussels, coordinated Lithuania's EU presidency three years ago.
Raimundas Karoblis
© DELFI / Kiril Čachovskij

Karoblis' colleagues say that he is a proponent of teamwork who has the ability to orchestrate the activities of an institution but is not afraid of taking a tough stance in negotiations when he is certain that an issue is important.

"The presidency team worked like a Swiss watch, but at the same time, it was a real team whose members supported and helped each other. And this was thanks to the leader," Arūnas Vinčiūnas, who at that time was Karoblis' deputy and now heads EU Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis' office, told BNS.

Karoblis has until now held no political positions and has had no links with the Lithuanian Peasant and Green Union (LPGU), the party that triumphed in last month's parliamentary elections. It was at President Dalia Grybauskaitė's initiative that his carrier took a new turn after Prime Minister-designate Saulius Skvernelis approved him as candidate to become defense minister in his new Cabinet.

Karoblis has mostly focused on economic and trade affairs during his diplomatic career. In his current post of deputy foreign minister, he has coordinated EU affairs in recent years.

Although never a priority for Karoblis, defense issues have lately started to gain a more prominent place on the agenda amid increasing discussions on the EU's common security policy.

Karoblis does not pay much attention to external representation in his work and, therefore, one's first impression of him may sometimes be controversial.

"His position is that there are things that are much more important than the length of one's tie," a diplomat who asked not to be named told BNS.

The incoming defense minister speaks English, French and Russian. He is married.

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