Lithuania's Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Monday nominated seven new candidates for ambassadorial positions, and they also include two advisers of outgoing President Dalia Grybauskaite.
Dalia Grybauskaitė
© DELFI / Kiril Čachovskij

Under the registered bills, Grybauskaite's incumbent chief advisor on foreign policy issues Nerijus Aleksiejunas would be appointed ambassador to France as of August 2, and her chief advisor on economic and social policy issues Lina Antanaviciene would become ambassador to Israel as of August 8.

The parliamentary Committee on Foreign Affairs backed the proposed candidates in January, with the government is yet to greenlight the decision.

In February, Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis criticized the president for creating comfortable seats at the embassies for her people but then said earlier this month he would not create career obstacles for the president's former advisors who were delegated to her team from different institutions. The prime minister said he would consider the candidates competence when deciding on their future, and whether they sought high-ranking positions in a transparent way.

Aleksiejunas and Antanaviciene were delegated to the presidential office by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Being officials of political confidence, presidential advisors will end their work together with the outgoing president in the middle of July.

Aleksiejunas became Grybauskaite's chief advisor on foreign policy issues in 2016 after earlier being in charge of EU issues within the team of her foreign policy advisors for a year.

Previously, he held various positions within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, worked for Lithuania's Permanent Representation to the EU and was a delegated national experts at the European Commission.

Antanaviciene became the president's chief advisor on economic and social policy issues in 2015. Before that she served as Lithuania's ambassador to China, held various positions within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and was an advisor at the Lithuanian Embassy to Norway.

Edminas Bagdonas is now Lithuania's ambassador to Israel, and Dalius Cekuolis works in France. Ambassadorial terms last three years but they might be extended.

More ambassadorial replacements

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has also registered bills on the appointment of new ambassadors in several other countries.

Vytautas Pinkus is set to replace Rasa Kairiene as Lithuania's ambassador to Hungary as of August 14. And Violeta Motulaite will replace Arvydas Pocius in Romania as of October 1.

Meanwhile recalled from Israel, Bagdonas will take the lead of the newly-established representation to the United Arab Emirates as of August 8.

Inga Stanyte-Tolockiene will be appointed ambassador to Armenia as of August 19. The ambassadorial position in Yerevan is now vacant.

And Egidijus Navikas will replace Valdas Lastaukas as Lithuania's ambassador to Azerbaijan as of September 2.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs told BNS Lithuania its commission for the attestation of diplomats had recommended appointing outgoing ambassadors Kairiene and Lastauskas the ministry's ambassadors-at-large. And no decision on Pocius' future position has been made yet.

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

BNS
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