Lithuania: Clear rift on foreign policy between President, government

A continuing confrontation between Lithuania’s President Gitanas Nauseda and the government has delayed the appointment of a new ambassador to neighbouring Poland, LRT reports. The post has been vacant since September 2023, with Nauseda rejecting two candidates suggested by the government. The Office of the President has proposed changing the procedure for appointing ambassadors by holding an open competition for the position. Former foreign ministers Audronius Azubalis and Antanas Valionis rejected the idea, citing security concerns, however. The Foreign Ministry suggested that the President’s proposal could be unconstitutional, BNS reported. Dovile Jakniunaite, professor at Vilnius University, said that the dispute revealed a “clear disagreement” between the President and the government over foreign policy. Meanwhile, President Nauseda refused to invite Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis to a meeting with visiting Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky at the Presidential Palace on 10 January 2024, LRT reported.