Lithuania: President snubs Foreign Minister, says “nothing personal”

Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda said that there was “nothing personal” in his decision not to invite Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis to a meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky at the Presidential Palace on 10 January 2024, BNS reports. He said that the meeting focused on military aid and defence industry cooperation, and that Defence Minister Arvydas Anusauskas was therefore invited to attend instead. The Foreign Ministry argued that Landsbergis should have been invited to the meeting because his Ukrainian counterpart, Dmytro Kuleba, was present. Radvile Morkunaite-Mikuleniene, head of the ruling Homeland Union’s (TS-LKD) parliamentary group, insisted that Nauseda’s decision not to invite the foreign minister to the bilateral meeting was “disrespectful” and “not normal.” Meanwhile, Lithuania’s former head of state, Vytautas Landsbergis, stated that those who were “inciting” Nauseda against the incumbent government were “subversives,” BNS reports. The foreign minister is the grandson of Vytautas Landsbergis.