2019.06.05 17:30

Lithuanian MoD asks Nausėda to appoint new military chief within 12 days of inauguration

BNS, Saulius Jakučionis2019.06.05 17:30

Lithuanian Defense Minister Raimundas Karoblis says he has asked President-elect Gitanas Nausėda to appoint a new chief of defense within 12 days after his inauguration. 

This is needed to avoid appointing a temporary chief of defense after the term of Lieutenant General Jonas Vytautas Žukas ends on July 24, according to the minister. 

"That appointment should be swift. In our opinion, we should not have a situation where there is an acting chief of defense," Karoblis told reporters after meeting with Nausėda on Wednesday.  

"This is a challenge, so there will have to be a consistent, preparatory process," he added. 

The president-elect will be sworn in on July 12. 

For the next chief of defense to be appointed by July 24, a candidate would have to be selected this week or next, Žukas, who also took part in the meeting, said.

According to Karoblis, the candidatures of all seven generals of the Lithuanian Armed Forces, except for the outgoing chief of defense, have been submitted to Nausėda for consideration. 

The highest ranking among them is Major General Valdemaras Rupšys, the Lithuanian Land Force commander.  

Gintautas Zenkevičius, Almantas Leika, Vilmantas Tamošaitis, Raimundas Vaiksnoras and Modestas Petrauskas have the rank of brigadier general and Arūnas Mockus, the Lithuanian Navy commander, has the rank of rear admiral, which is equivalent to brigadier general.  

"The president confirmed that all candidates will be considered," the defense minister said. 

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