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2013.08.05 09:29

The resignation of the Lithuanian ambassador is a big mistake

DELFI|The Lithuania Tribune2013.08.05 09:29

The reaction of Foreign Affairs Minister Linas Linkevičius, to the request of Lithuanian ambassador to Azerbaijan Artūras Žurauskas to relieve him of his duties, by calling this action “honourable” is a “very big mistake”, reported www.delfi.lt. 

The reaction of Foreign Affairs Minister Linas Linkevičius, to the request of Lithuanian ambassador to Azerbaijan Artūras Žurauskas to relieve him of his duties, by calling this action “honourable” is a “very big mistake”, reported www.delfi.lt.

That is how political expert Raimundas Lopata described to LRT.lt website on Friday.

“I think that what’s been done at this point is a very big mistake by being pleased at the audacity of one of our ambassadors to resign and lauding it as a heroic act. I’m talking about the Minister of Foreign Affairs. This could be catastrophic for the diplomatic service and cause the biggest threat to Lithuania’s national security,” states Lopata.

In the political expert’s words, taking such a step is tantamount to Lithuania legalising “a tool used illicitly by the Russians”. According to him, it is naively anticipated that all will end after one recorded phone call is divulged even though there could very well be other recorded calls. “What will we do then when more are made known?” said the political expert.

In his view, things like these are usually organised “calmly and quietly” – by diplomatic channels. “Already this incident is comparable to the Wikileaks incident. The Americans have withstood this blow and they didn’t dismiss their ambassador,” notes Lopata.

In the political expert’s opinion, this action, which Lithuania considers unfriendly, is linked to its presidency of the EU Council. “They’ve scrutinised our reaction, one which is stupid and clumsy”.

According to Lopata, the blame lies with those who did not check the security of the telephone conversations of the diplomats.

“It seems to me that in this case it’s the Department of State Security that should have dealt with this,” he stated to LRT.lt.

In answer to Lopata’s criticism, Foreign Affairs Minister Linas Linkevičius noted that the ambassador’s decision to resign is in no way an admission of his to the veracity of the illegally recorded telephone calls. “He took on a personal responsibility that is not linked to the investigation of the calls,” the minister told LRT.lt on Friday at the same time drawing attention to the fact that “nobody has as yet resigned”.

According to Linkevičius, given the circumstances it was a question of two undesirable extremes – not reacting at all to the telephone recordings or reacting “too strongly”.

Linkevičius also pointed out that there was no way that there could be a reliable investigation of the illegally recorded phone calls to determine exactly where the fabrication is.

LRT.lt  again noted that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Friday circulated a report according to which it was confirmed that the request was received from the Lithuanian ambassador to Azerbaijan Artūras Žurauskas, to the effect that he be relieved of his current duties.

“This is the decision of the ambassador by way of which he is endeavouring to stave off any negative impact on the state’s or his reputation. The diplomat understands that the situation that has come about makes it difficult to be able to continue his work properly in his current position,” the report states.

  

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