Details were added after the third paragraph (first version was published at 17:24)
The Lithuanian government adopted a decision on Wednesday to suggest that the president recall the Lithuanian ambassadors to Azerbaijan and Hungary, Arturas Zhurauskas and Renatas Juska. They were criticized by the Prime Minister for posting the records of their phone conversation on the internet, Lithuanian website 15min.lt reported.
The recall will kick in on September 30.
The adoption of the decision on the ambassadors was forwarded to BNS Agency by the Prime Minister's spokeswoman Evelina Butkute-Lazdauskiene.
"You should ask the Foreign Minister why such a decision was adopted. I was only asked what is my position in connection with the fact that such comments are given or such position was publicly formed related to our ambassadors who work in other countries," Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevicius told journalists after the meeting.
The Prime Minister said that he was not offended by the remarks which were found in the records of the ambassadors' phone conversation.
"The main thing for me is that the ambassadors would work for our state and for our government," the Prime Minister said.
According to the Constitution, the president may recall ambassadors on the basis of a relevant submission of the government.
On July 8, recordings of three phone conversations (4 parts of the records in total) were published on youtube.com. The conversations allegedly involve Lithuanian diplomats Zenonas Kumetaitis, deputy director of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' Eastern Neighborhood Policy Department, Lithuania's Ambassador to Hungary Renatas Juška, Lithuania's Ambassador to Azerbaijan Artūras Žurauskas, and Gediminas Kasputis, an official of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In one of the records, Žurauskas is said to be talking to a Lithuanian businessman identified as Kęstutis.
All records feature English subtitles.
The two recordings mention relations between Armenia and Azerbaijan.
Lithuania is holding EU Council presidency in the second half of the year, and the Eastern Partnership summit scheduled for November is one of the key presidency events. The Eastern Partnership initiative covers bilateral and multilateral EU cooperation with Ukraine, Belarus, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Armenia, and Moldova, promoting closer ties of the Eastern European nations with the EU.
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