If approved by the president, Degutis should take up his new duties on August 16, according to the government’s resolution.

In his previous career, the diplomat worked as Lithuania’s Deputy Minister of Transport, Lithuania’s Ambassador to Latvia and Georgia, and Consul General in Saint Petersburg, etc.

Degutis told the Cabinet that one of the main tasks for him, as Lithuania’s Ambassador to Turkey, would be the issues of illegal migration. Lithuanian officials have stated repeatedly that an influx of migrants from Belarus is also related to flights from Baghdad and Istanbul to Minsk.

He also said that he saw Turkey as an important country within the Eastern Partnership context, as Lithuania’s important economic partner, and not just as a NATO country.

“Our trade with this country has been rather extensive but the resource has not been fully used, just to mention the services sector, ... diversification of transport and logistics – we could look deeper into that. As regards relevant issues of migration, this will probably be one of the main tasks right upon arrival,” Degutis said during the government’s meeting.

The position of Lithuania’s ambassador to Turkey has been vacant for a year after the expiry of Audrius Bruzga’s term of office early in June 2020.

In Lithuania, ambassadors are appointed by the president upon nomination from the government and approval of the parliamentary Committee on Foreign Affairs.