The bill was rejected after 47 lawmakers voted in favour and 59 abstained. It will now be sent back for amendments.
Presenting the bill, Minister of Foreign Affairs Linas Linkevičius said the amendments were necessary to better represent Lithuania’s interests abroad. In his words, the introduction of the position of a special adviser would allow raising the diplomatic status of defence attachés and they would get access to more information.
“We would raise the status and they would have more opportunities to act,” the minister said.
Lithuania’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said earlier diplomatic advisers would be sent to the country’s diplomatic representations in Ukraine and the United States, taking into account the existing geopolitical situation.
Meanwhile, some members of the opposition Homeland Union – Lithuanian Christian Democrats political group in the Seimas believe the move would lead to new privileges and note that the country has so far managed without such officers.
Former foreign minister Audronius Ažubalis, representing the Homeland Union, said on Tuesday he heard about such a position for the first time and suggested that the foreign and national defence ministers come to parliamentary committees and explain the idea.