“I will work as defense advisor at the Lithuanian embassy to the US starting on April 3,” Urbelis told BNS.
It is not known yet who will replace Urbelis in his current post of defense policy director at the Defence Ministry, which he has held since 2014.
Urbelis worked as director of the Euro-Atlantic Cooperation Department at the Defence Ministry between 2010 and 2014. His previous career included the positions of defence adviser at the Lithuanian permanent delegation to NATO and of director of the Defence Ministry’s Defence Policy and Planning Department.
The US is a key partner of Lithuania in NATO. Around 150 US troops have been stationed on a rotational basis in Lithuania since 2014, when Russia annexed Crimea. Following the deployment of a US brigade in Poland, US military units of various sizes will continue to rotate in Lithuania.
Donald Trump‘s rhetoric during his election campaign caused concern to some NATO member states. The US president-elect has said that he will look at whether US allies in NATO are fulfilling their obligations before deciding whether to come to their defence.