"The Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirms that Lithuanian Ambassador to Azerbaijan Artūras Žurauskas' request to be recalled has been received today. It is the ambassador's decision aimed at preventing potential negative impact on the state and his own reputation. The diplomat is aware of the fact that the existing situation is preventing him from properly executing his duties in the incumbent position," the ministry said in a statement sent to BNS on Friday.
"I consider it a respectable action of the ambassador. It is understandable that impeccable moral and ethical standards are expected from diplomats," Lithuania's Minister of Foreign Affairs Linas Linkevičius was quoted as saying in the statement.
The Inspectorate General of the Lithuanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs is carrying out an investigation into recordings of alleged conversations between Lithuanian diplomats published on youtube.com.
OOn July 8, recordings of three phone conversations (4 parts 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, Renatas Juška, Lithuania's Ambassador to Hungary, Artūras Žurauskas, Lithuania's Ambassador to Azerbaijan, and Gediminas Kasputis, an official of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In one of the conversations, Žurauskas is allegedly talking to a Lithuanian businessman named Kęstutis.
All records feature English subtitles.
Foreign Minister Linkevičius earlier called the incident "information provocation".