VILNIUS, Lithuania (AP) _ Lithuania recalled its ambassador from Latvia Tuesday to protest an oil exploration deal Latvia signed with Western companies.

The government of Latvia signed agreements Tuesday with the U.S. oil company Amoco and Svensk Oljedistribution AB (ODAB) of Sweden, to explore for oil off its Baltic Sea coast.

Lithuania considers the territory disputed and has opposed the deal, fearing that its sovereignty and interests could be harmed.

``It is already clear that Latvia is not adhering to the rules of good neighborly cooperation and the spirit of the Baltic countries' solidarity,'' Deputy Foreign Minister Albinas Januska said in remarks reported by the BNS news agency.

Januska said ambassador Rimantas Karazija, expected in Vilnius Thursday, will be recalled indefinitely.

``We are summoning the ambassador, as we need time to consider the present status of relations between Lithuania and Latvia,'' Januska said.

Oil exploration is scheduled to begin in the spring.