C O N F I D E N T I A L VILNIUS 001437
STATE FOR EUR/NB AND EUR/UMB
E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/23/2014
TAGS: PGOV PREL XH LH
SUBJECT: LITHUANIA CONDEMNS FRAUDULENT UKRAINIAN ELECTIONS;
CALLS FOR CALM
Classified By: POL/ECON OFFICER TREVOR BOYD
FOR REASONS 1.4 (B) AND (D)
Â¶1. (C) Summary. Lithuanian government and parliamentary
officials strongly condemned reports of fraud in Ukraine's
second round of presidential elections. Fully supporting the
EU statement on the elections, they noted that Ukraine has
apparently been deprived of an opportunity to demonstrate its
willingness to integrate more closely with Euro-Atlantic
institutions. More than half of parliament signed a
statement of solidarity in support of a "European Ukraine."
Lithuania will likely continue to push for strong measures
within the EU to condemn the results and sanction those
responsible for electoral fraud. End Summary.
Â¶2. (U) Foreign Minister Antanas Valionis said in a November
24 press interview that Ukraine should seek a "proper
assessment of the results" of the second round of
presidential voting, revising them if necessary, and he urged
that it handle the current "complicated situation" in a
"peaceful and civilized way." Valionis observed that
Lithuania agrees wholeheartedly with the EU view that the
Ukrainian elections did not meet international standards.
Â¶3. (C) Mindaugas Kacerauskis, head of MFA's Ukraine, Moldova
and Belarus Division, told us that Lithuania is "very
saddened" by the "tragic events" that unfolded during
Sunday's election and fully supports the strong EU statement
on the elections. Kacerauskis added that Ukraine had lost an
opportunity to demonstrate its willingness to more fully
integrate in European and Euro-Atlantic organizations.
Ricardis Degutis, Director of MFA's Eastern European and
Central Asia Department, had earlier told the Ambassador that
Lithuania is very concerned about reports of massive fraud
perpetrated in the election. Echoing Degutis's comments,
Kacerauskis observed that some oblasts reported returns of
participation by more than 100 percent of registered voters.
While Lina Sucilaite, one of Lithuania's election monitors in
the Zhitomir oblast, could not personally corroborate any
instances of serious electoral fraud, she shared with us
rumors of citizens receiving 50 gryvna (about USD 10) to use
ballots pre-marked with Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych's
name. (Note: Lithuanian sent seven election observers to
both rounds of Ukraine's presidential elections).
Â¶4. (U) 85 of Lithuania's 141 parliamentarians signed a letter
authored by Conservative MP Rasa Jukneviciene on November 23
to opposition candidate Viktor Yushchenko expressing
solidarity with the "aspirations of the Ukrainian nation to
create a fair, European Ukraine." Jukneviciene, clad in
pro-Yushchenko orange during Tuesday's parliamentary session,
said that it is important that Lithuania illustrate its
support for a European Ukraine.
Â¶5. (U) Liberal Centrist MEP Eugenijus Gentvilas released a
statement November 24 expressing support for Ukraine's
democratic forces and hope that calm will prevail in Kiev.
Commenting that electoral violations "were obviously directed
by Yanukovych's camp," Gentvilas' statement said that
Ukraine's "pro-Moscow authorities led by Viktor Yanukovich"
had tried to steal victory from Ukraine's people "to ensure
that Ukraine cannot take its rightful place in the family of
European states." The statement praised efforts to
"peacefully request" that Ukrainian authorities examine the
Â¶6. (C) Comment. Lithuania's response is still a work in
progress. We expect the GOL to continue to press the issue
of electoral fraud with the GOU both bilaterally and
multilaterally. Lithuania will likely join the chorus
pushing the EU to formulate a coherent policy to provide
incentives to Ukraine to conform to Western standards in its
policies and practices as well as to punish those who
perpetuated electoral fraud. Lithuania's voice will be one
more in the region that may give Ukraine's authorities, and
Moscow, pause before continuing with their electoral fraud.