Viewing cable 04VILNIUS1454

04VILNIUS14542004-11-30 13:47:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Vilnius
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 VILNIUS 001454 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/30/2014 
Classified By: Ambassador Steve Mull.  Reasons:  1.4 (b) and (d). 
¶1.  (C) Adamkus expects to return to Ukraine with Kwasniewski 
and Solana before December 3 to continue mediation efforts, 
according to a senior adviser.  Kwasniewski predicted 
privately to Adamkus November 30 that Ukraine would likely 
turn into "another Georgia" within a few days.  A November 26 
conversation with Kuchma convinced the Lithuanians he would 
throw his support to whomever offers him a better "deal" in 
retirement.  The Lithuanians strongly condemn Russian efforts 
to exacerbate separatist tensions in Ukraine and reported 
that Russian parliamentary speaker Boris Gryzlov pointedly 
told Ukrainian leaders and European mediators in their 
November 26 meeting that the U.S. is orchestrating street 
protests in Kiev.  The Lithuanians strongly welcome high 
profile U.S. activism on Ukraine as an important impetus for 
a democratic outcome.  But they worry about the EU ) Solana 
was poorly prepared, said Adamkus's adviser, and report 
worrying indications of an accommodation between Putin and 
key Europeans to safeguard Russian equities in Ukraine. 
Domestic political support for Lithuania's involvement in 
mediation efforts remains high, including now from the 
previously skeptical Prime Minister Brazauskas.  End Summary 
Nov 26 Talks 
¶2.  (C) Ambassador called on Adamkus's chief foreign policy 
adviser Edminas Bagdonas (strictly protect) November 30 for a 
debrief of the Adamkus mission to Kiev with Kwasniewski and 
EU foreign policy chief Solana on November 26.  Bagdonas said 
the principle achievements of the session were the agreements 
to foreswear violence and to form a small decisionmaking body 
comprised of Kuchma, Lytvyn, Yanukovych, Yushchenko, and some 
supporting staff to chart a political solution to the crisis. 
Bagdonas reported that Adamkus and he had a private meeting 
with Kuchma before a plenary session with the other 
international mediators.  It was clear to Adamkus at that 
meeting, said Bagdonas, that Kuchma was already having doubts 
about the wisdom of continued support for Yanukovych, leading 
the Lithuanians to predict that Kuchma would ultimately 
support the candidate who offered him a better "deal" in 
retirement (presumably immunity from prosecution and 
protection of privileges, said Bagdonas). 
¶3.  (C) Russian Duma Speaker Gryzlov and Russian Ambassador 
Chernomyrdin had attempted to exert heavy pressure against 
compromise at the talks, said Bagdonas.  Gryzlov said at the 
outset that Russia only recognizes one "legal" President ) 
Yanukovych ) and that the U.S. was responsible for secret 
efforts to stir up street protests in Kiev.  He called on the 
group to band together to limit American influence on the 
process.  Bagdonas said Adamkus and Kwasniewski had 
particularly harsh views of Russian and Yanukovych efforts to 
play the separatist card.  They agreed it was a serious 
strategic blunder on their part that would only strengthen 
Yushchenko's prospects, as indicated in the reported 
resignation of the chief of the Central Election Committee in 
¶4.  (C) Bagdonas frankly described Kwasniewski as the true 
motor of the mediation process.  Showing off his fluent 
command in Russian, Bagdonas said that the Polish leader's 
pragmatic, energetic and problem-solving approach drove 
everyone to abandon rhetoric and focus on cooperation during 
the November 26 talks. 
Return to Kiev 
¶5.  (C) Bagdonas said Adamkus would join Kwasniewski and 
Solana on a return trip to Kiev before December 3.  During 
the Ambassador's meeting with Bagdonas, Kwasniewski called 
Adamkus to discuss options, and the two planned to hold a 
conference call with Kuchma on the late afternoon of November 
30 to coordinate a return trip.  During the call, Kwasniewski 
told Adamkus he was concerned that the rising temperature of 
street protests would likely lead to "another Georgia" within 
a few days.  Adamkus and Kwasniewski agreed to hold off 
announcing a return trip to Kiev until after conferring with 
Praise for U.S.; Doubts about EU 
¶6.  (C) The high U.S. profile in rejecting results of the 
November 21 elections and repeated calls for a peaceful legal 
and political settlement had provided a huge impetus for the 
mediation process, Bagdonas said.  U.S. statements, 
particularly from Secretary Powell, had shaken Kuchma's 
support of Yanukovych and gave Putin second thoughts about 
pressing too hard on the issue. 
¶7.  (C) Bagdonas shared deep concerns about Solana, whom he 
described as clearly unprepared to engage substantively in 
the mediation process, and for the EU in general.  He said 
Kuchma had complained bitterly to Adamkus that Solana had 
never shown serious interest in Ukraine before ) "Why should 
I bother talking to him now?" Bagdonas quoted Kuchma.  More 
worrying, said Bagdonas, are indications of Putin's success 
in winning quiet accommodation with Chirac, Schroeder, 
Berlusconi and possibly Blair, in protecting Russian equities 
in Ukraine in efforts to resolve the crisis.  Lithuania 
encourages a continued high U.S. profile on the issue, 
Bagdonas said, as a means of keeping pressure on for a 
democratic outcome. 
Strong Support at Home 
¶8.  (U) Meanwhile, popular political support for Lithuania's 
mediation mission remains strong (reftel).  Prime Minister 
Brazauskas, who had earlier scolded eager parliamentarians to 
avoid meddling in Ukrainian affairs, warmly praised the 
Adamkus initiative on November 30 as strongly in support of 
Lithuania's interests.  He blamed his earlier grouchiness on 
annoyance with conservative parliamentarians who had argued 
in favor of using the Ukraine crisis to mount greater 
pressure on Russia.