Viewing cable 05VILNIUS1046
Title: SU-27 UPDATE: INVESTIGATION PROCEEDS, PILOT REMAINS

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
05VILNIUS10462005-09-30 15:03:00 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 VILNIUS 001046 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/29/2015 
TAGS: MOPS PGOV PINS PREL RS UP LH
SUBJECT: SU-27 UPDATE: INVESTIGATION PROCEEDS, PILOT REMAINS 
 
REF: A. VILNIUS 977 
 
     ¶B. VILNIUS 993 
     ¶C. SECSTATE 176092 
     ¶D. VILNIUS 1012 
     ¶E. VILNIUS 1017 
 
Classified By: Political/Economic Officer Alexander Titolo for reasons 
1.4 (b) and (d). 
 
¶1.  (C) Summary: GOL defense leadership told the Ambassador 
September 30 that the black box data supports the conclusion 
that the September 15 intrusion of a Russian Su-27 into 
Lithuanian airspace and subsequent crash was accidental.  GOL 
leaders publicly and privately express frustration at the 
lack of information and, in some cases, disinformation from 
the Russian side.  The Su-27 pilot remains in custody. 
Defense Minister Kirkilas plans to convene a National 
Security Council meeting and will propose releasing the pilot 
as soon as possible after he signs a declaration, the 
specifics of which are still unclear.  End Summary. 
 
¶2.  (C) DefMin Kirkilas and MOD Undersecretary Renatas 
Norkus, on the margins of the changeover ceremony of the 
Baltic air policing mission from Germany to the USG, told the 
Ambassador that the Ukrainian technical team assisting the 
GOL in its investigation into the SU-27 incident believes 
that the data support the conclusion that the airspace 
intrusion was accidental.  Further supporting this 
conclusion, the Ukrainians told the GOL that, contrary to 
some news reports, which describe Valery Troyanov as an 
expert "air space intruder," the pilot is not one of Russia's 
better aviators. 
 
¶3.  (U)  GOL officials continued this week to advance 
publicly the view that the crash resulted from the plane's 
navigation system failure.  Prominent political figures, such 
as Conservative MP Rasa Jukneviciene, while not disputing the 
cause of the crash, draw attention to what they see as the 
poor state of the Russian military and the inherent danger of 
the "militarization" of the Kaliningrad region. 
 
¶4.  (C) Analysis of the data continues.  The crash inquiry 
stalled September 28 when GOL officials suspended examination 
of the black box after receiving what they described as false 
information from Russia regarding the signature code of the 
aircraft.  GOL officials told us that they are still awaiting 
responses to questions they asked the Russian government 
almost two weeks ago.  DefMin Kirkilas characterized Russia's 
actions as "disgraceful," but downplayed the effect it would 
have on the investigation. 
 
¶5.  (C) GOL officials told the Ambassador today that the 
pilot may be released early next week, pending the decision 
of the National Security Council, which will review the 
status of the investigation.  MOD officials informed the 
Prosecutor General, who controls the pilot's fate, of the 
Ukrainian team's findings in order to expedite a decision to 
release him. 
MULL