Viewing cable 05VILNIUS1305
Title: NGO CONCERNS -- NOT JUST IN RUSSIA

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
05VILNIUS13052005-12-14 15:58:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Vilnius
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
UNCLAS VILNIUS 001305 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SENSITIVE 
 
STATE FOR EUR/NB AND EUR/RUS 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PGOV PHUM PREL RS LH
SUBJECT: NGO CONCERNS -- NOT JUST IN RUSSIA 
 
REF: A. SECSTATE 222292 
 
     ¶B. VILNIUS 1287 AND PREVIOUS 
 
The MFA is concerned about NGOs in Russia... 
-------------------------------------------- 
 
¶1. (SBU) We delivered reftel points regarding Russia's 
proposed new NGO law to Arunas Vinciunas, head of the MFA's 
Russia desk on December 13.  He told us that the GOL 
continues to share our concerns regarding potential 
constraints on NGO activities.  According to Vinciunas, 
however, the Nordic and Baltic Foreign Ministers jointly 
decided to wait until the second reading of the law on 
December 16th before proceeding further.  If the Duma does 
not substantively amend the law, they will then discuss their 
next steps.  We urged Vinciunas to consider raising this 
issue with the GOR sooner rather than later, and emphasized 
that even potential amendments would likely leave the door 
open for the GOR to selectively target NGOs. 
 
...while politicians defend beleaguered NGOs here... 
--------------------------------------------- ------- 
 
¶2. (SBU) Some Lithuanian politicians finally took a stand 
December 9 against a major newspaper's recent attacks on NGOs 
(ref b): 47 prominent politicians, including Seimas members, 
two European parliament members, and two ministers, signed a 
petition recognizing NGO contributions to Lithuania's 
development.  Most of the signatories were from opposition 
parties, but fourteen, including Foreign Minister Antanas 
Valionis, were from the governing coalition. 
 
...and the PM adds fuel to the fire 
----------------------------------- 
 
¶3. (SBU) Prime Minister Brazauskas, in a radio interview 
December 13, said that the GOL is neither attacking NGOs nor 
preventing them from operating in Lithuania.  He said 
nothing, however, in support of the activities or 
accomplishments of NGOs in Lithuania.  Brazauskas remarked 
that some NGOs calling themselves "institutes" and claiming 
to represent society are, in fact, only two or three people 
expressing their own opinions.  (Note: Many Lithuanian NGOs, 
including Transparency International, the Civil Society 
Institute, and Open Society are very small, and the PM's 
insinuation tars them all with the same brush.) 
MULL