C O N F I D E N T I A L VILNIUS 001346
STATE FOR EUR/NB AND ISN/CATR MMITCHELL
E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/28/2015
TAGS: PARM PREL ETTC MCAP IR RS LH
SUBJECT: GOL REQUESTS USG INPUT ON HELICOPTER TRAINING FOR
Classified By: Political/Economic Officer Alexander Titolo for reasons
1.4 (b) and (d).
Â¶1. (U) This is a short-fuse action request; see para 6. We
need input from Washington by OOB January 5.
Â¶2. (C) Summary: The GOL is currently considering approval of
a contract for a Lithuanian firm to broker a deal for its
Russian partner to provide training to Iranian helicopter
pilots. The MFA approached us December 21 with a request
that the USG provide input on this deal. Many key details
are unavailable, including the identity of the pilots. The
final decision lies with the Ministry of Economy's licensing
division. All other relevant GOL Ministries must submit
their views on this matter by January 6. End Summary.
Â¶3. (C) Martynas Lukosevicius, of the MFA's Arms Control,
Non-Proliferation, and Disarmament Division, requested a
meeting December 21 to brief us on the details of a license
request submitted by the firm Avia Baltika. The company,
brokers deals for helicopter training done by the Russian
firm SPARC (Saint Petersburg Aircraft Repair Company) JSC.
This training takes place at JSC SPARC's facility in Russia.
The firm is infamous here due to its prior dealings with the
Sudanese government and involvement in scandals that
contributed to the impeachment and removal from office of
then-President Rolandas Paksas.
Â¶4. (C) The prospective client is the Iranian firm Balgardan
Qeshm. Address: No. 9 East Farjam Ave., Building No. 375,
2nd floor, Tehran, Iran. Phone: 98 21 77294839. Fax: 98
Â¶5. (C) The focus of the classroom and simulator training is
on flying MI-171 helicopters in extreme situations and
emergencies. Lukosevicius had no further details on the
Iranian firm or who the participants will be, but on December
29 he was able to provide a copy of the contract, which
details the training program and costs. We will submit this
via CLASS e-mail to Department.
Â¶6. (C) COMMENT AND ACTION REQUEST: The MFA understands that
this is likely to set off alarms in Washington, and wants to
make sure we have a chance to affect the internal GOL
discussion. To do so, we need to act quickly. We request
Department provide any information releasable to the GOL that
will complement their efforts.