Viewing cable 05VILNIUS162
Title: VISA WAIVER PROGRAM: LITHUANIA PREFERS

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
05VILNIUS1622005-02-22 09:38:00 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 000162 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SENSITIVE 
 
STATE FOR EUR/NB AND CA/VO 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: CVIS PREL LH
SUBJECT: VISA WAIVER PROGRAM: LITHUANIA PREFERS 
CONSULTATIONS TO FORMAL ROADMAP 
 
REFS: A. STATE 26010 
 
      ¶B. VILNIUS 139 
 
¶1. (SBU) SUMMARY: On February 17, Charge discussed with MFA 
representatives Lithuania's progress in conforming to Visa 
Waiver Program (VWP) regulations as part of a "roadmap" 
initiative (ref A).  He cautioned that accession to VWP 
would likely not occur in the immediate future.  GOL 
representatives said that they prefer a process of action- 
oriented consultations rather than a formal, high-level 
roadmap agreement.  They specifically expressed interest in 
arranging a visit for GOL consular officials to the United 
States for consultations on biometric security features and 
to observe "customer service" elements of USG consular 
training.  The GOL understands that VWP accession will be a 
slow process, and wants to avoid raising public expectations 
at this time.  We intend to continue work with the GOL on a 
substance-focused agenda.  A visit by Lithuanian consular 
officials to the United States would maintain the positive 
momentum in our bilateral consular relationship that 
originated from Assistant Secretary Harty's visit (ref B). 
END SUMMARY. 
 
¶2. (SBU) Charge and conoff met with Sarunas Adomavicius, MFA 
Undersecretary, and Vaidotas Verba, Director of the MFA's 
Consular Department, on February 17 to discuss Lithuanian 
efforts to meet the legislative requirements for possible 
entry into the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) (ref A).  Charge 
communicated USG willingness to offer the GOL a roadmap of 
reciprocal steps along the lines of the Polish agreement. 
He cautioned that legislative requirements for the VWP would 
not change, however, and that the country's relatively high 
refusal rate suggests that Lithuania will not manage to join 
the VWP in the immediate future. 
 
¶3. (SBU) Adomavicius and Verba emphasized that the GOL does 
not want to push the issue at the "political level" for fear 
of unnecessarily raising domestic expectations.  Verba said 
that he would therefore like to avoid a "formal" roadmap 
agreement, which, he opined, could not include a timetable, 
and instead continue a process of consultations.  The GOL, 
they suggested, could then keep the public informed of 
ongoing progress, perhaps with a substantive statement timed 
for the Secretary's prospective visit to Vilnius in April. 
 
¶4. (SBU) Both interlocutors stressed the GOL's willingness 
to increase cooperative efforts with the USG to help 
accelerate Lithuania's accession to the VWP.  Verba 
confirmed GOL interest in sending consular officials to the 
United States for consultations on biometric security 
features and to observe "customer service" elements of USG 
consular training.  Charge pledged to help arrange such a 
visit, and Verba said he would present a detailed proposal 
in the coming weeks. 
 
¶5. (SBU) COMMENT: The GOL, at least the MFA, is hesitant to 
pursue formal, high-level discussions on the VWP. 
Lithuanian officials understand that VWP accession will not 
come immediately, and therefore do not want to raise public 
expectations.  Instead, they hope to make substantive, 
working-level progress on consular issues to pave the way 
for VWP accession as soon as possible.  We will continue to 
work with the GOL to help it meet all the technical 
requirements for the VWP and encourage the proper use of 
U.S. visas by its citizens.  We believe a visit by 
Lithuanian consular officials as envisioned by Verba is good 
way to launch the results-oriented consular dialogue that 
A/S Harty emphasized during her visit to Vilnius last month. 
We will help arrange the trip as soon as possible. 
Mull