Viewing cable 05VILNIUS174
Title: LITHUANIA-RUSSIA COMMISSION DISCUSS TARIFFS, DEBT,

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
05VILNIUS1742005-02-23 14:55:00 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 000174 
 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR EUR/NB AND EUR/RUS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/22/2014 
TAGS: PREL PGOV LH
SUBJECT: LITHUANIA-RUSSIA COMMISSION DISCUSS TARIFFS, DEBT, 
AND BORDER DEMARCATION 
 
 
Classified By: POL/ECON OFFICER TREVOR BOYD 
FOR REASONS 1.4 (B) AND (D) 
 
1.(U) Summary.  Foreign Minister Antanas Valionis and Russian 
Minister of Transportation Igor Levitin, Co-Chairmen of the 
Lithuanian-Russian Intergovernmental Commission, discussed 
railway tariffs, debt, border demarcation, and Russia's 
return of cultural and archival material on February 19.  The 
two agreed to cooperate on a joint project to improve the 
Sovetsk-Panemune border checkpoint and to hold a meeting of 
the full commission in Vilnius later this fall.  The meeting 
is a reminder that, despite ongoing tensions in that 
bilateral relationship, the two governments conduct a 
constructive dialogue on many issues. End Summary. 
 
¶2. (U) Lithuanian FM Valionis and Russian MinTrans Levitin 
met in Trakai, the ancient capital of Lithuania, February 19, 
in a session of the Lithuanian-Russian Intergovernmental 
Commission, a body the GOL and GOR established in 1995 to 
advance bilateral relations.  Media reports of the meeting 
highlighted Valionis's call for the return of cultural and 
archival material to Lithuania and the ministers' discussion 
about concluding a GOL-GOR agreement on pensions. 
 
¶3. (C) Arunas Vinciunas, head of MFA's Russia Division, on 
February 22 gave us a read-out of the meeting.  Vinciunas 
highlighted discussions on three topics: railway tariffs, 
debt, and border demarcation: 
 
-- Railway Tariffs:  Levitin asked the GOL to suspend its 
announced tariff increases on third-country cargo (mostly 
Central Asian) to the Lithuanian seaport of Klaipeda.  The 
parties agreed to begin working level meetings on the issue 
in two-three weeks. 
 
-- Debt:  Valionis asked Levitin to help expedite the return 
of both Soviet and Russian debts to Lithuanian citizens and 
enterprises.  The GOR owes more than $15 million to 
Lithuanian construction companies for joint projects in the 
early 1990s.  Valionis asked for GOR assistance in helping 
more than 2,200 Lithuanian citizens recuperate more than $7 
million in personal deposits made to the Soviet bank 
Vneshekonombank. 
 
-- Border Demarcation:  Valionis and Levitin agreed to 
undertake a joint project to improve the border demarcation, 
signposts, and bridge at the Lithuanian-Russian checkpoint at 
Sovietsk Panemune. 
 
¶4. (C) Comment.  Despite the acrimony and geopolitical 
tension that dominate media coverage of Lithuanian-Russian 
relations, Lithuanian and Russian leaders plug away at the 
details of their complex (often harmonious) bilateral 
relations.  The re-energized Commission, dormant in the 
absence of a Russian co-chairman since the March 2004 GOR 
reshuffle, marks a step forward in a more constructive, 
positive bilateral relationship. 
Mull