Viewing cable 05VILNIUS57

05VILNIUS572005-01-18 14:49:00 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 SECTION 01 OF 02 VILNIUS 000057 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 01/17/2015 
     ¶B. 2004 VILNIUS 1548 
     ¶C. 2004 VILNIUS 1546 
     ¶D. 2004 VILNIUS 1523 
     ¶E. 2004 VILNIUS 1496 
Classified By: Pol/Econ Officer Christian Yarnell 
for Reasons 1.4 (b) and (d) 
 ¶1. (C) SUMMARY: We are systematically engaging Lithuania's 
month-old government, including an Ambassadorial meeting with 
each Cabinet member, on issues of interest to the United 
States.  Our work plan concentrates on the following critical 
policy goals: 
1) GOL Activism in the Global War on Terrorism 
2) A Strong, Healthy Lithuanian Democracy 
3) Closer U.S.-Lithuanian Economic Ties 
4) Bilateral Law Enforcement Cooperation 
5) Democracy Building in the Former Soviet Union 
6) Effective Embassy Operating Conditions 
Despite some concerns surrounding a few members of the new 
government, we remain optimistic that our fruitful 
cooperation with the GOL will flourish in 2005, consolidating 
Lithuania's pro-U.S. foreign policy orientation.  END SUMMARY. 
¶2. (SBU) Ref D provided some initial observations of 
Lithuania's new government, which took power on December 14, 
¶2004.  We now intend to engage with the new government in a 
systematic way, enabling us to quickly and effectively 
address all issues of importance to the Mission.  Ambassador 
Mull has already met with the Prime Minister and five 
Ministers (refs B, C, and septels) and will meet individually 
with all remaining Cabinet members in the near future.  We 
have also initiated Ministry-specific work plans to maximize 
the efficiency of our contacts with the government.  These 
plans, which the Front Office will maintain, will track the 
status of every significant issue that the Mission is working 
with each Ministry. 
¶3.  (SBU) Our overarching objective in Lithuania is to 
encourage a pro-U.S. foreign policy based on shared values, 
especially concerning issues most critical to the interests 
of the United States.  Below is our work plan, organized by 
major policy goal, for engagement with the new government on 
this objective. 
Active in Global War on Terrorism 
¶4. (C) Our principal political-military goal is to encourage 
Lithuania to remain an active ally in the global war on 
terrorism, particularly by maintaining its significant 
participation in military operations abroad.  We will 
continue our dialogue at the highest levels of government on 
Lithuania's contributions to U.S. and NATO-led operations in 
Iraq and Afghanistan, especially with regards to a possible 
Lithuanian-led Provincial Reconstruction Team in Afghanistan 
(ref A).  Our work with the MFA and MOD will be particularly 
intensive, and we have already begun our efforts to bring new 
DefMin Gediminas Kirkilas up to speed (ref C).  While 
encouraging participation in international operations, we 
will also work with the MOD to continue progress on military 
transformation, necessary for Lithuania's active engagement 
in NATO military structures, and with Parliament to push for 
adequate funding for the military. 
A Strong and Healthy Democracy 
¶5. (SBU) The year 2004 was at times a challenging one for 
Lithuania's democracy, with the impeachment of President 
Paksas and numerous high-level corruption scandals.  We will 
in 2005 expand our efforts to help strengthen Lithuania's 
democracy, most notably by increasing our assistance to 
anti-corruption measures and ethics training, working closely 
with the Ministries of Justice and Interior.  Promoting 
tolerance will remain a Mission priority, and we will 
continue to encourage the government to proceed with the 
restitution of former Jewish communal property confiscated 
during the Holocaust.  We will also urge the GOL to better 
combat the problem of trafficking-in-persons, working with 
the Justice Ministry to develop better anti-TiP legislation, 
with the Interior Ministry to improve prosecution of 
traffickers, and with the Health Ministry to improve care for 
victims of TiP. 
Closer U.S. Economic Ties 
¶6. (U) The United States and Lithuania have a healthy 
economic relationship, but we think it can be much stronger. 
 We will work with the new government, especially Economic 
Minister Viktor Uspaskich, to implement policies favorable 
for U.S. investment.  Innovation policy remains a top 
priority, and we hope to conclude a new Science and 
Technology Agreement with the Ministry of Education.  We will 
work with the Finance Ministry (on taxation issues) and the 
Interior Ministry (on resident visas) in order to eliminate 
further barriers to investment. 
Law Enforcement Cooperation 
¶7. (U) Lithuania is an invaluable ally in the global war on 
terrorism.  We intend to bring this alliance closer to home, 
cooperating with the country's law enforcement agencies and 
government Ministries to strengthen counter-terrorism and 
terrorist finance measures.  We will look for ways to enhance 
our assistance to Lithuania's border security needs through 
the Ministry of Interior.  We believe that training for 
police and judges will help Lithuania better protect 
intellectual property rights.  We also anticipate working 
with the Justice Ministry on a strengthened extradition 
treaty, as well as progress on extraditions with the Interior 
Democracy Building in Former Soviet Union 
¶8. (SBU) Lithuania aspires to a position of regional 
leadership in promoting democracy and helping its neighbors 
to the east and south integrate further with Western 
institutions.  We will continue to encourage MFA activities 
aimed at supporting democracy and human rights throughout the 
former Soviet Union.  We will work with other Ministries, 
such as Education and Environment, on specific projects that 
help engage Lithuania's neighbors on issues of mutual 
interest.  We will at the same time remind the GOL of U.S. 
and EU policies concerning the limits of engagement with 
Belarus in order to avoid any inappropriate contact. 
Effective Embassy Operating Conditions 
¶9. (U) We will work almost every government Ministry in order 
to secure an effective operating atmosphere for the Mission 
and our people.  Such dialogue will include diplomatic status 
issues with the MFA, taxation of assistance with the Finance 
Ministry, and streamlining management of educational exchange 
programs with the Education Ministry.  Consular issues, 
notably improving Lithuania's residency visa procedure, will 
also loom large on our agenda. 
¶10. (C) Lithuania, since regaining independence in 1991, has 
proven itself one of America's best friends and partners in 
the world.  We have accomplished a great deal, yet we believe 
that an even more productive bilateral relationship is within 
our grasp.  While Lithuania's new government brings many new 
faces to the political scene, some of which may be of concern 
(refs D and E), we remain optimistic that our constructive 
cooperation with the GOL will intensify in 2005.  The 
systematic plan of attack that we have outlined here is our 
road map toward that ambitious but achievable goal.