Viewing cable 06VILNIUS1037
Title: LITHUANIAN FM MEETS WITH RUSSIAN FOREIGN,

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
06VILNIUS10372006-11-17 14:57:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Vilnius
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RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHVL #1037/01 3211457
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
R 171457Z NOV 06
FM AMEMBASSY VILNIUS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0793
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
C O N F I D E N T I A L VILNIUS 001037 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/17/2016 
TAGS: PREL EUN ENRG RS LH
SUBJECT: LITHUANIAN FM MEETS WITH RUSSIAN FOREIGN, 
TRANSPORT MINISTERS 
 
REF: VILNIUS 1007 
 
Classified By: Pol/Econ Chief Rebecca Dunham for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d 
) 
 
 ¶1. (C) Summary.  Lithuanian FM Vaitiekunas's discussions 
November 14 with Russia's Foreign and Transport Ministers in 
Moscow focused on positive areas of cooperation, like 
Kaliningrad policy and the EU-Russia PCA, as well as touchier 
subjects such as energy supply and neighborhood policy. 
Vaitiekunas sought to encourage future high-level dialogue 
about all issues, including sensitive topics.  End Summary. 
 
Lithuanian FM Meets Russia's Foreign, Transport Ministers 
--------------------------------------------- ------------ 
 
¶2. (C)  Vaitiekunas talked about "all the issues" with 
Russia's Ministers during the November 14 Lithuanian-Russia 
Intergovernmental Commission, according to Head of the MFA's 
Russia/CIS Department Arunas Vinciunas, who accompanied the 
Minister on the trip.  The hot topics were Kaliningrad, 
recent expulsions of diplomats from both Lithuania and 
Russia, and Russia's closure, ostensibly for repairs, of the 
Druzhba pipeline serving Lithuania's Maziekiu Nafta oil 
refinery.  The Ministers also discussed the EU-Russia PCA 
agreement, gas supply to Georgia, and even "old issues" such 
as the return of Soviet-era bank deposits and the unsolved 
1991 murder of seven Lithuanian border guards at Medininkai. 
 
¶3. (C) Lithuania's goal was to encourage ongoing high-level 
engagement on a broad range of issues, said Vinciunas, not 
hammer away on trouble spots.  Vaitiekunas told the 
Ambassador before the meeting that he would push Lavrov on 
"European values" on the one hand, while suggesting positive 
areas for cooperation on the other (reftel).  Vaitiekunas 
raised Kaliningrad issues first, which Vinciunas called 
Lithuania's "trump card" with Russia.  Vaitiekunas briefed 
Lavrov on Lithuania's efforts to keep the current no-fee visa 
arrangement for Kaliningrad residents following Lithuania's 
anticipated entry into the Schengen zone.  The sides agreed 
on payment for the Kaliningrad-Lithuania border demarcation 
commission.  They discussed existing arrangements to 
cooperate on transit issues and search and rescue operations 
in the Baltic Sea.  Lithuania is urging Russia to have a 
Minister-level border demarcation ceremony next spring near 
Nida, a picturesque Lithuanian town near the Kaliningrad 
border on the Corunian spit.  He said Levitin and Lavrov did 
not dismiss the idea. 
 
Lavrov complains about diplomat's expulsion, Lahti reaction 
--------------------------------------------- --------------- 
 
¶4. (C) Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov took issue with 
Lithuania about "embarrassing" acts towards Russia, including 
the October expulsion of a Russian diplomat for spying and 
Lithuanian President Adamkus's characterization to the press 
of the informal EU-Russia Summit in Lahti.  On the former, 
Vinciunas told us that the MFA had not intended to embarrass 
Russia by expelling the Russian Embassy's First Secretary 
Oleg Ryabchikov in October.  They wanted to expel him 
quietly, Vinciunas said, but failed to keep the incident from 
the press.  Vinciunas added that the day after the Foreign 
Ministers met in Russia, Moscow expelled a Lithuanian 
diplomat who was planning to leave Moscow this week anyway. 
On Lahti, Lavrov reportedly said that Adamkus's statements to 
the press, presumably those in which he described the EU's 
"tough message" to Putin, "seemed designed to embarrass 
Russia." 
 
Russia-EU PCA 
-------------- 
 
¶5. (C) Lavrov raised the EU-Russia Partnership and 
Cooperation Agreement (PCA), to which Lithuania had withdrawn 
its reservations at the GAERC the day before.  Vinciunas 
refuted reports carried by ITAR TASS that Vaitiekunas made a 
statement in Moscow disapproving of Poland's decision to 
block a mandate for the EU-Russia PCA.  Back in Vilnius, the 
FM issued a statement of solidarity with Poland regarding 
Russia's restrictions on trade and energy.  Vinciunas told us 
Lithuania was sympathetic to Poland's decision even though 
Lithuania itself ultimately lifted its two reservations in 
exchange for language about energy supply in the PCA 
negotiating mandate.  Vinciunas added that he thinks Poland's 
tactics backfired, and that he personally believed they would 
back down before the EU-Russia Summit November 24.  Vinciunas 
said the GOL was pleased with the EU positions going into the 
November 24 EU-Russia Summit, saying that Lithuania suggested 
few changes to the papers and that all had been accepted. 
 
Pipeline Woes 
------------- 
 
 
¶6. (C) Lavrov reportedly raised Russia's closure of the 
Druzhba pipeline which once delivered crude oil to 
Lithuania's Maziekiu Nafta refinery.  Vinciunas said Lavrov 
"incredibly swore the pipeline was closed only for technical 
reasons," and a technical evaluation in March 2007 would 
determine if the pressure could be increased enough to again 
deliver crude to Maziekiu Nafta.  Asked if he believed 
Lavrov, Vinciunas said, "no." 
 
Georgia 
------- 
 
¶7. (C) Vaitiekunas raised Lithuania's diplomacy with Georgia, 
emphasizing that the GOL has advised Georgia to de-escalate 
its rhetoric in seeking a solution with Russia.  Lavrov "did 
not really reply" to the FM's comments on Georgia, Vinciunas 
said, except to say that raising the price of natural gas to 
Georgia was part of a greater policy change toward all its 
export markets. 
 
Lithuania seeking future engagement 
----------------------------------- 
 
¶8. (C) The GOL plans to invite Lavrov to Lithuania in Spring 
2007, perhaps to the proposed border demarcation ceremony at 
Nida.  The Russian side seemed open to a border demarcation 
ceremony on the sidelines of another Intergovernmental 
Commission to take place in Kaliningrad, although Vinciunas 
said this is not yet agreed. 
CLOUD