Viewing cable 06VILNIUS523
Title: (C) PM BRAZAUSKAS'S PRE-RESIGNATION FAREWELL

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
06VILNIUS5232006-06-06 14:13:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Vilnius
VZCZCXRO9674
PP RUEHAG
DE RUEHVL #0523/01 1571413
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 061413Z JUN 06
FM AMEMBASSY VILNIUS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0241
INFO RUCNMEM/EU MEMBER STATES COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 VILNIUS 000523 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR EUR/NB 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/06/2016 
TAGS: PGOV ENRG EINV KNAR LH RS
SUBJECT: (C) PM BRAZAUSKAS'S PRE-RESIGNATION FAREWELL 
MEETING WITH AMBASSADOR 
 
REF: A. VILNIUS 502 
     ¶B. VILNIUS 53 
     ¶C. VILNIUS 442 
 
Classified By: Pol/Econ Officer Randolph Flay for reasons 1.4(b/d) 
 
SUMMMARY 
-------- 
 
¶1. (C) Lithuania's Prime Minister Algirdas Brazauskas, during 
the Ambassador's May 30 farewell call, outlined his five-year 
plan to increase defense spending and affirmed his commitment 
to Jewish property restitution.  The Ambassador noted the 
GOL's tremendous contribution to the Global war On Terror in 
Iraq and Afghanistan and Lithuania's leadership in promoting 
democracy in Belarus and throughout the region.  The PM said 
he continues to value the principles, ideas, and advice of 
the United States as Lithuania supports democratic progress 
in Ukraine, Georgia, and Moldova.  He also said the GOL's 
sale of its stake in the Mazeiku Nafta oil refinery is in the 
country's best interests.  The meeting provided an 
opportunity to highlight the close bilateral relationship and 
to celebrate the GOL's major accomplishments, at what turned 
out to be the end of both the Ambassador and the PM's tenure 
-- the Lithuanian government fell the day after the meeting. 
End summary. 
 
AN UNWAVERING ALLY IN NATO AND THE WAR ON TERROR 
--------------------------------------------- --- 
 
¶2. (C) The Ambassador congratulated the PM for Lithuania's 
achievements over the past three years, during which the 
country joined NATO and the EU and emerged as a leader in 
expanding democracy to the east and south.  Lithuania has 66 
military personnel in Iraq, including its 53-person 
mechanized infantry battalion, and leads a Provincial 
Reconstruction Team in the Ghor province of Afghanistan.  PM 
Brazauskas said the troops are well-prepared and eager to 
participate in international operations.  He also recalled 
the importance of last month's conference in Vilnius, "Common 
Vision for a Common Neighborhood," in setting a new course 
for regional stability and cooperation (ref C). 
 
¶3. (C) The PM recounted Lithuania's relatively recent 
restoration of independence, and noted the importance the 
Government places on sharing its experience and success in 
joining NATO, the EU, the WTO, and other western structures. 
He spoke proudly, noting that Ukraine's constitution and 
electoral system borrowed heavily from Lithuania's model. 
 
JEWISH ISSUES 
------------- 
 
¶4. (C) The Ambassador thanked the PM for his consistent focus 
on property restitution.  He urged the government to move the 
amendment on communal property restitution to the parliament. 
 Doing so will boost Lithuania's image and status 
internationally, he said, and cautioned that support may wane 
if the government or parliament delays action.  The PM said 
he hopes the government will soon work out the final details 
of the cost to the GOL of restitution -- a prerequisite to 
move the legislation to the parliament.  The Ambassador noted 
that the Embassy continues to meet with members of various 
Jewish communities to mediate discussion of their differences 
with respect to restitution claims. 
 
¶5. (C) Regarding the former Jewish cemetery in the Snipiskes 
district of Vilnius, the PM noted that the national 
government opposed any development there.  He said he has 
warned the Vilnius Mayor of further development on the site. 
(Note: Despite the PM's warning, aLithuanian newspaper 
reported last week the City's plan to sign an agreement with 
the current owner of the Sports Palace Concert Hall on the 
site of the cemetery.  Plans for the site are unclear, and 
permits have not been issued for new construction.  End note.) 
 
¶6. (C) The Ambassador also informed the PM of the situation 
of AmCit Chabad Lubovitch Rabbi Krinsky who, after failing to 
pay a debt on a school he operates, appears to be on the 
verge of losing title to a separate property the organization 
owns.  The PM was not aware of the situation and, while 
suggesting that his advisors look into the matter, doubted 
that the government will be able to intervene in a matter of 
an unpaid debt to a private citizen. 
 
RUSSIA WON'T MESS WITH PK ORLEN IN REFINERY DEAL 
--------------------------- --------------------- 
 
¶7. (C) The PM said that selling the GOL's shares in Mazeiku 
Nafta to the Polish concern PK/ORLEN (ref Scott's recent 
 
VILNIUS 00000523  002 OF 002 
 
 
cable) is a good deal for the Lithuanian people.  He also 
said that Russia is far too heavily invested in Poland's 
pipelines to cut off supplies.  He also expressed confidence 
about the viability of bringing in crude oil via tanker to 
produce for domestic markets in the event of a supply 
disruption from the East. 
 
COMMENT 
------- 
 
¶8. (C) Brazauskas's political skills and staying power were a 
key element of the productive U.S.-Lithuania dialogue, but 
his departure from the scene does not threaten that process. 
The PM's resignation will require adjustments to the 
Embassy's strategy for engaging the GOL (ref B), but we do 
not expect the next leader to alter the course of our 
bilateral agenda. 
MULL