Viewing cable 06VILNIUS561
Title: JUSTICE MINISTER PROMISES NO CHANGE IN STATEGIC

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
06VILNIUS5612006-06-15 13:34:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Vilnius
VZCZCXYZ0025
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHVL #0561 1661334
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 151334Z JUN 06
FM AMEMBASSY VILNIUS
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0285
UNCLAS VILNIUS 000561 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR EUR/NB 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PGOV KNAR LH
SUBJECT: JUSTICE MINISTER PROMISES NO CHANGE IN STATEGIC 
DIRECTION DURING FAREWELL MEETING WITH AMBASSADOR 
 
REF: VILNIUS 526 
 
¶1. (U) SUMMARY: Lithuania's acting Minister of Justice 
Gintautas Buzinskas, during the Ambassador's June 9 farewell 
call, said that there will be no slippage in the GOL's 
commitment to Jewish property restitution.  He also thanked 
the United States for its excellent law enforcement 
cooperation.  The Ambassador urged Buzinskas to present soon 
the draft amendment to the restitution law to the parliament, 
which would allow the process of restituting communal Jewish 
property to move forward.  Buzinskas said he was proud of the 
level and quality of law enforcement cooperation with the 
United States, the signing of the Mutual Legal Assistance 
Treaty, and success with extraditions.  Buzinskas said that 
the United States could be confident that any government that 
emerges from coalition talks (reftel) will be a strong ally 
in law enforcement cooperation.  END SUMMARY. 
 
GOL COMMITMENTS ON PROPERTY RESITUTION "NOT REVIEWABLE" 
--------------------------------------------- ---------- 
 
¶2. (U) The Ambassador told Minister Buzinskas at their June 9 
farewell meeting that he hoped the Ministry will present the 
amendment on Jewish Communal Property Restitution to the 
parliament in the immediate future.  While lamenting the 
delays the government's collapse has caused, Buzinskas said 
that the GOL's commitment to the legislation is "not 
reviewable" and that the process will go forward.  Buzinskas 
said the Ministry needed to resolve a couple of technical 
issues, including adding a statement to the amendment that 
will detail the restitution payment schedule.  He was 
confident that the new minister, when appointed, will take up 
the issue quickly.  The Ambassador said that he had spoken 
with all the key party leaders in the parliament and they had 
expressed support for the legislation; the key now is to move 
the amendment to the parliament. 
 
LEGAL COOPERATION 
----------------- 
 
¶3. (U) The Ambassador congratulated Buzinskas for an active 
and productive tenure as Minister of Justice, overseeing 
substantial integration into EU law enforcement structures, 
the signing of the U.S.-Lithuania Mutual Legal Assistance 
Treaty in 2005, and the expanded cooperation in law 
enforcement between the United States and Lithuania.  The 
Ambassador said he hopes to see the Lithuanian fugitive 
Gintaras Petrikas extradited from the United States and 
brought to justice in Lithuania.  Buzinskas noted that his 
team at the Ministry of Justice is talented and dedicated, 
and emphasized that the change in Lithuania's government will 
not affect cooperation with the United States. 
 
VISA WAIVER PROGRAM 
------------------- 
 
¶4. (U) Entrance into the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) remains a 
key goal for Lithuania, Buzinskas said, noting that expanded 
opportunities in the EU make it less likely that Lithuanians 
will misuse their U.S. visas.  The Ambassador said that 
Lithuania has made substantial progress in meeting most of 
the VWP requirements and that overstays have decreased 
noticeably.  With the refusal rate decreasing as Lithuanians 
better comply with the terms of their visas, the Ambassador 
said he hoped Lithuania will meet all the VWP criteria in the 
near future. 
 
COMMENT 
------- 
 
¶5. (U) A law professor and former diplomat, Gintautas 
Buzinskas is a dependable ally in the Ministry of Justice. 
While his future in the Labor Party and politics is 
uncertain, the ability of the Ministry of Justice to 
implement substantial reforms and invigorate its workforce 
with an inflow of talented, engaged, and youthful workers 
bodes well for the future.  We will continue to emphasize the 
importance of restitution and U.S.-Lithuanian law enforcement 
cooperation with the new government. 
MULL