Viewing cable 06VILNIUS622
Title: LITHUANIA ENGAGES ARMENIA AND AZERBAIJAN

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
06VILNIUS6222006-07-05 12:21:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Vilnius
VZCZCXRO9365
RR RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHROV RUEHSR
DE RUEHVL #0622 1861221
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
R 051221Z JUL 06
FM AMEMBASSY VILNIUS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0349
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
C O N F I D E N T I A L VILNIUS 000622 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/29/2016 
TAGS: LH PREL AM AZ
SUBJECT: LITHUANIA ENGAGES ARMENIA AND AZERBAIJAN 
 
REF: VILNIUS 442 
 
Classified By: Pol/econ officer Traver Gudie for reasons 1.4 b,d 
 
¶1. (C) Summary.  Lithuania has sought in recent months to 
increasingly engage the governments of Armenia and Azerbaijan 
to encourage democratic change and deeper Euro-integration. 
The Lithuanians view this engagement as a logical progression 
of the neighborhood policy that they pursue with Ukraine, 
Moldova, Georgia, and the opposition in Belarus.  President 
Adamkus visited Armenia and Azerbaijan this spring to offer 
his assistance guiding the countries through their European 
Neighborhood Policy Action Plans.  MFA sources tell us that 
Armenia and Azerbaijan were not entirely receptive to 
Adamkus's vision of helping the South Caucasus deepen their 
ties to the EU.  Lithuania has opened representative offices 
in Baku and Yerevan, with embassies to follow in 2007.  End 
Summary. 
 
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Lithuania pursues role as intermediary to Europe 
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¶2. (C) During the Lithuanian President's visits to Armenia 
(April 25-26) and Azerbaijan (June 8-9) and during the 
Armenian defense minister's June 15 visit to Vilnius, 
President Adamkus offered to help Yerevan and Baku implement 
the European Neighborhood Policy Action plan and embark on 
the path to European integration, a role that Lithuania sees 
itself playing already with Georgia.  Jolanta Balciuniene, 
Head of the MFA's Central Asia and South Caucasus Division, 
told us that Lithuania views itself as a credible advocate of 
European integration to the Caucasus, and a natural advocate 
of an "open door" policy to European structures. 
Balciuniene, who participated in President Adamkus's meetings 
in Baku and Yerevan, told us that Azerbaijan's President 
Aliyev was more receptive than Armenia's President Kocharian, 
but neither president completely warmed to Adamkus's offer of 
increased Lithuanian advocacy on behalf the two countries to 
European structures.  (Balciuniene would not explain how or 
why the leaders were "cool" to Adamkus's offer.)  Balciuniene 
also told us that President Adamkus offered to help mediate 
the Azeri-Armenian dispute over Nagorno-Karabakh, but 
Kocharian rejected the idea immediately and Aliyev gave "no 
real response." 
 
¶3. (C) Lithuania's efforts to engage Armenia and Azerbaijan 
intensified in April 2006, when President Adamkus personally 
engaged (albeit unsuccessfully) to persuade Kocharian and 
Aliyev to attend the May 2006 Community for Democratic Choice 
(CDC) summit in Vilnius which promoted pro-democratic 
Euro-Atlantic themes (reftel).  According to Balciuniene, 
both presidents originally seemed open to attending, but 
ended up sending delegates instead.  (Those representatives, 
Armenian FM Oskanian and Azeri PM Rasi-deh, provided the 
conference's only divisive moment when they traded 
accusations over Nagorno-Karabakh.) 
 
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Lithuania opening representation, assistance to Caucasus 
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¶4. (C) Lithuania has opened representative offices in Armenia 
and Azerbaijan (extensions of their Moscow and Ankara 
embassies, respectively), and plans to open full embassies in 
Yerevan and Baku in 2007.  Lithuania has begun to provide 
(admittedly low-budget) technical assistance training to 
civil servants and military personnel that focuses on 
Euro-integration issues and harmonizing legislation with the 
EU acquis.  A typical example of this assistance was a 
two-week program in May that hosted mid-level Armenian MOD 
officials for seminars in Vilnius on NATO enlargement. 
Lithuania also initiated an anti-corruption program that 
places a Lithuanian investigator in Armenia to help 
authorities there. 
 
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Comment 
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¶5. (C) Lithuania, in taking on the challenging task of 
reaching out to and mediating between Armenia and Azerbaijan, 
is rightly trying to expand its neighborhood policy beyond 
support for the color revolutions and the opposition in 
Belarus.  Lithuania's will to expand ties to Armenia and 
Azerbaijan lends credibility to its claim that it aims to 
support democratic change and integration with the West 
throughout the entire region, not simply in color revolutions 
with an anti-Russian flavor closer to home. 
KELLY