Viewing cable 06VILNIUS762
Title: LITHUANIAN PM PUSHES UKRAINE'S YANUKOVICH ON EU,

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
06VILNIUS7622006-08-11 14:17:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Vilnius
VZCZCXRO8171
RR RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHROV RUEHSR
DE RUEHVL #0762/01 2231417
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
R 111417Z AUG 06
FM AMEMBASSY VILNIUS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0481
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 VILNIUS 000762 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 08/10/2016 
TAGS: PREL LH UP
SUBJECT: LITHUANIAN PM PUSHES UKRAINE'S YANUKOVICH ON EU, 
NATO, WTO INTEGRATION 
 
 
Classified By: Pol/econ chief Rebecca Dunham for reasons 1.4 b,d 
 
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Summary 
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¶1. (C) Lithuania's Prime Minister Gediminas Kirkilas 
interrupted his holidays August 10 to sell NATO, EU and WTO 
integration to Ukraine's newly appointed PM Victor 
Yanukovich.  MFA officials present for the meeting called 
Yanukovich's "open" reaction to their points on EU and, 
especially, NATO integration "a pleasant surprise."  The 
Lithuanian side reported, however, disappointment with 
Yanukovich's reluctance on WTO accession.  While Yanukovich 
did not plainly express support (or disapproval) for 
Ukraine's bid for a NATO Membership Action Plan, he accepted 
Kirkilas's offer to continue Lithuania's active support on 
both EU and NATO integration.  End Summary. 
 
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Lithuanian PM makes impromptu visit to Kiev 
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¶2. (C) Lithuania's Prime Minister, Foreign Minister, and 
other officials made a quick unplanned trip to Kiev, August 
9, to be the first to meet with Ukraine's newly appointed 
Prime Minister Victor Yanukovich on NATO, EU and WTO 
integration issues, as well as bilateral issues.  The head of 
the MFA's Eastern Europe Department, Arunas Vinciunas, was 
present at the meetings. He debriefed us August 11 on 
Yanukovich's reactions to the international issues. 
 
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Lithuania: Yanukovich surprisingly "open" on NATO 
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¶3.  (C) Vinciunas told us that Yanukovich was surprisingly 
"open" about Ukraine's path to closer integration with NATO. 
Yanukovich said that Ukraine is not ready for NATO now, and 
that a referendum on NATO today would fail.  Nevertheless, 
Yanukovich did not express opposition to Ukraine's bid for a 
Membership Action Plan or eventual accession to NATO. 
Yanukovich reportedly expressed the need for a public 
relations campaign to prepare his people for closer NATO 
integration.  Lithuania currently assists Ukraine's 
Ministries of Defense and Foreign Affairs with a NATO public 
relations strategy, and Yanukovich expressed continued 
acceptance of this assistance. 
 
¶4. (C) According to Vinciunas, Yanukovich told the PM that 
most people in Ukraine, including its civil servants, only 
see the military side of NATO; through greater cooperation, 
Ukrainians might become more familiar with the political 
benefits of transatlantic integration.  Yanukovich said that 
more training is an absolute necessity for the Ukrainian 
military.  Vinciunas also told us that Yanukovich cited 
problems stemming from the defense industrial sector in 
Ukraine.  He said that integrating NATO and ex-Soviet defense 
industries is difficult but important.  Vinciunas reported 
that Yanukovich would support joint production by existing 
Ukrainian military suppliers and NATO suppliers. 
 
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Lithuania to continue assistance on NATO, EU integration 
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¶5. (C) Lithuania has supported Ukraine's NATO integration 
politically and with several programs that provide technical 
support.  A Lithuanian advisor posted to the Ukrainian MFA 
helped write Ukraine's draft Membership Action Plan. 
Lithuania, in cooperation with its Nordic-Baltic neighbors, 
also renders technical assistance on planning a public 
relations campaign to raise support for NATO in Ukraine, 
based in part on Lithuania's success at raising public 
support for its own NATO accession several years ago.  In a 
meeting on August 10, the Lithuanian MFA's Head of Security 
and NATO Policy Department Algis Dabkus told us that 
Lithuania supports MAP for NATO at the earliest moment, and 
that Yanukovich's assumption of the PM's post would not 
change that.  While no formal agreement was made during their 
meeting, Lithuanian PM Kirkilas told Yanukovich that 
Lithuania would continue to provide support for Ukraine's 
closer integration to NATO, and Yanukovich accepted that 
support. 
 
¶6. (C) Lithuania provides other technical assistance to 
Ukraine, notably to Ukraine's EU integration coordination 
project (financed by the UK).  The GOL also provides an 
ongoing training project to Ukrainian military officers in 
Vilnius, in which 3 Ukrainian officers (as well as officers 
from Moldova, Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan) take a 
six-month course in Vilnius focusing on military 
 
VILNIUS 00000762  002 OF 002 
 
 
transformation and NATO accession issues.  We note that the 
MOD's coordinator for this project reported to us on an 
earlier occasion that Ukraine's military officer's have 
generally favored NATO accession. 
 
¶7. (C) Vinciunas told us that Yanukovich agreed to continue 
discussions about Lithuania's support for Ukraine's NATO 
integration during a joint NATO-Ukraine Commission meeting 
this Autumn.  Dabkus additionally inquired about the 
possibility of having a NATO-Ukraine Foreign Ministers 
meeting on the margins of the UN General Assembly meeting in 
September. 
 
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Lithuania: Yanukovich's Pragmatic approach to EU-engagement 
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¶8. (C) According to Vinciunas, Yanukovich stressed Ukraine's 
need for a pragmatic process of closer integration with the 
EU.  He reportedly said that integration strategies had not 
always "been done right," and that Euro-euphoria had 
misguided many policies of the would-be EU member states. 
Yanukovich did not express either support or dissatisfaction 
with the EU-Ukraine action plan. 
 
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Lithuania:  Yanukovich bearish on WTO 
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¶9. (C) If the Lithuanian delegation members were pleasantly 
surprised by Yanukovich's response to their pitch on NATO, 
they were disappointed with his stance on WTO issues.  "His 
intentions were negative," said Vinciunas.  Yanukovich was 
reportedly lukewarm on the desirability of acceding to the 
WTO, expressing concern about Ukrainian producers who were 
struggling with trade liberalization.  He told the Lithuanian 
delegation that he would consider "renegotiating" certain 
trade protocols that Ukraine has already signed. 
 
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Comment 
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¶10. (C) Interrupting his holiday to be the first foreign 
official to visit Prime Minister Yanukovich, Lithuania's new 
PM has showed that the new Lithuanian government intends to 
continue the activism of its predecessors in the former 
Soviet Union, both in  promoting democracy and in advocating 
for integration with the EU and NATO.  Its continued support 
for transatlantic integration, both political and through 
assistance, may prove helpful in steering Yanukovich's 
policies.  While we defer to Embassy Kiev for the definitive 
view, the view from Vilnius appears to be guardedly 
optimistic about Ukraine's direction. 
CLOUD