Viewing cable 06VILNIUS818
Title: LITHUANIAN DEFENSE UNDER SECRETARY ON BALTIC

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
06VILNIUS8182006-09-05 13:55:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Vilnius
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PP RUEHAST
DE RUEHVL #0818/01 2481355
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 051355Z SEP 06
FM AMEMBASSY VILNIUS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0554
INFO RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUEHBS/NATO SUPPORT ACTIVITY BRUSSELS BE
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 VILNIUS 000818 
 
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E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: MOPS MARR PREL AF LG EN LH
SUBJECT: LITHUANIAN DEFENSE UNDER SECRETARY ON BALTIC 
COOPERATION AND AGENDA FOR WASHINGTON VISIT 
 
 
VILNIUS 00000818  001.2 OF 002 
 
 
¶1. (SBU) SUMMARY:  MOD Under Secretary Renatas Norkus gave 
the Ambassador areadout of the recent Baltic Defense 
Ministers' meeting and a sketch of his plans for his upcoming 
visit to Washington during a meeting September 1.  The Baltic 
Defense Ministers agreed they would try to encourage NATO to 
extend the Baltic Air Policing program until 2018, when the 
Balts plan to provide their own air defense.  The Ministers 
agreed to work toward a joint NRF contribution and to explore 
joint procurement possibilities.  Norkus also said that 
Lithuania would ask about the possibility to use the 
transportable parts of NATO's air defense system currently in 
Iceland.  During his visit to Washington, Norkus wants to 
discuss the Riga agenda at DoD and State.  He will be 
especially keen to talk about Lithuania's PRT mission in Ghor 
Province, Afghanistan and prospects for reconstruction 
projects there.  End Summary. 
 
Baltic Defense Ministers' Meeting 
--------------------------------- 
 
¶2. (U) Norkus told the Ambassador that at the August 30 
Baltic Defense Ministers' meeting the Lithuanian, Latvian, 
and Estonian DefMins agreed they would encourage NATO to 
continue the current Baltic Air Policing (AP) regime until 
2018, at which time the Baltic states will be able to provide 
their own air defense.  Lithuania plans to make procurement 
decisions in the 2010 - 2011 timeframe for interceptor 
aircraft that will help it reach air defense self-sufficiency 
in the long term.  In the meantime, extension of AP will 
allow Lithuania and the other Balts to follow methodical 
defense reform and modernization without the disruptions of 
"big ticket" procurement in the near term.  The Ministers 
also resolved to work to reduce costs for NATO rotational 
units doing Air Policing and to encourage all allies to 
contribute units (currently, allies have signed up through 
the end of 2007).  Between now and 2018, the Balts will 
concentrate efforts on airspace control improvements, 
particularly radars.  Baltic defense officials will brief the 
NATO Military Committee and SACEUR on their AP ideas. 
Lithuania will also raise the issue with the Polish Defense 
Minister (visiting Vilnius the week of September 5) and DASD 
Fata. 
 
¶3. (U) The three Baltic Defense Ministers decided to explore 
ways they could work together to contribute to the NATO 
Response Force (NRF).  All agreed they would like to 
re-invigorate land forces cooperation, ultimately leading to 
a joint NRF contribution.  The Ministers tasked their Armed 
Forces to develop appropriate proposals. 
 
¶4. (U) The ministers agreed to explore joint procurement 
possibilities for political and practical reasons.  Radars 
are the first priority.  They tasked their Armed Forces to 
develop appropriate proposals.  Eventually, joint procurement 
will also be considered for armored personnel carriers, 
electronic countermeasures, and helicopters. 
 
¶5. (SBU) Although it was not mentioned in the Joint 
Communique from Jurmala, Norkus told Ambassador Cloud that 
Lithuania intends to query NATO about using the transportable 
components of the NATO-provided air defense system, currently 
deployed in Iceland, in the Baltic region.  Lithuania is also 
exploring the possibility of using NATO common funding to 
purchase long-range radars (as Poland, Czech Republic, and 
Hungary have done). 
 
Norkus's Agenda for his September 18 - 22 Visit to Washington 
--------------------------------------------- ---------------- 
 
¶6. (SBU) Norkus said that one of his primary goals for his 
visit to Washington is to compare notes on Lithuanian and 
U.S. positions for the upcoming NATO summit.  He intends to 
meet with DASD Dan Fata and others at the Departments of 
Defense and State to discuss the Riga agenda and current 
operations.  Norkus plans to present the possibilities for 
future Lithuanian contributions to the NRF.  He will mention 
that Lithuania is seriously considering the Strategic Airlift 
Initiative and a possible "buy-in" of C-17 flight hours.  On 
enlargement issues, Norkus said that Lithuania supports ID 
for Georgia, believing it will likely be offered at the NATO 
Foreign Ministers Ministerial in New York in December.  He 
mentioned that Lithuania, like many allies, is hoping for 
more favorable developments in Ukraine, but believes that 
Riga should offer some positive language to keep Ukraine "on 
the radar screen".  On the subject of the Middle East 
Training Initiative, Norkus commented that Lithuania would 
like to train Iraqi and Afghan officers at the Lithuanian 
Military Academy. 
 
VILNIUS 00000818  002.2 OF 002 
 
 
 
¶7. (SBU) Norkus is also eager to hear official U.S. views 
about the progress of ongoing missions in Iraq, Afghanistan, 
and Lebanon, while sharing the Lithuanian perspective.  On 
Lebanon, he confirmed that Lithuania will not send troops, 
but will continue to monitor the situation and consider 
future requests for military contributions if the required 
capabilities and resources are available for deployment.  He 
is particularly keen to talk about reconstruction efforts in 
Ghor Province, Afghanistan, where Lithuania leads its PRT. 
Norkus expressed satisfaction with the performance of the 
military aspects of the mission, but voiced concern that 
civilian reconstruction progress in Ghor is lagging behind 
that of neighboring provinces.  He believes that this uneven 
development may create force protection issues in the future 
when the local inhabitants' expectations are not met.  Norkus 
intends to bring a representative from the Ministry of 
Foreign Affairs to outline Lithuania's efforts to encourage 
international governmental and NGO support for reconstruction 
projects in one of Afghanistan's poorest regions.  He 
mentioned that he would like to meet with Mary Beth Long and 
Deborah Kagan at DoD, and other appropriate officials at 
State, to discuss Ghor Province reconstruction issues. (We 
note that Norkus already has a meeting set on September 19 
with SCA DAS Gastright.) 
 
¶8. (U) Norkus plans to discuss Lithuania's defense and 
diplomatic outreach to its neighbors to the East, and, in 
particular, would like to share views about programs and 
talks with Moldova, the South Caucasus, and Central Asia. 
Norkus also intends to talk about the more difficult 
relationships Lithuania has with Belarus and Russia, and the 
national security implications of current energy issues. 
CLOUD