Viewing cable 06VILNIUS88
Title: LITHUANIA: FAVORABLE PRESS FOR RICE-CHERTOFF OPEN

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
06VILNIUS882006-02-02 07:52:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Vilnius
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
UNCLAS VILNIUS 000088 
 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR R, CA, EUR/PPD AND EUR/NB 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: KPAO CMGT PREL CVIS LH
SUBJECT: LITHUANIA: FAVORABLE PRESS FOR RICE-CHERTOFF OPEN 
DOORS ANNOUNCEMENT 
 
REF:  STATE 7169 
 
¶1.  SUMMARY: Post actively publicized the January 17 Rice- 
Chertoff announcement on America's initiatives to welcome 
tourists, students and business travelers.  The Lithuanian 
media reacted quickly and favorably.  Keying off a detailed 
press release, national radio interviewed the PAO and played 
the news during peak listening hours.  An op-ed by the 
Ambassador reached out to Lithuania's second city, and the 
leading national daily scheduled an interview with the 
Ambassador for January 27.  Public reaction as viewed in 
comments on Internet news portals was quite positive.  The 
major lament in the comments was about the threat of brain- 
drain.  End Summary. 
 
¶2.  Post took immediate steps following the January 17 
announcement to inform the public of the new initiatives 
underway to renew America's welcome to international 
visitors.  An Embassy press release outlined U.S. efforts to 
ease the procedures surrounding business travel and to 
encourage students and academics to pursue their studies in 
the United States.  An ambassadorial op-ed piece summarized 
the new initiatives to ensure that visiting Lithuanians feel 
welcome and praised Lithuanian efforts toward qualification 
in the Visa Waiver Program.  Lithuanian Radio then broadcast 
an interview with the PAO on the announcement, which aired 
during the evening commuting hour and the following morning 
and noon news broadcasts.  The Ambassador accepted a January 
30 interview on the subject with Lietuvos Rytas, the 
country's largest and most influential daily. 
 
¶3. BNS, a national news wire service, quickly published an 
article outlining the Embassy press release and the three- 
part plan to welcome visitors to the United States without 
compromising security.  The BNS piece was subsequently 
picked up by the top two popular internet portals, DELFI and 
OMNI, as well as the website of Lithuanian National 
Television. 
 
¶4. DELFI offers readers the opportunity to comment on news 
pieces.  The vast majority of reader reactions to the Open 
Doors, Secure Borders announcement have been positive.  Many 
of the written comments approve of, sympathize with, and 
even admire the American goal to attract talented, educated 
people to the United States as an effective strategy for 
competing in a globalized world.  Others compare the United 
States to Europe, concluding that Europe is a preferable 
destination "for earning money", whereas travel to the 
United States is too costly.  The few negative comments 
allege a cynical, American-orchestrated brain drain of the 
skilled Lithuanian workforce; others voice grievances about 
visa denials. 
 
¶5. Comment: U.S. visa policy is always newsworthy in 
Lithuania.  The media sometimes carry stories of those who 
were denied visas.  By proactively pushing the Rice-Chertoff 
announcement with the material provided by the Department 
(reftel), we believe we helped shape the debate here in a 
positive way.    We will continue our efforts to publicize 
the U.S. goal to welcome as many legitimate Lithuanian 
visitors as possible to study and travel in the United 
States.  End comment. 
 
MULL