Viewing cable 06VILNIUS969

06VILNIUS9692006-10-25 13:05:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Vilnius
DE RUEHVL #0969/01 2981305
R 251305Z OCT 06
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 VILNIUS 000969 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/24/2016 
Classified By: Pol/Econ Chief Rebecca Dunham for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d 
¶1. (C) Summary.  President Adamkus's silence at the October 
20 EU-Putin dinner notwithstanding, Lithuania was pleased 
that EU leaders reached a stronger consensus on external 
energy policy.  Lithuanian officials believe that Putin's 
comments on Georgia may help them build sympathy for the 
Georgian side among their European partners.  End Summary. 
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Lithuanians pleased overall with Lahti energy talk 
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¶2. (C) Political Director Zygimantis Pavilionis traveled to 
Lahti with President Adamkus and debriefed us October 24. 
The good news, he said, was that all EU leaders agreed that 
the EU should push Russia to sign the Energy Charter, 
increase transparency in the energy sector, and allow mutual 
investment in the Russian and European energy sectors. 
Still, he said that he was not as upbeat as others, and 
expressed frustration with the Finnish presidency in 
particular, and called Germany, France and Italy too 
conciliatory.  The question, he said, was if the line would 
hold through negotiations on the new Russia-EU Partnership 
and Cooperation Agreement (PCA) negotiations and the (troika 
format) November 24 EU-Russia Summit. 
Engaging the Commission 
¶3. (C) Pavilionis was optimistic about receiving continued 
political support from the EU Commission, saying that Barroso 
was the strongest voice on energy policy at the Putin dinner. 
 The Lithuanians had (wrongly) assumed a letter of support to 
Adamkus and Polish President Kaczynski from Barroso had been 
an attempt to discharge the energy issue quietly, so they 
were surprised at the strength of Barroso's comments at 
Lahti.  They were pleased that Barroso spoke not only about 
general energy concerns but in particular about Russia's 
closure, ostensibly for repairs, of the pipeline serving 
Lithuania's Maziekiu Nafta refinery. 
Crossing the Finnish line 
¶4. (C) The Finnish Presidency was a problem, said Pavilionis. 
 Lithuanian officials earlier expressed frustration at 
Finnish efforts to restrain Lithuania's expression of its 
views to Russia, denying Adamkus's request to speak and not 
incorporating his points elsewhere.  He said Halonen was 
"dead silent" on energy and Georgia at the summit, although 
she told the Lithuanians that she discussed Maziekiu Nafta 
with Putin on the 100 km ride from the airport to Lahti.  He 
also complained that the Finnish press statement on the 
summit with Putin was "romantic" about EU-Russia relations, 
neglecting the many troubling current issues. 
¶5. (C) Finnish Ambassador Timo Lahelma told us October 23 
that Pavilionis had lobbied him hard to let Adamkus make a 
statement about Mazeikiu Nafta at the Lahti dinner.  He said 
the Presidency had already told the Lithuanian Ambassador in 
Helsinki "no," and that it was unusual for the Lithuanians to 
re-approach the question through a different channel. 
Lahelma said the Presidency had decided that Adamkus could 
not raise Maziekiu Nafta because it was a bilateral issue. 
They gave other leaders the chance to raise multilateral 
issues to which Russia was sensitive, he said, mentioning 
Poland's statement on Georgia.  He added that the Lithuanians 
were also miffed that the Finns wouldn't give them another 
seat at the dinner for PM Kirkilas. 
Lithuania:  We told you so. 
¶6. (C) Putin's comments at Lahti were intransigent and may 
actually help Lithuania garner support for its positions in 
the EU, according to Pavilionis.  (Pavilionis's impression is 
second hand, as President Adamkus was the only Lithuanian at 
the dinner.)  Putin completely rejected criticism that 
Russia's energy policy was unreliable or nontransparent.  He 
irritated Adamkus by saying that Russia does the Baltic 
states the favor of selling them cheap gas because they need 
time to develop. 
¶7. (C) Putin's comments on Georgia were a shock to Adamkus, 
he said, and probably decreased sympathy for Russia's case 
among EU leaders.  Putin thrice mentioned imminent bloodshed 
in Georgia as though it were unavoidable. Pavilionis said 
that he thought Putin's comments may have been a mistake that 
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will play into Lithuania's ambitions to build EU support for 
Georgia.  But he also feared they could have the opposite 
effect -- of scaring EU capitals away from supporting 
Georgia.  Lithuania will try to exploit Putin's comments to 
turn on the EU's "soft tools."  Pavilionis said that 
Lithuania would encourage redoubled technical assistance 
programs to customs and police services in Georgia in the 
October 24 Political and Security Committee. 
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Lithuania: Kosovo independence may hurt Georgia 
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¶8. (C) Pavilionis suggested that the international community 
should "go slower" towards Kosovo's independence, as Russia 
is not bluffing about using any move towards independence for 
Kosovo as rationalization for its actions in Georgia's frozen 
conflicts.  Prolonging a forced settlement on Kosovo, he 
said, could help "Georgia survive a cold winter." 
¶9. (C) According to Pavilionis, the EU-25 also discussed 
support for an international (rather than Russian) 
peacekeeping force in Moldova, along the lines of the recent 
Belgian OSCE papers.  The problem lies with the Germans, he 
said, saying that German Political Director Michael Scheffer 
had personally supported the Belgian proposals but had been 
overruled.  Pavilionis claimed that President Voronin had 
serious talks with Putin and felt that support from the EU 
was lacking.  He said that Putin was offering a free trade 
arrangement that included allowing the import of Moldavian 
wine, in exchange for reorientation towards Russia and the 
undermining of GUAM. 
Lithuania selling ENP 
¶10. (C) Following the summit Pavilionis traveled to France 
October 23-24 to sell ENP  (a deeper neighborhood policy 
focused on eastern neighbors), about which the Lithuanians 
delivered long non-papers to all EU members states this 
summer.  The French are open to the idea as a "substitute" 
for membership ambitions.  The Lithuanians don't want ENP  to 
substitute for the open-doors policy, but are willing to have 
France buy into it that way in the meantime.  Pavilionis told 
us France was concerned that ENP  would damage their 
Mediterranean policy. 
French "stuck on Georgia" 
¶11. (C) Pavilionis said that the French were upset that 
Georgia had provoked Russia only days after NATO took the 
decision on Intensified Dialogue.  They are "stuck on 
Georgia," he said, and don't want Georgia on the NATO agenda 
for Riga.  The French were nevertheless positive about 
increased Technical Assistance to Georgia in the framework of 
the EU Action Plan, although he found dispiriting the French 
Political Director's conclusion that "Abkhazia is lost." 
¶12. (C) Following the frustration over the Finns' refusal to 
let Adamkus read his prepared statement at the Lahti dinner, 
Lithuanian officials and press were pleasantly surprised that 
Barroso and other leaders borrowed from Lithuania's talking 
points on energy and specifically raised Mazeikiu Nafta. 
They are hopeful that Putin's comments will consolidate 
skepticism of Russia's reliability, rather than reinforce the 
need to placate their large neighbor.