Viewing cable 07VILNIUS217
Title: LITHUANIA ASKS FOR HELP WITH THE OECD ENTRY PROCESS

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
07VILNIUS2172007-03-27 10:34:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Vilnius
VZCZCXRO6293
PP RUEHAG RUEHROV
DE RUEHVL #0217/01 0861034
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 271034Z MAR 07
FM AMEMBASSY VILNIUS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 1125
INFO RUCNMEM/EU MEMBER STATES COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 VILNIUS 000217 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/26/2022 
TAGS: PREL ECIN OECD EUN LH
SUBJECT: LITHUANIA ASKS FOR HELP WITH THE OECD ENTRY PROCESS 
 
 
Classified By: Political/Economic Section Chief Rebecca Dunham for reas 
ons 1.4 b and d 
 
¶1. (C) Summary:  MFA Undersecretary Zygmimantas Pavilionis 
summoned the Ambassador on March 26 to complain that the USG 
was not promoting Lithuania's candidacy for the OECD. 
Pavilionis said that Lithuanian President Adamkus would press 
for Lithuanian entry during an upcoming visit to Paris.  He 
said that the prospect of Estonia entering the organization 
ahead of Lithuania would strengthen the hand of those wanting 
to re-orient Lithuania's foreign policy more towards 
Brussels.  He also characterized a presumed USG position in 
support of Estonia's candidacy (with what he claimed was an 
EU-centric foreign policy) as a strange policy choice if the 
USG had concluded that the OECD was already "too European." 
We explained the difficult hurdles associated with 
Lithuania's candidacy, but our Lithuanian friends will expect 
us to do more on their behalf.  End Summary. 
 
We need your help 
----------------- 
 
¶2. (C) MFA Undersecretary Zygimantas Pavilionis told the 
Ambassador on March 26 that he was "quite worried" about the 
process that would decide Lithuania's chances for OECD 
membership, a goal for which Lithuania is lobbying hard. 
Pavilionis said that he had learned from the OECD's Secretary 
General that a group of members, including Canada and 
Australia, were "blocking" Lithuania's membership because the 
organization was already "too European."  Pavilionis 
beseeched the Ambassador to "do something more positive for 
us." 
 
Take us all . . . 
----------------- 
 
¶3. (C) Pavilionis said that Lithuania had "friends" in the 
organization who had surveyed other EU members about 
Lithuania's candidacy.  This straw poll, according to 
Pavilionis, showed that the Nordics and Finland wanted all 
three Baltic countries to enter at once.  Other EU countries, 
he said, wanted all eight EU member states that are not yet 
in the OECD to join simultaneously, with the exception of 
Italy and Austria, which were focused primarily on membership 
for Slovenia. 
 
 . . . Or at least, not Estonia 
------------------------------- 
 
¶4. (C) The possibility of Estonia entering the OECD ahead of 
Lithuania would be painful, Pavilionis said, because all 
three Baltics have been working together "like family" on 
OECD entry.  He also said that those Lithuanians that want 
the country to have a more EU-centric foreign policy (like 
European Commissioner Dalia Grybauskaite) would seize on the 
failure to gain OECD membership and use it to shame the MFA 
and President's staff for their support of a policy that 
emphasizes the spread of democracy in Europe's "neighborhood" 
and trans-Atlanticism at the expense of closer ties with 
Brussels.  If the USG had decided that the OECD was "too 
European," Pavilionis argued, then a decision to support 
Estonia -- and what he called its pro-Brussels foreign policy 
-- seemed "not rational." 
 
¶5. (C) Pavilionis asserted that Estonia was an unlikely 
candidate for the United States to support, noting that it is 
"just another EU country" and emphasizing that its 
representatives "never" speak up at EU meetings.  He insisted 
that Lithuania's trans-Atlantic credentials are second to 
none, and its continuing strong support for the U.S.-led 
operations in Iraq and Afghanistan was a potent symbol of 
Lithuania's friendship with the United States.  "We are your 
Trojan Horse in the EU," Pavilionis stressed. 
 
Too much for the OECD to swallow 
-------------------------------- 
 
¶6. (C) In response, the Ambassador noted that the OECD has 
significant institutional constraints that prevent it from 
accepting too many members at one time, making it impossible 
for it to absorb all the Balts, not to mention all of the 
EU's new members, at once.  In addition, the Ambassador 
acknowledged that many non-European members did believe the 
organization was too Eurocentric and that these countries 
would want to see non-European countries invited to join in 
the next enlargement.  Stressing the importance of qualifying 
on its policy merits, he also said that Lithuania's failure 
to qualify for the OECD's Anti-Bribery Working Group in 2002 
was problematic.  The Ambassador added that Lithuania's 
failure to submit material requested for this year's Special 
301 Review was also a mistake, as it deprived USG agencies of 
 
VILNIUS 00000217  002 OF 002 
 
 
the latest information on Lithuania,s economic progress. 
 
¶7. (C) Pavilionis asked with whom Ambassador Bruzga should 
speak to press Lithuania's candidacy.  Ambassador Cloud noted 
that EUR PDAS Kurt Volker was responsible for OECD issues in 
the State Department. 
 
Comment 
------- 
 
¶8. (C) Pavilionis, one of the GOL's most avid practitioners 
of realpolitik, was surprised and disappointed to learn that 
we were not giving full USG support for Lithuania's immediate 
OECD membership as compensation for Lithuania's all-around 
friendliness towards the United States.  The Ambassador's 
explanation of the OECD's institutional constraints and 
Lithuania's shortcomings on policy matters that are relevant 
to the accession process may have edified Pavilionis, but the 
GOL will continue to press this theme.  The GOL seems more 
concerned that other new EU entrants might join the OECD 
before it does than whether it ever makes it into the 
organization.  As the Lithuanians see it, they have supported 
the United States on many tough issues in the face of 
opposition from other EU members, and the USG should return 
the favor by helping Lithuania gain favored access to OECD 
entry. 
CLOUD