Viewing cable 08VILNIUS1014
Title: AMBASSADOR VISITS MOLETAI -- A REGION IN TRANSITION

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
08VILNIUS10142008-12-03 07:43:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Vilnius
VZCZCXYZ0001
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHVL #1014 3380743
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 030743Z DEC 08
FM AMEMBASSY VILNIUS
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 3131
UNCLAS VILNIUS 001014 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PGOV ECON OTRA KGLB EAGR EAID LH
SUBJECT: AMBASSADOR VISITS MOLETAI -- A REGION IN TRANSITION 
 
¶1. Ambassador Cloud traveled November 13 to the Moletai 
district, a region transforming from a relatively poor, 
agrarian-based economy to one based mainly on domestic 
tourism to the vast woodlands and lakes in the area.  In the 
first meeting of the day, he sat down with the long time 
Mayor of Moletai and recently elected MP, Valentinas Stundys, 
who stressed the need to keep dialogue with the public at the 
community level, noting that "at the bottom you can see when 
politics takes a wrong turn." 
 
¶2. The Ambassador also met with leaders of the Balninkai 
Community Center, an NGO that in past years has used Baltic 
American Partnership Funds to help the people of the region 
transition to a more modern economy through lecture series 
and computer training.  This NGO also sponsors social 
services such as care for the elderly and town beautification 
projects.  The Ambassador praised the NGO leadership for its 
use of funds to maintain community pride in the post-Soviet 
era and he urged them to look to both the GOL and EU for 
additional moneys.  Note: Baltic American Partnership funding 
ends in 2008. 
 
¶3. Ambassador Cloud also visited the Suginciu School, notable 
because it receives funding from the U.S. GLOBE program and 
also because of the school's outreach and education 
fundraising in Moletai city and the surrounding region.  He 
also took a tour of Moletai's history and cultural heritage 
museum and closed the day with a visit to the famed Moletai 
Observatory, home to one of the largest telescopes in 
Northern Europe. 
 
¶4. The Ambassador's trip attracted media interest.  The 
Moletai weekly "Vilnis" covered his meeting with Mayor 
Stundys.  Later in the day he gave an interview to another 
weekly, "Moletu Zinios," with whom he shared favorable 
impressions of the region, and discussed elections and 
financial challenges in both the U.S. and Lithuania. 
 
¶5. Comment: The Ambassador found Valentinas Stundys a modest 
and thoughtful politician.  A former teacher, he actually 
turned down an opportunity to be considered for Minister of 
Health and Social Services in the new Conservative-led 
coalition because he did not think he was qualified, 
preferring instead to focus on his forte of education. 
CLOUD