Viewing cable 08VILNIUS477
Title: AMBASSADOR DISCUSSES WASHINGTON MEETINGS WITH PM

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
08VILNIUS4772008-06-18 13:47:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Vilnius
O 181347Z JUN 08
FM AMEMBASSY VILNIUS
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 2424
INFO SECDEF WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE
EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
AMEMBASSY KABUL
C O N F I D E N T I A L VILNIUS 000477 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/17/2018 
TAGS: MOPS MARR ENRG SCUL PHUM XH IZ AF LH
SUBJECT: AMBASSADOR DISCUSSES WASHINGTON MEETINGS WITH PM 
KIRKILAS 
 
Classified By: Ambassador John A. Cloud for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d) 
 
¶1.  (C)  Summary:  Ambassador Cloud met June 18 with 
Lithuanian Prime Minister Gediminas Kirkilas to discuss his 
July 2 meetings with the Vice President and other senior 
officials in Washington.  Kirkilas said there is no decision 
yet on extending Lithuanian troops in Iraq past July; said 
Lithuania hopes to provide additional Special Forces to 
Afghanistan if others can provide assistance; reaffirmed that 
Lithuania is willing to host MD interceptors if negotiations 
with Poland fail; expressed concern over Georgia; and said 
Lithuania would like to host a NATO energy security center. 
The Ambassador encouraged him to meet with Jewish groups in 
the U.S. to respond to concerns over communal property 
restitution and other issues.  Kirkilas was accompanied by 
foreign policy advisor Mindaugas Jurkynas, Ambassador Cloud 
by his DCM.  End summary. 
 
Iraq Deployment 
-------------------- 
 
¶2.  (C)  Kirkilas said that the State Security Council met 
June 17 to discuss DefMin Olekas's opposition to continuing 
Iraq's deployment in Iraq past July.  Kirkilas said domestic 
politics are the problem:  Olekas, a fellow Social Democrat, 
is supported by others within the party and, with elections 
in October, Kirkilas does not want to let Olekas use Iraq to 
split the party.  Kirkilas hoped the 40-man deployment could 
be extended to the end of the year by swapping out ten 
soldiers at a time so no decision would have to be made on a 
"new deployment."  Kirkilas understands he cannot go to 
Washington without a decision on Iraq, and explained he would 
meet that evening with Olekas and hoped to convince him to 
agree to keep the troops in Iraq until year's end. 
 
¶3.  (C)  The Ambassador stressed that our commanders in Iraq 
value the Lithuanian contribution for their military rather 
than just symbolic value. 
 
Afghanistan 
-------------- 
 
¶4.  (C)  Kirkilas said Lithuania hopes to increase its 
Special Forces deployment in Afghanistan, but will need 
support for that because of budgetary problems.  Turning to 
Lithuania's desire for development assistance in Ghor 
province (where it runs a PRT), the Ambassador said he was 
pleased the U.S.-arranged meeting among FM Vaitiekunas, USAID 
Director Fore, and potential donors (including UAE and Saudi 
Arabia) had resulted in forward motion.  He encouraged the 
GOL to act now on feasibility studies for the road and 
airport work in Ghor Province and to get them to the 
potential donors as soon as possible.  The Ambassador 
underscored continuing USG support as shown by the return of 
a political officer to Chaghcharan and the presence of a 
USAID officer. 
 
Missile Defense 
------------------- 
 
¶5.  (C)  Kirkilas said the GOL is ready to host MD 
interceptors in Lithuania as discussed with U/S Rood in May. 
Lithuania considers Poland a strategic partner, however, and 
does not want to get crossways with the Poles.  He asked 
about the status of U.S.-Polish MD negotiations.  The 
Ambassador said negotiations are continuing and we remain 
hopeful an agreement can be reached soon on deployment. 
Kirkilas said Lithuania stands by should that not be 
possible. 
 
Georgia 
--------- 
 
¶6.  (C)  Lithuania is in close touch with Georgian President 
Saakashvili, Kirkilas said, and is growing increasingly 
concerned that the situation is worsening there.  The 
Lithuanians are trying to convince Saakashvili to take a more 
considered approach, but he appears ready to start a war with 
Russia which he thinks he can win.  The Ambassador said we 
are working closely with Georgia to ensure that Saakashvili 
understands that there is no military solution. 
 
Belarus 
--------- 
 
¶7.  (C)  Kirkilas asked our assessment of Belarus.  The 
Ambassador again thanked Lithuania for its willingness to be 
our protective power had our Embassy closed, but said we are 
keeping it open in its reduced state so we can be supportive 
of democratic forces.  We are making sure our sanctions cover 
all the entities of the targeted state enterprises, and will 
closely watch the Government's conduct of the elections this 
fall.  Kirkilas offered to have the Lithuanian embassy in 
Minsk help us in any way it can in the lead up to elections. 
 
Energy Security 
------------------- 
 
¶8.  (C)  Lithuania would like to open a NATO energy security 
center, Kirkilas said.  Although NATO was not yet ready to 
support the idea, it has been "spiritually" supportive. 
Lithuania will develop the concept more fully and may ask 
Secretary Gates for USG support for this initiative, he said. 
 
 
Jewish Issues 
---------------- 
 
¶9.  (C)  The Ambassador said he had understood earlier that 
Kirkilas would be meeting with Jewish groups in New York to 
address their concerns over communal property restitution, 
the prosecution of Holocaust survivors, and construction on 
the site of an historic cemetery.  However, according to the 
latest schedule made available to the Embassy, the only 
related meeting scheduled was with YIVO, which did not follow 
those issues.  Kirkilas said he would make sure appropriate 
meetings were arranged. 
 
CLOUD