Viewing cable 08VILNIUS721
Title: GOL PM AND FM CAUTION BELARUSIAN COUNTERPARTS ON

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
08VILNIUS7212008-09-03 15:48:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Vilnius
VZCZCXRO4388
PP RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHROV RUEHSR
DE RUEHVL #0721 2471548
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 031548Z SEP 08
FM AMEMBASSY VILNIUS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 2740
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
C O N F I D E N T I A L VILNIUS 000721 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/03/2018 
TAGS: PREL PGOV BO LH
SUBJECT: GOL PM AND FM CAUTION BELARUSIAN COUNTERPARTS ON 
S.OSSETIA AND ABKHAZIA RECOGNITION 
 
Classified By: Ambassador John A. Cloud for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d). 
 
¶1. (C) In separate conversations September 2, Lithuanian 
Prime Minister Kirkilas and Foreign Minister Vaitiekunas each 
cautioned their Belarusian counterparts on recognition of 
South Ossetia and Abkhazia.  Acting Director of the MFA's 
Eastern Neighborhood Policy Department Nortautas Statkus told 
Post September 3 that GOL PM Kirkilas asked Belarusian PM 
Sidorsky to "think twice" about recognizing South Ossetia and 
Abkhazia during a face to face meeting in the Lithuanian 
border town of Druskininkai.  Sidorsky responded that Russia 
was exerting "huge pressure" on the GOB to do so, threatening 
to raise the price of natural gas to the European level in 
2009 (according to Statkus from approximately USD 140 per 
1,000 cubic meter to approximately USD 400).  The two Prime 
Ministers also discussed the current EU-Belarus visa regime 
and possible energy production cooperation (septel). 
 
¶2. (C) Statkus said a similar message of caution was 
delivered in a phone conversation later the same day by FM 
Vaitiekunas to GOB FM Martynov, who replied that no decision 
has been made though he said Russia has given Belarus until 
September 9 to decide one way or the other. 
 
¶3. (C) Statkus said Martynov also expressed interest in a 
face-to-face meeting about recognition of South Ossetia and 
Abkhazia with FM Vaitiekunas (similar to the 
Kirkilas-Sidorsky meeting at the border).  According to 
Statkus, Vaitiekunas is open to the idea but wants to consult 
with EU and U.S. allies first.  He thinks any meeting with 
Martynov should take place before the September 15 Friends of 
Belarus meeting in Brussels.  Statkus said the Lithuanians 
don't believe Martynov can alter overall policy but he at 
least can return honest messages to President Lukashenka. 
 
¶4. (C) Statkus also addressed the upcoming Collective 
Security Treaty Organization meeting in Moscow September 5, 
predicting that any joint statement that emerges will contain 
agreed language "understanding" or "supporting" Russian 
actions in South Ossetia and Abkhazia. 
 
¶5. (C) Action request:  The GOL wants to consult with both EU 
allies and the USG on a foreign minister face-to-face 
meeting.  Post requests any guidance Washington can provide 
on this proposed meeting. 
CLOUD