Viewing cable 08VILNIUS899
Title: LITHUANIA TO PURSUE REDUCTION IN SCHENGEN VISA FEE

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
08VILNIUS8992008-10-22 15:10:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Vilnius
VZCZCXRO1531
PP RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHROV RUEHSR
DE RUEHVL #0899 2961510
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 221510Z OCT 08
FM AMEMBASSY VILNIUS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 2987
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
C O N F I D E N T I A L VILNIUS 000899 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/22/2018 
TAGS: PREL PGOV EU BO LH
SUBJECT: LITHUANIA TO PURSUE REDUCTION IN SCHENGEN VISA FEE 
FOR BELARUS 
 
Classified By: Charge Damian R. Leader for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d) 
 
¶1. (C) MFA Head of Belarus Division Marijus Gudynas told Post 
October 17 that Lithuania is pleased with the recent European 
Council declaration temporarily suspending the travel ban on 
Belarusian President Lukashenka.  He said current Lithuanian 
policy toward Belarus will follow parallel tracks -- passive 
engagement with the political leadership and increased 
outreach to civil society, primarily through visa 
facilitation. 
 
¶2. (C) Gudynas said the Lithuanians plan to "remain cool" 
toward Lukashenka and other senior leaders.  There are no 
plans to offer engagement at the Presidential level, however 
they will consider any overtures that might originate from 
Minsk for such a meeting.  Gudynas noted that FM Vaitiekunas 
has made clear to Belarusian FM Martynov that the EU 
recognizes the significance of the recent release of 
political prisoners (reftel).  However the EU reacted in part 
to this release by deciding to temporarily suspend the travel 
ban on President Lukashenka.  Therefore, according to 
Gudynas, Lithuania thinks it is Belarus's turn to make the 
next move. 
 
¶3. (C) The Lithuanians will attempt to increase outreach to 
Belarusian civil society in the meantime.  Gudynas said the 
primary goal in the next six months is to work within the EU 
to reduce its Schengen Visa fee from 60 euros to 35 euros for 
Belarusians.  Gudynas said the MFA's informal polling of 
other EU members shows no opposition to this reduction; it is 
just a matter of getting a political agreement to do so.  The 
Lithuanians hope the reduced fee will ease the financial 
strain of obtaining a visa for ordinary Belarusians and 
encourage more of them to travel to "the West."  Gudynas also 
noted that the EU currently charges Russians only 35 euros 
for a Schengen Visa. 
LEADER