Viewing cable 09VILNIUS160
Title: NATO KFOR MISSION: LITHUANIA PULLING OUT,

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
09VILNIUS1602009-03-25 10:39:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Vilnius
O 251039Z MAR 09
FM AMEMBASSY VILNIUS
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3382
INFO ALL NATO POST COLLECTIVE
C O N F I D E N T I A L VILNIUS 000160 
 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/23/2019 
TAGS: MOPS MARR PREL NATO KPKO KV AF LH
SUBJECT: NATO KFOR MISSION:  LITHUANIA PULLING OUT, 
SHIFTING FOCUS TO AFGHANISTAN 
 
REF: A. STATE 26179 
     ¶B. VILNIUS 84 
 
 
Classified By: Ambassador John A. Cloud for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d). 
 
¶1. (U) Lithuanian Defense Minister Rasa Jukneviciene 
announced Lithuania's plans to terminate participation in 
KFOR at the March 24 deployment ceremony for its 20th (and 
last) KFOR rotation.  In comments to the media, Jukneviciene 
said the decision would allow Lithuania to concentrate on 
Afghanistan.  She did not announce a precise date for the 
Lithuanian troops to withdraw from KFOR, but estimated that 
the current deployment would last less than six months. 
 
¶2. (C) Chief of Defense, LTG Valdas Tutkus, told Ambassador 
March 23 that the decision had already been coordinated with 
the Ukrainians and Poles.  MFA Transatlantic Cooperation and 
Security Policy Department Director Vytautas Leskevicius told 
us March 24 that several officers would remain in Kosovo as 
part of the training mission there, even after the rest of 
the troops withdrew. 
 
¶3. (C) In a February 5 meeting, Jukneviciene previewed to 
Ambassador Lithuania's plans to withdraw from Kosovo, 
explaining that this would allow for additional troops to be 
sent to its PRT in Ghor province during the summer elections, 
and might also help fund the expansion of Lithuania's SOF 
deployment in the south (ref B).  Leskevicius was more blunt, 
saying that pulling out of Kosovo "is the price for 
increasing in Afghanistan."  He confirmed that Lithuania's 
SOF troops had already increased to 69, and said the extra 
platoon for Ghor would remain through at least the end of 
October.  In addition, despite a tight budget situation, the 
GOL has found 20,000 euros to contribute to the ANA Trust 
Fund. 
 
 
CLOUD