Viewing cable 09VILNIUS241
Title: CODEL TANNER VISITS VILNIUS

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
09VILNIUS2412009-05-04 06:36:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Vilnius
VZCZCXRO5279
PP RUEHIK RUEHPOD RUEHYG
DE RUEHVL #0241 1240636
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 040636Z MAY 09
FM AMEMBASSY VILNIUS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 3464
RUEHZG/NATO EU COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHKV/AMEMBASSY KYIV PRIORITY 0754
RUEHSI/AMEMBASSY TBILISI PRIORITY 0089
RUEHSK/AMEMBASSY MINSK PRIORITY
RUEHMO/AMEMBASSY MOSCOW PRIORITY 2688
UNCLAS VILNIUS 000241 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: OREP NATO PREL PGOV LH
SUBJECT:  CODEL TANNER VISITS VILNIUS 
 
¶1.  Summary.  Representatives John Tanner and Jo Ann Emerson visited 
Vilnius April 4-6.  The delegation attended NATO Parliamentary 
Assembly (PA) meetings and met with the Speaker of the Seimas 
(Parliament) Arunas Valinskas and several MPs.  Tanner and Emerson 
thanked MPs for Lithuania's contributions in Afghanistan and 
encouraged them both to amend Lithuania's residency law and address 
Jewish property restitution issues.  The visit received positive 
attention from the local media.  End summary. 
 
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NATO PA MEETINGS 
---------------- 
 
¶2.  The delegation attended the NATO PA meetings on April 5.  In a 
productive session, the NATO PA approved Bulgarian MP Assen Yordanov 
Agov as the Assembly's new Vice President.  Mr. Agov will replace 
outgoing NATO PA VP Rasa Jukneviciene who vacated the post to serve 
as Lithuania's Defense Minister.  The Assembly also discussed 
relations with the delegation of the Russian Federation and 
relations with Belarus. 
 
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BILATERAL ISSUES 
---------------- 
 
¶3.  Ambassador Cloud briefed the delegation on bilateral issues and 
accompanied them to an event hosted by Speaker Valinskas which also 
included MP Juozas Olekas, MP Emanuelis Zingeris and Director of the 
Seimas' International Relations Department Sigita Trainauskiene. 
Representatives Tanner and Emerson thanked the Lithuanians for their 
friendship and hospitality.  Tanner also noted that Lithuania's per 
capita contribution to Afghanistan is impressive.  In turn the MPs 
thanked the U.S. for its support throughout the Soviet occupation 
and its' role in regional NATO initiatives such as Baltic Air 
policing.  Tanner and Emerson urged the Lithuanian MPs to amend 
their residency law, which currently requires Americans (and other 
non-EU nationals) who are working in Lithuania to live in the 
country for two years before their family members can receive 
residency permits to join them.  The delegation inquired about 
Lithuania's energy strategy noting that Lithuania's nuclear power 
plant will be shut down at the end of this year (in compliance with 
EU commitments) leaving Lithuania increasingly reliant on Russia for 
energy needs.  MPs acknowledged the problem and said the GOL is 
working on a number of alternatives including a power link with 
Sweden.  Ambassador Cloud and Representatives Tanner and Emerson 
also encouraged the GOL to address Jewish property restitution 
issues. 
 
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SHORT VISIT, LASTING IMPRESSION 
------------------------------- 
 
¶4.  Comment.  Representatives Tanner and Emerson enjoyed a warm 
reception from GOL counterparts.  Their visit on the heels of the 
NATO Summit in Strasbourg underscored the strong working 
relationship that exists between the U.S. and Lithuania.  The visit 
and the NATO PA meetings received positive attention from local 
press. 
 
¶5.  CODEL Tanner cleared this cable. 
 
CLOUD