Viewing cable 09VILNIUS305
Title: LITHUANIA ASKS FOR HELP WITH AFGHAN PRT

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
09VILNIUS3052009-06-04 13:52:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Vilnius
O 041352Z JUN 09
FM AMEMBASSY VILNIUS
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3539
INFO ALL NATO POST COLLECTIVE
AMEMBASSY ABU DHABI 
AMEMBASSY DOHA 
AMEMBASSY KABUL 
AMEMBASSY KUWAIT 
AMEMBASSY MANAMA 
AMEMBASSY MUSCAT 
AMEMBASSY RIYADH
C O N F I D E N T I A L VILNIUS 000305 
 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/03/2019 
TAGS: MOPS MARR AF LH
SUBJECT: LITHUANIA ASKS FOR HELP WITH AFGHAN PRT 
 
REF: A. VILNIUS 194 
     ¶B. VILNIUS 172 
     ¶C. VILNIUS 125 
     ¶D. 08 VILNIUS 475 
 
Classified By: Ambassasdor John A. Cloud for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d). 
 
¶1.  (SBU)  Summary and Action Request:  Lithuanian MFA 
Secretary Asta Skaisgiryte Liauskiene called in DCM and DAO 
on 27 May to outline Lithuania's unsuccessful efforts to find 
donors for development projects at its Ghor Province PRT, 
especially the paving of the airport runway to allow military 
supply aircraft to land.  Lithuania has approached a number 
of Gulf and other states for donations but has received no 
commitments; she asked  for  the USG to encourage these 
countries to contribute.  If that is unsuccessful, she asked 
for USG direct assistance in paving the runway.  She also 
asked for any clarity we can provide on GOA assistance in 
Ghor.  We explained the USG and others have many development 
requirements in Afghanistan, but promised to pass the message 
to Washington. 
 
¶2.  (SBU)  Embassy Vilnius is not in a position to judge 
where Ghor Province falls among other demands.  Lithuania 
undertook this PRT at the USG's encouragement and its ability 
to continue to sustain the Ghor PRT would be jeopardized if 
the runway is inadequately paved.  Lithuania hopes to 
maintain its presence in Afghanistan until at least 2013.  We 
encourage the Department to do what it can to help the GOL, 
including requesting our embassies in potential donor states 
to push for the support necessary to maintain Lithuania's 
presence.  End summary and action request. 
 
¶3.  (SBU)  MFA  U/S Skaisgiryte Liasuskiene and 
representatives of the MFA and MoD explained that Lithuania 
met with officials of Oman, UAE, Qatar, and Kuwait at a 
recent conference in Oman and described the four development 
projects it needs in Ghor Province:  paving the runway, 
improving the Herat-Chagcharan-Kabul road, building a 
hospital and a children's center.  None agreed to fund any 
projects.  Lithuania reiterated its pitch during a recent 
meeting with the UAE Foreign Minister in Vilnius.  While 
Foreign Minister Usackas described this meeting as positive, 
it has had no concrete results. 
 
¶4.  (SBU)  Lithuania has also approached Denmark, Germany, 
Ireland, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Canada and India without 
result.  Skaisgiryte Liauskiene asked for USG follow-up with 
the Arab states because it does not have embassies in those 
capitals, but more importantly because of the USG's influence 
in the region.  Lithuania has also worked with Japan and 
South Korea to obtain assistance in Ghor.  Although it 
recently seconded a small number of experts to the PRT, Japan 
says it cannot fund any infrastructure projects this year. 
Lithuania is in dialogue with South Korea and still hopes 
assistance may be found there. 
 
¶5.  (SBU)  Skaisgiryte Liauskiene also said Lithuania is 
having great difficulty in getting clarity from the Afghan 
Ministry of Transport about its plans in Ghor, in particular 
whether it plans to pave the runway to a lower standard than 
is needed to operate larger aircraft.   She asked for insight 
the USG might have into GOA thinking. 
 
¶6.  (SBU)  The GOL would also follow up on the recent Rome 
Conference on Afghanistan.  It would be willing to organize a 
follow-on conference with participants from capitals as well 
as NATO and UN organizations.  We were asked whether the USG 
thought such a conference would be useful for making concrete 
progress. 
 
¶7. (C) Comment:   The GOL took on leadership of the PRT at 
the USG's behest and has at times struggled, financially and 
logistically, to maintain it.  After several years, it has 
finally reached the point where the military side is going 
smoothly.  Its civilian efforts are another story.  It has 
chalked up some small successes, but its limited  foreign 
assistance budget -- tiny most years, infinitesimal  this 
year with the country staring down a 15 percent or greater 
contraction in GDP -- has been a sore point.  Normally the 
impact is to make Lithuania feel inadequate, next to 
better-funded allies in other provinces, and to rile up 
Ghor's residents, who are aware that other provinces are 
getting more aid. 
 
¶8. (C) In the case of the runway at Chagcharan, however, the 
situation is different.  The GOA seems anxious to upgrade it, 
and has already begun making improvements to other parts of 
the airport.  The Lithuanians believe (and we have heard from 
other sources) that if the GOL does not come up with 
financing soon, the GOA will go ahead and pave the airstrip 
to a thickness that will not support the C-130s that have 
been critical for supplying the PRT.  Should that happen, we 
suspect the Lithuanian PRT may become unsustainable. 
 
 
CLOUD