Viewing cable 09VILNIUS661
Title: AMBASSADOR'S INITIAL MEETING WITH INTERIOR MINISTER

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
09VILNIUS6612009-12-08 15:37:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Vilnius
VZCZCXYZ0007
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHVL #0661 3421537
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 081537Z DEC 09
FM AMEMBASSY VILNIUS
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 3951
C O N F I D E N T I A L VILNIUS 000661 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/03/2019 
TAGS: PGOV SMIG LH
SUBJECT: AMBASSADOR'S INITIAL MEETING WITH INTERIOR MINISTER 
 
Classified By: Ambassador Anne E. Derse for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d). 
 
¶1.  (C)  SUMMARY:  In her introductory call on Interior 
Minister Raimundas Palaitis, Ambassador Derse heard that all 
public-safety and other Ministry employees would face 2 
percent salary cuts under the GOL's proposed 2010 budget. 
These severe budgetary constraints have left the GOL with 
very limited financial means to fund programs designed to 
combat trafficking in persons (TIP) in 2009 and 2010, though 
some funding will be restored after that.  The Minister 
affirmed TIP remains an important priority for the GOL, and 
reductions in funding are temporary and due only to the 
extreme financial pressure the government is under.  They do 
not signal a lessening of commitment to fight the problem. 
The minister also noted that NGOs are very active and the GOL 
continues to do what it can to support them. End summary. 
¶2.  (C)  Ambassador Derse paid an introductory call on the 
Minister of Interior, Raimundas Palaitis, on December 3. 
Vice Minister Stanislovas Liutkevicius, who is the national 
coordinator for Lithuania's anti-TIP efforts, also attended. 
The minister said the GOL's 2010 budget might be approved on 
December 10; budget discussions and preparations have 
consumed nearly all the time and effort of government and 
parliamentary officials in recent weeks.  The proposed budget 
calls for police, firefighters and all other Interior 
Ministry staff to take pay cuts of about 2 percent, the 
Minister told the Ambassador. 
 
¶3.  (C)  Lithuania, which has compiled a good record on 
anti-TIP efforts in recent years, will have limited funding 
to pay for anti-trafficking programs it has supported in the 
past, the ministry officials said.  The GOL has spent about 
400,000 LTL (175,000 USD) annually on such programs in recent 
years, but has zeroed out those budget lines for 2009 and 
2010 because of the economic crisis, Liutkevicius said.  The 
funding, most of which goes to help NGOs that provide support 
to trafficking victims, is expected to be restored for 2011 
and 2012, he said.  In all, Liutkevicius said, the GOL has 
spent about 5 million LTL (2.2 million USD) on 
anti-trafficking programs, mostly in the form of assistance 
to NGOs working with victims.  The Norwegians and Swiss have 
stepped in to help support NGOs that the GOL could not afford 
to assist for this year and next year, though, and the NGOs 
continue to operate, he said.  Police and prosecutors 
continue to work on trafficking cases and the GOL is doing 
all it can to fight trafficking, but budgetary problems have 
made that more difficult, he said. 
DERSE