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Viewing cable 09STATE23860, U) Secretary Clinton's March 9, 2009

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09STATE23860 2009-03-13 03:03 2011-02-18 00:12 CONFIDENTIAL Secretary of State
Appears in these articles:
http://rusrep.ru/article/2010/12/20/lietuva/
VZCZCXRO8299
OO RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHNP RUEHROV RUEHSR
DE RUEHC #3860/01 0720407
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O P 130350Z MAR 09
FM SECSTATE WASHDC
TO RUEHVL/AMEMBASSY VILNIUS IMMEDIATE 1844
INFO RUEHBUL/AMEMBASSY KABUL PRIORITY 9314
RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO PRIORITY 5150
EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 STATE 023860 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/17/2029 
TAGS: MARR PREL PINS PGOV PHUM NATO EUN ENRG AF
RS, GG, UP, BO, LH 
SUBJECT: (U) Secretary Clinton's March 9, 2009 
Conversation with Lithuani...

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 STATE 023860 SIPDIS E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/17/2029 TAGS: MARR PREL PINS PGOV PHUM NATO EUN ENRG AF
Conversation with Lithuanian Foreign Minister Vygaudas Usackas
1. (U) Classified by EUR Assistant Secretary Daniel Fried for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d).
2. (U) March 9, 2009, 2:00 - 2:30, Washington, D.C.
3. (U) Participants: U.S. The Secretary EUR Assistant Secretary Daniel Fried Deputy Spokesman Robert Wood NSC Director Maria Germano EUR/NB Desk Officer Carol Beilman Werner (Notetaker) Lithuania Foreign Minister Vygaudas Usackas Ambassador Audrius Bruzga PM Foreign Affairs Advisor Mykolas Majauskas Head of MFA Transatlantic Relations Jonas Daniliauskas Defense Attache Colonel Antanas Jurgaitis DCM Tomas Gulbinas
4. (C) SUMMARY. Secretary Clinton's March 9 meeting with Lithuanian Foreign Minister Usackas covered NATO, Russia, democracy promotion, and Jewish communal property restitution. The Secretary assured FM Usackas that the U.S. and NATO took seriously the Alliance's collective defense obligation, and would use the NATO-Russia Council (NRC) both to advance shared interests with Russia but also to hold Russia accountable for its actions. Both FM Usackas and Secretary Clinton expressed support for NATO enlargement as well as the need for the EU to take concrete action on diversifying its sources of energy. Assistant Secretary Fried promised to provide FM Usackas the U.S. position on democracy promotion in Belarus for the Minister to convey to President Lukashenka. Secretary Clinton expressed her appreciation for Lithuania's conditional decision to accept Guantanamo detainees. She urged Lithuania to reach agreement with the local and international Jewish communities on a draft bill for the restitution of Jewish communal property, and to use Lithuania's upcoming chairmanship of the Community of Democracies (CD) to change the CD's focus from talk to action.
 END SUMMARY.
---- NATO ----
5. (C) FM Usackas expressed his appreciation for the Secretary's support for NATO enlargement at the March 5 Ministerial. The Secretary told FM Usackas that the U.S. hoped to work closely with Lithuania in preparing for the NATO Summit, noting that NATO needed to be reinvigorated and faced many important challenges in addition to Afghanistan and Iraq. Usackas replied that Lithuania needed to achieve a better balance between overseas missions and territorial defense, adding that while Lithuania would continue contributing to NATO missions abroad, it wanted more signs of NATO support at home. The Secretary assured Usackas that the United States and the entire Alliance took the Article 5 collective defense obligation very seriously. The Secretary thanked Usackas for his forceful intervention on the NRC's resumption at the March 5 NATO ministerial, adding that the NRC should be seen not as a reward for bad behavior but rather as a mechanism to hold Russia accountable and to advance common interests.
------ Russia ------
6. (C) Describing the impact of the Georgia crisis in Lithuania, FM Usackas reiterated his government's desire for NATO contingency planning against a possible threat from Russia. He said that while Lithuania recognized the need for constructive relations with Russia, history had shown that only consistency and firmness can bring Russia to agreement. The Secretary said the real question was whether we could accomplish more by ignoring or engaging with Russia. The Obama administration seeks to engage Russia to seek to advance a constructive agenda -- which STATE 00023860 002 OF 003 SUBJECT: (U) Secretary Clinton's March 9, 2009 Conversation with Lithuanian Foreign Minister Vygaud would help NATO to identify Russia's true agenda -- while realistic about Russia and prepared to handle more difficult scenarios.
7. (C) The Secretary emphasized the importance of transatlantic support for Georgia and its Euroatlantic aspirations, but added that she had warned Georgia not to allow itself to be provoked by Russia. She believed Russia was still dealing with the aftermath of its invasion of Georgia and that many in its government were starting to question the decision to recognize the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia
------- Ukraine -------
8. (C) The Secretary and FM Usackas agreed that the inability of Ukrainian President Yushchenko and Prime Minster (PM) Tymoshenko to work together was playing into the hands of the Russians. Usackas said the EU could not provide the support Ukraine needed, explaining that the EU had enlargement fatigue. He said that at a recent meeting of the EU's Eastern Partnership, representatives privately had said the real goal of the partnership was to keep countries like Ukraine out of the EU. FM Usackas argued that only the United States could convince the Ukrainian President and PM to cooperate for the good of their country; the EU would follow the U.S. lead. The Secretary replied that President Yushchenko was so politically weak now that we had to deal first with the political incapacity in Kyiv.
--------------- Energy Security ---------------
9. (C) FM Usackas argued that energy security should be put on the EU agenda and suggested that the U.S. needed to convince EU members of the importance of gas-line diversification. The Secretary noted that Europe's energy security remained a high priority for us, and that we would soon appoint a Special Envoy for Eurasian Energy. She shared Usackas' frustration with the EU's lack of initiative on the issue, saying she had recently spoken to the EU Parliament, the EU Commission, and the Czech Presidency about taking action to diversify Europe's energy sources.
------- Belarus -------
10. (C) FM Usackas observed that in response to recent positive signals from President Lukashenka, the West needed to engage and help Belarus to democratize. He said he would like to convey to Lukashenka current U.S. thinking on Belarus. Assistant Secretary Fried said that the U.S. would work with Lithuania on the right message.
-------------------- Guantanamo Detainees --------------------
11. (C) The Secretary thanked FM Usackas for Lithuania's conditional acceptance of two Uzbeks from Guantanamo, saying she especially appreciated Lithuania's being one of the first allies to publicly make such an offer. FM Usackas said Lithuania would finalize the detainees' transfer once it was certain doing so was aligned with EU policy.
------------------------ Jewish Communal Property Restitution ------------------
12. (C) Raising the subject of Jewish communal property restitution, the Secretary observed that members of Congress had taken a keen interest in the issue. She emphasized that the GoL needed to secure the support of local and international Jewish communities for any restitution legislation. FM Usackas asserted that the bill under consideration was but a first draft, cautioning that passage would be difficult in the current economic crisis. He added that a lack of agreement among Jewish groups on a resolution to the problem had also delayed progress.
------------------------ Community of Democracies STATE 00023860 003 OF 003
 13. (C) With respect to Lithuania's upcoming CD chairmanship, the Secretary said she hoped Lithuania could move the CD's focus from discussion to action. She suggested the CD provide technical assistance to the many countries that did not have the wherewithal to consolidate democratic gains.
CLINTON