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Cablegate: Adamkus Joins Ukraine Mediation Effort

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS VILNIUS 001449

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV UK LH
SUBJECT: ADAMKUS JOINS UKRAINE MEDIATION EFFORT

REF: WARSAW 4981

Summary
-------

1. (U) Lithuanian President Valdas Adamkus traveled to Kiev
November 26 to join Polish President Kwasniewski's mediation
efforts as domestic political pressure for Lithuanian
engagement continued to mount. Though the scope and
direction of Adamkus's involvement remain unclear, his strong
democratic credentials should have a positive impact. End
summary.

Adamkus to Kiev
---------------

2. (U) Adamkus traveled to Kiev on November 26 to join
European mediation efforts to broker an end to the Ukrainian
political crisis. According to Adamkus's senior foreign
policy adviser Edminas Bagdonas, Ukrainian President Kuchma
had telephoned Adamkus early on November 25 to invite him to
join with Polish President Kwasniewski's efforts. Bagdonas
told the Ambassador that Adamkus was reluctant to insert
himself in the process, but after Kwasniewski encouraged him
in a phone call late on November 25, Adamkus had decided to
join the Kwasniewski mission.

3. (U) Adamkus advisers tell us it is still unclear how the
Kwasniewski/Adamkus mission will fit with that of EU foreign
policy chief Solana, but expressed certainty the two would
work in tandem. Foreign Minister Valionis publicly praised
the initiative November 25 as an important opportunity to
demonstrate Lithuania's leading role in the EU's regional
politics, but noted it included a significant risk of
failure.

Protest to Ukrainians
---------------------

4. (U) Separately, Valionis summoned the Ukrainian
Ambassador in Vilnius November 24 and telephoned Ukrainian
foreign minister Gryshchenko November 25 to protest reported
Ukrainian plans to publish fraudulent election results as
final. Valionis said Lithuania had been engaging in "quiet
but active" diplomacy to promote a resolution.

Pressure for Greater Activism
-----------------------------

5. (U) Valionis's engagement followed mounting popular
pressure for greater official Lithuanian activism on Ukraine
since the November 21 elections. Lithuania's leading daily
"Lietuvos Rytas" on November 26 sharply criticized what it
said was the government's lackluster response to the crisis,
and several political parties announced their support for
efforts to press Ukrainian authorities to investigate the
numerous cases of voter fraud. Despite the criticism, and
Adamkus's and Valionis's engagement, newly-reconfirmed Prime
Minister Brazauskas on November 25 publicly rebuffed calls
for a greater Lithuanian role in the crisis, asserting that
Lithuania should not involve itself in the internal affairs
of other states.

Comment: Seizing the Spotlight
------------------------------

6. (U) Lithuania prides itself as a small, but energetic
activist in supporting democracy in its troubled neighbors to
the east and south, so it is not surprising that Adamkus
would jump aboard this train without a very clear idea of
where it is heading. Despite the mission's unclear
prospects, Adamkus's solid democratic credentials should be
an asset in efforts to resolve the crisis in accordance with
democratic standards.
MULL

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