2006-02-02 08:28:00
Embassy Vilnius
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E.O. 12958: N/A

REF: STATE 223383






E.O. 12958: N/A

REF: STATE 223383

1. The following is the response for Lithuania for the 2005
and 2006 Report on Allied Contributions to the Common
Defense. Unless otherwise stated, average exchange rate
used throughout the report is: 1 USD = 2.775 Lita.

General Assessment

2. (U) Lithuania is one of the United States' staunchest
allies in Europe and is an active participant in Operation
Iraqi Freedom (OIF),the International Stabilization and
Assistance Force (ISAF),and the Global War on Terrorism.
This small country on the European Union's border also
significantly contributes to the common defense by promoting
and strengthening relations with its neighbors, building a
reliable and compatible defense force, and participating in
international crisis prevention and response and
peacekeeping operations. The government works closely with
the USG on summit initiatives, including the NATO Response
Force, and on preventing the spread of weapons of mass
destruction. Since becoming a member of NATO and the EU in
2004, Lithuania has moved rapidly from recipient to donor
status, contributing financially and in kind and exceeding
expectations for a country of its size and resources.

3. (U) Lithuania is a reliable transatlantic partner and a
strong advocate of NATO's primacy as the guarantor of
security in Europe. Fully supporting the common security
policy for the Euro-Atlantic area, Lithuania strongly
advocates for 24/7 air policing coverage of the Baltics.
Lithuania supports Baltic air policing with a regional
airspace surveillance command and control center (RASCC) in
Karmeleva. Lithuania continues to strongly support the
joint Baltic mine clearance squadron (BALTRON) as part of a
regional effort in combating the active sea mine threat from
munitions laid during both World Wars and the Soviet era.
Lithuania endorses development of a European Security and
Defense Policy and capabilities that neither duplicate nor
undermine NATO's own. At the end of 2005, the first
Lithuanian battalion-sized task forces successfully
completed NATO assessment for readiness to conduct

deployments in support of NATO Article V operations.

4. (U) A rapidly expanding economy in 2004-2005 allowed the
Lithuanian government to increase defense spending in the
2006 budget by approximately 12%, but this increase was
insufficient to meet the targeted 0.05% of GDP annual rise
and just allowed Lithuania to hold fast at 1.27% of GDP for
defense. Despite sustained economic growth (an average 7%
annual increase in GDP for the five-year period),with a GDP
per capita of only 46% of the EU average, Lithuania has a
long way to go to bring its citizens' standard of living up
to EU levels. The government's social agenda dictated
budget priorities for 2006 spending. A last- minute push by
parliamentary supporters of a robust contribution to common
defense secured funding for aircraft acquisitions and
upgrades to the country's regional radar capability.
Military planners expect the funding shortfall will push
back deadlines for certain of Lithuania's military
transformation goals, including the ability to more rapidly
develop logistical units, fund air force modernization,
develop naval infrastructure, and accelerate the procurement
of specialized equipment for special forces units.

5. (U) Lithuania has politically and materially supported
the alliance's international missions, contributing a total
284 personnel and 36.616 million Litas (13.19 million USD)
to international operations in 2005. The parliament
facilitated Lithuania's support for international operations
by increasing the ceiling of deployable personnel to 420 and
empowering the military to deploy or redeploy troops within
theater without seeking explicit parliamentary

Contributions to the Global War on Terrorism


6. (U) Lithuania was an early supporter of U.S. policy and
coalition operations in Iraq, with troops on the ground
since 2003. Lithuanian soldiers serving under Danish and
Polish command in Iraq conduct patrols, assist in
maintaining public order, and are involved in rebuilding and
reconstructions efforts. By the end of 2005, approximately
116 Lithuanian personnel participated in Operation Iraqi
Freedom (OIF),serving under the Polish and Danish commands
(and with the United Kingdom in the Headquarters for
Multinational Division South East). In response to
increasing stability in Iraq and the increasing capability
of Iraqi military and law enforcement authorities, the GOL
announced its intention to reduce their numbers in OIF to
about 50, in concert with other U.S. and coalition
reductions. Lithuania also provides three trainers to the
NATO Training Mission - Iraq (NTM-I).


7. (U) Lithuania maintained a commitment of approximately
40 Special Operations Force (SOF) personnel and one staff
liaison officer to the U.S.-led Operation ENDURING FREEDOM
in Afghanistan through 2004-2005 and plans to return a SOF
unit in 2006. In 2005, Lithuania undertook to establish and
lead a NATO multinational Provincial Reconstruction Team
(PRT) in Afghanistan's remote Ghor Province. Since standing
up the PRT in August 2005, Lithuania's 124 personnel in
Chagcharan have had a significant impact on the stability
and quality of life of local residents, implementing water
sanitation projects, building bridges, and repairing and
reconstructing a community orphanage and local mosque. They
have identified the priorities for their humanitarian relief
projects in concert with local civic organizations,
contributing to nascent democracy-building initiatives and
regional security in the process. The overall Lithuanian
operational expense in Afghanistan was 14.512 million Litas
(5,229,550 USD) in 2005.

Within the Region:

8. (U) Lithuania's accession to the European Union and NATO
opened up new opportunities for the GOL to engage with its
neighbors to the east, most notably in the context of the
EU's "New Neighborhood" policy. Leveraging its historical
experience as part of the Soviet Union, Lithuania seeks to
assist the transition of former Soviet states to democracy
and integration into European western institutions such the
EU and NATO. In Belarus, the Lithuanian government supports
work with nascent democratic forces both unilaterally and
through regional frameworks such as the Enhanced Partnership
in Northern Europe (E-PINE). Lithuania is the NATO point of
contact in Minsk. President Valdas Adamkus was instrumental
in mediating the election crisis in Ukraine, and Lithuania
is one of the most vocal advocates for Ukraine's bid to
become a member of the EU and NATO. Lithuania supports
Moldova's aspiration to join the EU and encourages the
countries of the South Caucasus to pursue European
integration. Lithuania contributed 195,000 Litas (70,270
USD) for the training of South Caucasus and Ukrainian
officers' studies at the Lithuanian Military Academy and
50,000 Litas (18,018 USD) for the training of South
Caucasus, Moldovan, and Croatian officers' studies at the
Baltic Defense College.

Broader Middle-East and North Africa (BMENA):

9. (U) Lithuania supports the USG and European agenda
regarding Middle East peace, but has not been an active
player in this area. Lithuania has plans to host a
parliamentary exchange with Palestinian Authority
parliamentarians in 2006, having hosted a similar and very
successful program for Iraqi parliamentarians in 2004.


10. (U) Lithuanian soldiers have also performed as
peacekeepers in the Balkans, contributing 32 personnel and
7.153 million Litas (roughly 2.57 million USD) to KFOR in

2005. In 2006, Lithuanians will serve with Poles and
Ukrainians in a joint peacekeeping battalion in Kosovo.
Humanitarian Relief:

11. (U) The Lithuanian military offered more than 2,000
field rations, ten water pumps, and medical supplies to
victims of Hurricane Katrina, but the United States turned
down the offer. Following the 2005 earthquake in Pakistan,
a Lithuanian armed forces water purification unit (ten
personnel plus vehicles and equipment) deployed to and has
been participating in the NATO relief effort Operation SWIFT
RELEASE. Lithuania has expended 141,300 Litas (48, 724 USD
at an exchange rate of 1 USD = 2.9 Litas) in this operation.
Lithuania's PRT in Afghanistan has engaged in bridge
building, repaired a local mosque and an orphanage, and
provided a water purification system to the local hospital.
A Lithuanian military medical team also provides medical
services to the people of Ghor province.

Capacity Building:

12. (U) Lithuania actively seeks to help build capacity in
partner countries such as Ukraine, Moldova, Croatia, and the
South Caucasus. The GOL spends approximately 70,270 USD for
students from these nations to study at the Lithuanian
Military Academy and the Baltic Defense College. GOL
defense officials maintain their most extensive dialogue
with Ukrainian defense officials, focusing on administrative
capacity building and resource management. In general, the
GOL is eager to engage and share its experience in joining
NATO with new democracies in the region.

13. (U) Since EU Accession in 2004, Lithuania law
enforcement agencies have increased their efforts to impose
strict border and customs controls on the heavily transited
Lithuanian/EU borders with Belarus and Russia.
Counterproliferation Contributions:

14. (U) Lithuanian law enforcement authorities cooperate
fully on monitoring and freezing assets of suspected
terrorists. They are vigilant in counter- and non-
proliferation activities. Lithuania cooperates with the USG
on border control, port security, and export controls. The
GOL is a member of the Australia Group and signatory to the
Nuclear Proliferation Treaty. Lithuania fully endorses the
principles of the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI),
has participated in nearly every proliferation security
initiative exercise in Europe, and plans to host a table
exercise in 2006.

15. (U) In 2005, a senior Lithuanian customs official
attended Technical Experts Working group regarding nuclear
export control in Almaty. In 2005, Lithuanian officials
participated in developing a Lithuanian border security
assessment focused on the port of Klaipeda and the Russian
enclave of Kaliningrad. At the end of 2005, a delegation
from the Lithuanian Police and Prosecutor General's office
attended a Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI) border
exercise in Estonia.


16. (U) Lithuania continues to transform its military
capabilities in order to leverage interoperability,
particularly in the NATO context through its long-term
training and advisory program with the Danish military, to
certify the Lithuanian Rapid Reaction Brigade for NATO
Article V operations. Lithuanian Special Operations Forces
(SOF) have participated in a number of exchanges and
exercises with SOF from the United States and other allied
nations, and Lithuania air forces personnel participated in
the NATO COOPERATIVE KEY international air exercise in 2005.
Lithuanian military logistical personnel have completed the
US-provided Joint Interoperability, Readiness, and
Deployability Training (JDIRT) to improve load-out and cargo-
handling capabilities for international operations.

17. (U) As a new NATO member, Lithuania continues to
demonstrate its commitment to the alliance through its
personnel and monetary contributions for NATO Response
Forces (NRF) 5 & 6. For NRF 5, Lithuania will provide 35
Special Operations personnel, approximately 5 million Litas
(1.8 million USD) in national funds, as well as the
acquisition of long-term property. In support of NRF 6,
Lithuania will provide 50 Lithuanian Special Operations
personnel, a 10 person Water Purification Unit, and
approximately 4 million Litas (1.44 million USD).

18. (U) Lithuania continues to purchase significant
quantities of spare parts and equipment from the United
States. In FY2004-2005, U.S. foreign military sales to
Lithuania were valued at 11.46 million USD. Lithuania is
using FMF funding mixed with national funds to finance major
equipment and support which simultaneously modernize and
increase the interoperability of its armed forces. Over 4
million USD of U.S.-provided funds were used to purchase
HMMWVs to outfit the High Readiness Battalion. This
acquisition will further enhance the Lithuanian readiness
posture and continue to increase its level of
interoperability within its own force structure and with its
allies. Contractor support for Defense Reform was
continued, and Lithuania committed 1.341 million USD in FMF
in order to establish a national simulation center capable
of simulation exercises from squad to brigade level.
Lithuania also received U.S. grant funding through an OIF
supplemental, which it used in FY04 to procure individual
soldier equipment and night vision devices to support
Lithuanian troops deployed in Iraq.

19. (U) In 2005, Lithuania committed an additional 1.003
million USD in FMF for HMMWVs for their High Readiness
Battalion while continuing to support the RASCC with an
outlay of 1.2 million USD. The purchase of Automated
Aircraft Load Planning System (AALPS) software and training
will be used to better support joint US/Lithuanian
logistical support operations out of Zoknai Air Base,
Lithuania. This will also increase Lithuania's
interoperability with NATO and U.S. transport flights as
well as help to decrease the burden upon U.S. load masters
supporting monthly cargo flights in support of the PRT
mission from Lithuania to Afghanistan. The procurement of a
Lithuanian portable military mission/operations Geospatial
Support System mapping center valued at 160 thousand USD
will allow the production of local area maps and survey
materials for military commanders deployed in Iraq,
Afghanistan and the Balkans.

Direct Cost Sharing

20. (U) The United States has no permanent, forward-
deployed military presence in Lithuania; however, at the
beginning of FY 2006, the USAF deployed an expeditionary
fighter squadron to Zoknai Airbase to support the NATO
Baltic Air Policing mission. Lithuania procured weather-
protected aircraft shelters in FY 2005 for NATO Air Policing
aircraft at a cost of 5 million Litas (1.8 million USD).
Additionally, the GOL spent 8.4 million Litas (3.03 million
USD) for other Air Policing support costs in 2005.
Lithuania contributed 3.452 million Litas (1.243 million
USD) to the Air Control Unit in support of NATO's combined
air defense system. The Lithuanian Military has invested 10
million Litas (3.6 million USD) in the construction of a
cruise ship terminal in Klaipeda which can be used in a Host
Nation Support role during a NATO contingency operation.
Additionally, Lithuania contributes to common security
through NATO Security Investment Programs (NSIPs),where the
national cost comes to 10% of the project. Lithuania's
contribution in 2005 was approximately 5 million Litas (1.8
million USD).

Indirect Cost Sharing

21. (U) Lithuania reimburses the Value Added Tax (VAT) for
official purchases of services, materials, and supplies, to
include utilities and telecommunications. No customs duties
are charged for official imports. VAT and excise taxes are
waived for the purchase of petroleum/oil/lubricants (POL).
Navigation and landing fees are paid by the Ministry of

Operational Contributions

22. (U) Balkans: Lithuania contributed one staff/liaison
officer to TF ALTHEA (EU) and 32 troops to KFOR. The
overall Lithuanian operational expense in the Balkans in
2005 was 7.153 million Litas (2.58 million USD).

23. (U) Iraq: Lithuania contributed two trainers to the
NATO Training Mission-Iraq (NTM-I) and 114 troops to
OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM (although this number will drop to
approximately 50 troops in early 2006). The overall
Lithuanian operational expense in Iraq in 2005 was 14.810
million Litas (5.337 million USD).

24. (U) Afghanistan: Lithuania contributed one staff
liaison officer to CFC-A (OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM) and
124 troops to the Provincial Reconstruction Team in Ghor
Province (ISAF). The overall Lithuanian operational expense
in Afghanistan in 2005 was 14.512 million Litas (5.23
million USD).

25. (U) Pakistan: Lithuania contributed 10 personnel and
associated equipment and vehicles to SWIFT RELEASE, the NATO
earthquake relief operation in Pakistan. The overall
Lithuanian operational expense in Pakistan in 2005 was 141.3
thousand Litas (50.92 thousand USD).

26. (U) In total, Lithuania contributed more than 284
personnel and 36.616 million Litas (13.19 million USD) to
international operations in 2005.

27. (U) DOD Point of Contact: LTC R. Darr Reimers, Office
of Defense Cooperation, Embassy Vilnius, Tel: (+370) 266-
5641, DOS POC: Nancy Cohen, Embassy
Vilnius, Tel: (+370) 266-5541,