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WikiLeaks: Yanukovych threatened Lithuania on Orange Revolution; Russia – for its support to Georgia

Petras Vaida, BC, Vilnius, 05.12.2010.Print version
A year after the Orange Revolution, the current President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych, being in the opposition at that time, threatened Lithuania with negative consequences for the then President Valdas Adamkus' participation in the "conspiracy" due to which Yanukovych lost his power. Two weeks after the Russian-Georgian war in 2008, the Kremlin threatened Lithuania for its support to Georgia, the French daily Le Monde also quotes the cables published in the WikiLeaks website.

Such conclusions may be drawn out from the message of the U.S. embassy in Kiev in March 2006, which was published on the WikiLeaks website on Friday.


In the letters of U.S. diplomats to Washington, Yanukovych's Party of Regions is described as a "shelter for criminal elements and oligarchs from Donetsk", and its member Rinat Akhmetov, the richest Ukrainian, is called "the godfather of the Donetsk clan."


Threats against Lithuania were uttered during Yanukovych's meeting with Lithuania's ambassador in December 2005 in Kiev. Yanukovych was angered by Adamkus' participation in the international mediation mission, which was aimed at reducing tensions in Ukraine in the aftermath of the Orange Revolution in 2004, writes LETA/ELTA.


The then Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski and the European Union's representative Javier Solana also took part in the mission.


"During his meeting with the Lithuanian ambassador in December 2005, the first after the Orange Revolution, Yanukovych immediately gave an offensive rant (at Lithuania), even though the mandatory polite diplomatic phrases had not been exchanged yet," says the American embassy's document.


"In December last year, you participated in the putsch. You allowed (the then Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma) to manipulate you in his own machinations. Therefore, your actions will have negative consequences for the future development of the relations between Lithuania and Ukraine," Yanukovych warned the Lithuanian ambassador.


The confidential messages of U.S. diplomats that were published by Wikileaks show that the Georgian-Russian conflict over South Ossetia led to wide international repercussions.


As noted in one of the documents of the U.S. Embassy in Vilnius, in 27 August 2008, Lithuania received threats from Moscow for supporting Tbilisi in the conflict. "Russian Ambassador to Lithuania Vladimir Chkhikvadze informed (the then) Lithuanian Foreign Minister Petras Vaitiekunas that Lithuania would "answer" for its support for Georgia," an American diplomat in Vilnius wrote to the U.S. government.


The Russian ambassador added that the Kremlin "would take special measures against Lithuania and that the country will pay for its behaviour", but the diplomat did not specify what those measures would be. One of the Lithuanian officials described Chkhikvadze's behaviour as "scandalous." "Therefore, Lithuania is asking NATO and the United States to demonstrate their support," the document says.


The same day, on August 27, the U.S. Embassy in Vilnius informed Washington about the conversation of German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the then Lithuanian President Valdas Adamkus after the Russian invasion in Georgia. "Russia has stultified any confidence that it won in the West over the last 20 years," stated Merkel.


According to the document, the German leader also said that it was necessary to open the way for Ukraine to NATO, although then Berlin officially opposed such a decision.

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