JBANC – Last week we celebrated 100 years of U.S.-Baltic relations. The three Baltic countries have been marking the centennial with the U.S. with various events and projects. The U.S. embassy in Estonia has published “100 moments that shaped the partnership between the United States and Estonia” online. The U.S. embassy in Lithuania is supporting celebratory events happening throughout Lithuania. The U.S. embassy in Latvia has shared a video about U.S.-Latvian relations.
Our dear friend Paul Goble, the eminent scholar and expert on Eastern Europe and Central Asia, has been kind enough to write and offer to us an insightful essay about the historical background of the relationship between the United States and the three Baltic countries. He traces historical events regarding the U.S.-Baltic relationship, and the important role of the Baltic American community, and gives us good reasons why we should remember these ties well beyond this centennial year.
As Goble writes: “One hundred years ago, the United States extended diplomatic relations to Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, beginning an unbroken tradition that involved both non-recognition policy and America’s involvement with including the three Baltic republics into the most important Western alliance, NATO. Each of these three events deserves to be celebrated on this anniversary, but more importantly, each can provide lessons that the Baltic governments and Baltic Americans need to continue to live by so that the second hundred years of Baltic-American diplomatic relations will be even more successful than the first.”
U.S. State Department Spokesman Ned Price on the 100th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania: “We stand together as close friends, strategic partners, and strong Allies, deeply committed to defending our democratic institutions, human rights, and liberty.”
Prepared Statement Submitted into the Record by U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), co-chair of the Senate Baltic Freedom Caucus, on the Centennial of Diplomatic Relations with the Baltics, July 28, 2022.
The Estonian Television documentary “The Estonian and U.S. Century: Unbroken Relations” (“Eesti ja USA sajand: katkematu suhe”), first aired on July 28, 2022 (in Estonian) – see also pg 5.
Anniversary of Welles Declaration Commemorated
For the seventh year, JBANC organized and commemorated the anniversary of the Welles Declaration at Rock Creek Cemetery in Washington, DC. We remembered the bravery of the Baltics, and United States diplomats Sumner Welles, Loy Henderson, and others. With principled American policy, we will never recognize Russia’s illegal occupation of Crimea and other parts of Ukraine.
We were joined at the event, which was held on July 22, by the embassies of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, along with the State Department, and the office of Senator Chuck Grassley.
JBANC has represented the Baltic-American communities and its three parent organizations, the American Latvian Association, the Estonian American National Council, and the Lithuanian American Council. Our goal has been to help coordinate their activities in Washington, DC with the U.S. Congress and administration and its related agencies in conjunction with issues related to Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. We have taken great pride in over half a century in joint Baltic cooperation and in being able to help coordinate and consolidate our common interests.
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