In the week leading up to the discussions taking place in Europe January 10-13 regarding Ukraine’s security and Western relations with Russia, Baltic Americans and the broader diaspora communities from central and eastern Europe have issued statements, letters, and calls to action to let U.S. policymakers know our concerns. The Estonian American National Council has been actively supporting and promoting these efforts.
Estonian American voters still have the opportunity to participate in the American Latvian Association’s latest call to action to contact the White House and Members of Congress (MoCs). The initiative calls out Russian President Putin’s revanchist agenda to restore the Cold War “spheres of influence” through its threats to Ukraine. It also encourages support for appropriations for robust security assistance for Ukraine and the Baltic countries, which has already been authorized in the Defense budget, and for existing legislation that protects European energy security.
EANC and the Joint Baltic American National Committee invite constituents to visit jbanc.org and use the sample letters posted there to email your Senators and Representative. Please also see the Senate NATO Observer Group’s January 10 letter to the White House and include a thank you if your Senator is a member. The letter is published on the group’s cochairs’ websites at shaheen.senate.gov under News/Press Releases and rubio.senate.gov under Newsroom for January 10. The JBANC page has a link to the Baltic Call to Action Unit, where you can sign up to receive personalized templates with direct links to your MoCs and all the information you need to support Baltic and transatlantic security. The unit releases initiatives quarterly on issues critical to U.S.-Baltic relations and security.
Several of our partner organizations have raised their voices in support of Ukraine recently. EANC’s Washington, DC Director Karin Shuey drafted the statement issued by the Central and East European Coalition, which is posted at ceecadvocacy.org. JBANC sent a letter to the White House to highlight the importance of effective U.S. policy during the meetings taking place in Europe, which is published in this week’s issue of VES. The Ukrainian Congress Committee of America and the Polish American Congress also wrote urgent and compelling appeals to the White House to protect Ukrainian independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity, along with the democratic values shared by Western partners and allies, as the Administration continues its leadership in talks regarding European security. Ensuring that no decisions about European security are made without participation by all of the nations concerned remained an important theme throughout these letters and statements.
Washington think tanks have also been vocal in their analysis of the Kremlin’s threats to Ukraine and stability in Europe. The Center for European Policy Analysis (CEPA) has published several relevant articles in recent weeks. Notable authors include Toomas Hendrik Ilves, Kurt Volker, retired Lieutenant General Ben Hodges, and Edward Lucas, all of whom are good friends of the Baltic and central and east European diaspora communities. Their analysis can be found at cepa.org/analysis/europes-edge. The Atlantic Council held an event on January 6 titled “What is Russia’s Endgame in Ukraine?” that featured retired General Wesley Clark, former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Evelyn Farkas, and former senior Ukrainian defense official Oleksandr Danyliuk. EANC’s Karin Shuey asked if the Baltic nations should be concerned about the implications of the January talks, which Dr. Farkas answered with a decisive, “Yes, absolutely.” She noted that Putin will continue to use incursions into the Baltics to test NATO’s resolve and push the alliance to determine what defines an Article 5 attack that NATO members would be bound to defend. The video of this event is posted at atlanticcouncil.org under Events/Upcoming events/Past.
EANC will closely monitor the discussions taking place in Geneva, Brussels, and Vienna and will keep our readers informed of significant developments and ways they can help protect Ukrainian, Baltic, and transatlantic security, and the democratic institutions on which it is based.
Washington, DC Director