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JBANC delivers Ukraine support letters to all Senate offices

Washington, DC) – On April 14th JBANC delivered letters to all U.S. Senate offices to thank for support for Ukraine and also to urge for further steps to stop Russian aggression and deal with security issues in Ukraine and its Central and East European neighbors. 

Read full letter text below: 

April 14, 2014 
The Honorable .... 
United States Senate 
Washington, D.C. 20510 

Dear Senator .....: 

The Joint Baltic American National Committee, Inc. (JBANC), representing Americans of Estonian, Latvian, and Lithuanian heritage, has worked with Congress since 1961 to raise issues of interest and concern to the Baltic-American community, and to help formulate U.S. policy affecting the Baltic nations. 

Thank you for your support in passing H.R. 4152, the Support of the Sovereignty, Integrity, Democracy, and Economic Stability of Ukraine Act of 2014” (Public Law: 113-95), and S. 2183, “United States International Programming to Ukraine and Neighboring Regions” (PL: 113-96). Both were signed into law by President Obama on April 3. It is a start for assisting Ukraine in its time of need against the forces of Putin’s aggression. There is, however, much more work to be done, particularly now with Crimea completely occupied and Eastern Ukraine under assault, and worries in neighboring countries increasing daily. 

We encourage the swift implementation of these laws, and note Section 7 of PL: 113-95, dealing with appropriations for security cooperation and defense assistance to Ukraine and CEE countries, and directing the President to: 

(1) enhance security cooperation efforts and relationships amongst countries in Central and Eastern Europe and among the United States, the EU, and countries in Central and Eastern Europe; (2) provide additional security assistance, including defense articles, services, and military training, to countries in Central and Eastern Europe, including Ukraine; and (3) support reform and capacity-building efforts within the military, intelligence, and security services in Central and Eastern Europe, including Ukraine. 
In continuing to monitor the actions of Putin’s regime, we look for further support in identifying those in his government culpable of repressions and human rights violations and urge a significant expansion of the Magnitsky sanctions list, to both shine a light on serious abuses and to hold perpetrators accountable for their actions. 

Putin’s brazen tactics remind us of Hitler’s Anschluss, and Stalin’s campaign against the Baltics in 1939-40. This sets a dangerous precedent of undermining the sanctity of borders. Moscow has done this before, in its 2008 takeover of Georgian territory and continuing occupation of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. The growing legacy of Moscow’s meddling in the internal affairs of other countries demonstrates Putin’s vision about how Ukraine should be structured to suit Russia’s economic interests. It is a spectacle of direct instigation by the Kremlin, or at least one perpetuated by henchmen implanted there by Moscow for the purpose of fomenting unrest. 

The consequences affect us all. We look forward to working together on these critical issues of national security. 

Karl Altau 
Managing Director , Joint Baltic American National Committee

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  • Response
    We search for further backing in recognizing those in his administration at fault of suppressions and human rights infringement and desire a critical extension of the Magnitsky sanctions rundown, to both sparkle a light on genuine misuse and to consider culprits responsible for their activities.