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JBANC members and State Department officials for the Baltic States in the lobby of the Department's main entrance

Estonian American National Council President Marju Rink-Abel and Washington, DC Director Karin Shuey were among members of the Joint Baltic American National Committee who met last week with the State Department’s Director for Nordic, Baltic, and Arctic Affairs Erika Olson, and the desk officers for the three Baltic nations. The group had a positive and open meeting and discussed the many areas where U.S.-Baltic relations remain strong and opportunities for ongoing cooperation.


Those opportunities include reinforcing the importance of NATO to security on both sides of the Atlantic and ensuring that the Enhanced Forward Presence deployments of troops and military equipment in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania maintain support throughout NATO.

 

U.S. engagement in European energy security and the Three Seas Initiative will help the nations along Europe’s eastern borders become better integrated from north to south and less dependent on Russia as a source of power.

 

These issues will likely be among the topics of discussion at the annual meeting of the Enhanced Partnership in Northern Europe (e-PINE) in Washington, DC on November 6th and 7th, where the political directors from the foreign services of the Baltic States, Nordic countries, and the U.S. gather to discuss issues impacting security in the region and globally.


Director Olson highlighted the Department’s plans to recognize the upcoming 75th anniversary of the end of World War II, and the 30th anniversary of the Soviet Union’s collapse, with several events.

 

Commemorations will include observances of events in the Baltics, such as the first time the newly independent nations held elections and their first meetings of Parliament. She also noted growing participation in media literacy and exchange programs, especially at the high school level, between the U.S. and Baltic nations.
The new nominee to take the Ambassador’s post in Tallinn, Mr. William Ellison Grayson, was also discussed. While his nomination is still in the early stages, EANC will follow the process closely and issue updates as milestones occur.


The three nations were commended as great U.S. partners working toward core shared values and making an impact globally. JBANC and EANC will continue to meet with the Nordic-Baltic-Arctic Affairs team regularly and keep readers informed on U.S. cooperation and support programs in Estonia and the Baltic region.

 

Karin Shuey
Washington, DC Director
Estonian American National Council
www.estosite.org

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