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September 27-28

Protest in NYC

 

Putin is visiting the United States for the first time in 10 years to address the United Nations.
  • A coalition of Ukrainian, Polish, Belarusan, Georgian, Circassian, Crimean Tatar, Latvian, Lithuanian, Estonian and Russian activists will protest three times
  • Sunday, September 27 from 10:00a-12:00 pm at Dag Hammarskjöld Plaza (East 47th Street & 1st Ave) 
  • Sunday, September 27 from 2:30p-4:30 pm at the Russian Mission to the United Nations (East 67th Street & Lexington Ave)
  • Followed by a sidewalk march from Grand Army Plaza at 59th Street and 5th Ave beginning at 1:30pm towards the Russian Mission 
  • Monday, September 28 from 10:00a-12:00 pm at Dag Hammarskjöld Plaza (East 47th Street & 1st Ave) 
The American European Solidarity Council (AESC), founded by Americans active in the Eastern European, Baltic and Caucasian ethnic communities in the United States, calls on all Americans to share in our outrage at Russian revanchist actions and the danger these represent for the national interests of the United States, its Trans-Atlantic allies, partners and friendly nations in Europe and elsewhere. The aggression demonstrated by the Russian Federation in the recent invasions of Ukraine and Georgia, attempting to redraw the map of Europe through force, is an open challenge to the very foundation of international law and democratic values across Europe and beyond. All former subjugated nations of Russian Imperial and Soviet expansions now see their recent developments imperiled. 

The AESC and the United Ukrainian American Organizations of New York of the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America call for our supporters to stand with us and share our outrage in person as Vladimir Putin visits the United States for the first time in 10 years. Please join us in solidarity at the following locations as we demand the release of political prisoners, the restoration of sovereign borders, an international tribunal to prosecute those who shot down MH17, and call for a for an end to Putin’s War of expansion. Join us now, before it’s too late.
 

JBANC Engages Congress Regarding the Baltic Caucus

Congressman Doug Lamborn of Colorado Becomes Most Recent Member
 
(Washington, DC) – The Joint Baltic American National Committee, Inc. (JBANC) is in the midst of engaging with offices in the United States House of Representatives to encourage Representatives to join the House Baltic Caucus.

Over the course of the past week, more than 300 visits were made to request that members of Congress join the caucus. The Baltic Caucus was established in 1997, and is currently co-chaired by Representatives John Shimkus (R-IL) and Adam Schiff (D-CA).
 
On September 18, the office of Colorado Republican Congressman Doug Lamborn announced that he would join the caucus, raising the membership to 50. Rep. Lamborn represents the 5th congressional district of Colorado, which includes the city of Colorado Springs. Among other assignments, he serves on the Armed Services Committee, including Emerging Threats and Capabilities, and Strategic Forces subcommittees.
 
JBANC welcomes Congressman Lamborn to the Baltic Caucus and thanks him for advancing U.S-Baltic relations and democratic values!
 
In its letter to House members, JBANC stated that the Baltic-American “communities remain active in promoting democratic principles and human rights, and have been keen on working to support legislation bolstering the defense of the Baltic countries, and in defending Ukraine. Moscow’s aggression - both militarily and via its ceaseless disinformation – threatens Ukraine, the Baltic countries as NATO front line defenders, and the transatlantic community of democracies as a whole.”
 
For more information and resources on the House Baltic Caucus, please visit the website:

housebalticcaucus.webs.com
 
 


CEEC Hosts September 16 Congressional
Briefing in the U.S. Capitol


The Joint Baltic American National Committee, Inc. (JBANC) participated in the Central and East European Coalition's (CEEC) congressional briefing on September 16th. Congressman John Mica (FL-7) addressed the event, along with two staff members from the Senate Foreign Relations Committee under Ranking Member Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) - Damian Murphy and Brittany Beaulieu. A representative from Rep. Marcy Kaptur's (OH-9) also attended. JBANC Managing Director Karl Altau moderated the discussion. In attendance were members from many of the CEEC's 18 national organizations and communities, including the Estonian, Latvian, and Lithuanian communities. 

The purpose of the briefing was to hear from Members of Congress and their staffs on their recent travels to the Central and East European region. Over 40 Members of Congress have visited Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania this year alone. The CEE region has been experiencing much stress, both externally and internally, particularly due to the aggression of Putin's regime in Russia. The briefing took place in the Capitol Visitor Center.  
 
The CEEC is an alliance of U.S.-based ethnic organizations representing over 20 million Americans and 13 communities. 

For more information about the CEEC, please see: http://ceecoalition.us/
 

New U.S. Ambassador to Estonia James Melville meets with JBANC and Estonian-American representatives

(Left to right: Erik Lazdins of JBANC, Toivo Tagamets of MEEC, Ambassador
James Melville, Marju Rink-Abel of EANC, and Karl Altau of JBANC).

The new United States ambassador to Estonia, James Melville, met with representatives of JBANC, the Estonian American National Council (EANC), and the Maryland Estonia Exchange Council (MEEC) on September 10 at a State Department meeting arranged by JBANC. Under discussion were Estonian - American connections and the role of the organizations present at the meeting, concerns of Estonian Americans, and the new ambassador's plans during his appointment. Ambassador Melville will move to Estonia later this autumn. 

Ambassador Melville was nominated by President Obama on May 06, with a Senate nomination hearing following on July 22. His nomination was confirmed by the Senate on August 05.

Originally from New Jersey, Ambassador Melville most recently served as the Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. embassy in Berlin, from 2012 to 2015. Prior to that, he was Executive Director of the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs and the Bureau of International Organization Affairs at the Department of State from 2010 to 2012. He has also served at U.S. embassies in London (2008 – 2010), Moscow (2005 - 2008), Paris (2001 - 2005), and at the U.S. NATO Mission in Brussels (1997 - 2001). Ambassador Melville received a B.A. from Boston University and J.D. from Rutgers University. 

Pictured from left are Erik Lazdins, JBANC; Toivo Tagamets, MEEC; Ambassador James Melville; Marju Rink-Abel, EANC; and Karl Altau, JBANC. 

(Photo courtesy of Toivo Tagamets).
 


The Large Ethnic Russian Minority in Latvia and the Impact of the Ukraine Crisis


Russia’s aggression in Ukraine and the lies about “compatriot” discrimination in the Baltic countries, which are widely believed in Russia, have fueled concerns that the large Russian-speaking minority in Latvia might be similarly used as a pretense for intrusion. While Latvian membership in the EU and NATO is trusted to deter military invasion, concerns have been voiced that the Russian-speaking community might be stirred by Russian media to cause unrest and calls for separation. This is particularly true in the eastern part of Latvia. Overall, pro-Putin sentiments remain high among Russophones, but no real radicalization has been observed within the Russian-speaking population, except for isolated incidents. There are even some changes in attitudes among Russian-speakers due to the crisis in Ukraine, which gives ground for some cautious optimism.

Former JBANC Program Assistant Alise Krapane spoke at a June 17, 2015 forum entitled “Young Leaders Discussion on the Future of Baltic Security.” The event took place at the SAIS Center for Transatlantic Relations at Johns Hopkins University. Her remarks have been slightly modified.
 
Russia and Its Northern Neighbors

Alise Krapane in "Russia and Its Northern Neighbors"

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