May 10, 2007
United States House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515
On behalf of the Joint Baltic American National Committee, Inc. (JBANC), representing one million Americans of Estonian, Latvian, and Lithuanian heritage, we are compelled to share our deepest concerns with you regarding the ongoing disinformation campaign directed by the Russian Federation against the Republic of Estonia.
Following the Estonian government’s decision to relocate a memorial to Soviet “liberators” in Tallinn in late April, the corresponding overreaction and Moscow propaganda offensive has included tacitly encouraged demonstrations in Tallinn and other locations in Estonia (organized locally by the Nashi extremist youth organization), cyber attacks against Estonian government and media websites, and official Russian Federation government invective against not only Estonia, but the European Union and its member countries, and the United States, which have all spoken up in solidarity with Estonia.
We ask that you stand with us in helping Estonia, our ally in NATO and member of the EU, fend off these unwarranted attacks. Moscow should be admonished for supporting such bullying and for interfering in the internal affairs of a sovereign nation. We look forward to your support of House legislation that would mirror S. Res. 187, passed May 3, which condemns those tactics.
Unfortunately, the Putin regime, with increasing energy wealth, has become decidedly more arrogant toward its neighbors while diverting attention from problems and dissatisfaction at home.
Russia needs to come to terms with its Soviet past and reconcile with its neighbors. On May 9 (as reported by the AP), Russian human rights activist Yelena Bonner called on her compatriots to do this: "We didn't liberate anyone, we weren't even able to liberate ourselves, although for four difficult years of war we hoped for it.”
Thank you for your attention and we look forward to working with you on this important matter.
Ramunas Kondratas, Ph.D.
Octobr 17, 2008 - President Bush Discusses the Visa Waiver Program
Office of the Press Secretary/
White House News
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you all. (Applause.) Please be seated, thank you. Welcome to the White House. I'm pleased to stand with the representatives of seven countries -- the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia, and South Korea -- that have met the requirements to be admitted to the United States Visa Waiver Program. Soon the citizens of these nations will be able to travel to the United States for business or tourism without a visa. I congratulate these close friends and allies on this achievement, and I thank you for joining us here.
I also thank Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Secretary of the Homeland -- Department of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff for working hard to make sure this day has finally arrived. Appreciate other members of the administration here and members of the Diplomatic Corps.
The Joint Baltic American National Committee, Inc.
400 Hurley Avenue
Rockville, MD 20850-3121