The Joint Baltic American National Committee, Inc. (JBANC) vehemently condemns Russia’s ongoing aggression against Ukraine and its blatant breach of international law. It is not only an existential menace for Ukraine, but Moscow’s destabilizing belligerency endangers the region, Europe, and the global democratic order.
The United States and its allies must act now and seriously punish the Putin regime for its invasion of Ukraine and gross violations of its national sovereignty. JBANC welcomes the first steps taken by the U.S., its NATO partners, the European Union, Japan, and other entities to enact crippling sanctions against Russia’s ruling elite and to build deterrence against Russia’s reckless military adventurism. JBANC applauds bipartisan statements from U.S. lawmakers on legislative responses to support Ukraine, including supplemental funding to strengthen security assistance. This could also result in more funding to bolster NATO. We strongly support additional U.S. assets going to the Baltics to reinforce their defenses and gratefully acknowledge President Biden’s February 22 announcement of the imminent deployment of U.S. troops and equipment to that effect.
The Baltic American community rejects Putin’s decree to recognize Russian-occupied territories of Ukraine and the blatantly false historical narrative used to justify an invasion. These comments recall the days of Hitler and Stalin. The two tyrants used deceit, coercion, lies, and terror to move borders, carve up Europe, including the Baltic countries, and usher in the Second World War. As U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken stated, this call to recognize the regions is a “clear attack on Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
For years, the world has watched Putin’s kleptocratic mafia organization, which masquerades as the Russian government, terrorize Russia’s neighbors, and wreak increasing havoc around the world, whether by military infiltration of Belarus, creeping occupation in Georgia, bombings in Syria, energy blackmail, information warfare or cyberattacks.
As representatives of the Baltic American communities – Estonians, Latvians, Lithuanians – we stand with Ukraine and support its enduring independence and territorial integrity. Together, we will resist Russian aggression and fight to remain free.
JBANC represents the American Latvian Association, the Estonian American National Council, and the Lithuanian American Council.