(Washington, DC) — The Central and East European Coalition calls on the 117th Congress to uphold the terms of the Budapest Memorandum and to continue supporting the enlargement of NATO during the upcoming Summit in Madrid.

Along with the just-concluded Three Seas Summit and European Union Council and G-7 meetings being held this week, this is a pivotal moment in which important decisions regarding Ukraine, Moldova, and Georgia must be solidified with a unified Western front. The decisions to grant Ukraine partnership status in the Three Seas Initiative, and to recommend Ukraine and Moldova for EU candidate status are critical steps in the right direction. But we should not split these countries from Georgia, which should also be in that category, as demonstrated by its democratic aspirations and the commitment of its people to Western values. The CEEC calls on NATO to also increase its force posture and armaments substantially in the Baltics and Poland, providing ironclad deterrence against any Russian attack by land, sea, or air. The CEEC also fully supports the accession of Finland and Sweden into the Alliance.

In compliance with the Budapest Memorandum of 1994, signed by the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom and the United States, Ukraine surrendered its nuclear arsenal in exchange for territorial integrity and sovereignty. This agreement was initially violated in 2014 when the Russian Federation invaded Crimea and Donbas and was further breached on February 24 with Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine. The United States, United Kingdom, and NATO must continue to fully support Ukraine in its vindication of Russia’s brutal violation.

Any success that Russia has against Ukraine has the potential for even more dangerous and costly consequences globally. Already, the war has effectively put Belarus under occupation of the Putin regime, which the CEEC strongly condemns. More broad consequences include an expansion of Russia’s warpath and destruction against other countries including NATO members, as well as encouraging mainland China to invade Taiwan. The CEEC supports substantially more U.S. assistance for Ukrainians, to help them survive the onslaught and drive out the Russian forces from their country. As part of a future peace process, full removal of the Russian military from all of Ukraine is non-negotiable. As a result, bringing Ukraine inside the Alliance is a natural and necessary step to secure future peace in the region and elsewhere in the world.

Ukrainians are being killed, displaced, and deported by invading Russians today. There is no question that Russia is engaging in terrorism, and the state should be designated as such, and that is why we support measures such as H.Res.1113 and S.Res.623, which call on the United States to do just that. Russia must be further sanctioned, with full implementation under the provisions of CAATSA. Congress must uphold the strategy that all countries being attacked by Russia are indeed being victimized by Russian aggression.

As America’s own Independence Day nears, we urge members of the Congress to continue to support Ukraine, Moldova, and Georgia with all our assurances for further cooperation and collaboration.

The Central East European Coalition (CEEC) is comprised of 18 national membership organizations that represent more than 22 million Americans of Central and Eastern European (CEE) descent. Our constituents have both a vested interest in supporting Ukraine and her freedom fighters, but also supporting peace and security within the CEE region and of our transatlantic partners and allies.

American Hungarian Federation • American Latvian Association • Armenian Assembly of America • Belarusian-American Association • Bulgarian Institute for Research and Analysis • Congress of Romanian Americans • Washington Chapter Czechoslovak National Council of America • Estonian American National Council • Georgian Association in the USA • Hungarian American Coalition • Joint Baltic American National Committee • Lithuanian American Council • Lithuanian American Community • National Federation of American Hungarians • Polish American Congress • Slovak League of America • Ukrainian Congress Committee of America • Ukrainian National Association

ceecadvocacy.org |  c/o Polish American Congress, 1612 K Street NW Suite 1200, Washington, DC 20006  |  ceecoalition@gmail.com

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