RIGA - It is important that the United States' position is made clear to Russian President Vladimir Putin and his regime that Moscow's attempts to reestablish its hegemony and authoritarian influence over the Baltics will not be tolerated, the American Latvian Association (ALA) said in a media statement.
In response to the recent NATO Summit in Brussels, U.S. President Donald Trump's meeting in Helsinki with Putin and various statements made in the press afterwards, the American Latvian Association seeks to reiterate the organization's strong support for NATO and the transatlantic relationship between the United States and its European allies.
In its 70th year, NATO continues to protect the American interests of peace and stability in Europe - especially in the Baltic countries of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia - and continues to grow in consequence and value. As the most successful alliance in history, NATO's enduring strength demonstrates the United States' unceasing leadership role in the world, the association said.
"NATO continues to evolve and fulfill its mission. We welcome the new initiatives announced in Brussels including the "Four Thirties" readiness plan that calls for 30 mechanized battalions, 30 air squadrons and 30 combat vessels, ready to use within 30 days or less, for defending NATO members," said the association.
NATO is also creating two new command structures - one in Norfolk, United States, to counter maritime threats, and one in Ulm, Germany, enabling more efficient logistics for transporting troops and military equipment throughout Europe. In addition, it will develop a new Cyber Operations Center, an operational compliment to NATO's Cooperative Cyber Defense Center of Excellence in Tallinn.
ALA also thanks the leadership in Congress for fulfilling its role in U.S. foreign policy and reacting quickly to international developments. The association appreciates the recent bi-partisan, unanimous Senate resolution rejecting the idea that certain individuals including a former U.S. ambassador to Russia should be subject to a contrived Russian investigation of Putin critics.
ALA encourages continued congressional oversight, including support for the European Deterrence Initiative, and legislation to counter Russian disinformation campaigns and Moscow's continuing aggression in Crimea, Ukraine, Georgia and elsewhere.