US bill on Russia sanctions envisages deepening military and economic ties with Baltic states

  • 2022-01-13
  • LETA/TBT Staff

WASHINGTON - A bill on the United States' response to Russia's potential repeated attack on Ukraine, released by Democrat senators on Wednesday, has a section dealing with Baltic security among other things. 

The draft document says that supporting and bolstering the security of the Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania is in the national security interests of the United States.

Authors of the bill indicate that the Baltic states are critical in countering Russia's aggression and maintaining the collective security of the NATO alliance.

"The United States should continue to support and foster a security partnership with the Baltic states that aims to meet their security needs and provides additional capabilities and tools to help defend against aggression by the Government of the Russian Federation in the region," the draft legislation says.

The bill says that the United States should encourage the initiative undertaken by the Baltic states to advance the Three Seas Initiative to strengthen transport, energy, and digital  infrastructures among eastern Europe countries.

The authors of the bill also point out that there are mutually beneficial opportunities for increased investment and economic expansion be tween the United States and the Baltic states.

The bill also calls for a Baltic Security and Economic Enhancement Initiative, which would be intended to ensure the efficient and effective delivery of security assistance to the Baltic states, prioritizing assistance that will bolster defenses against hybrid warfare and improve interoperability with NATO forces. 

The initiative would also bolster US support for the Baltic region’s physical and energy security and mitigate the impact of economic coercion by the Russia and China on the Baltic states.

As part of the initiative, high-level representatives of the US Department of State would be sent to the Baltic states not less frequently than twice a year; and major regional fora on physical and energy security, including the Three Seas Initiative Summit and Business Forum and the Baltic Sea Security Conference. 

The US Department of State would also be tasked with convening an annual trade forum in coordination with the Baltic governments. 

Lastly,  the bill envisages fostering dialogue between experts from the United States and from the Baltic states on hybrid warfare, cyber defenses, economic expansion, and foreign direct investment.