BAFL seeks action over dueling resolutions

A resolution urging NATO membership for the Baltic states is stalled in a subcommittee of Congress, so Baltic-Americans are being asked to contact their legislators to push for its adoption.

Valdis Pavlovskis, president of the Baltic American Freedom League, issued a call to action regarding HCR 116 in a letter circulated via e-mail.

In the meantime, BAFL appears concerned that another resolution might gain more favor, although the group says it supports both. HCR 116, which recommends integration of the Baltics into the NATO defense alliance, was introduced April 26, 2001, by Rep. John Shimkus (R-Ill.). The resolution was referred to the House Committee on International Relations’ Subcommittee on Europe.

While HCR 116 has seen little movement for more than a year, the chair of the subcommittee, Rep. Elton Gallegly (R-Calif.) on June 27 put forth another resolution, HCR 468, which supports NATO expansion but fails to stress membership for the Baltics.

“The odds are against us, but then when has that stopped Balts from doing the right thing,” Pavlovskis asked in his letter. Observers say Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania are sure to be invited to joing NATO during the alliance’s November summit in Prague.

BAFL, which recently revamped its Web site, is one of several lobby groups pushing Congress to support Baltic membership in NATO.

Andris Straumanis is a special correspondent for and a co-founder of Latvians Online. From 2000–2012 he was editor of the website.

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