TST, Vol. 9, Issue No. 26/2002

Maryland Senator Barbara Mikulski's Statement
for the ceremony commemorating the 84th Anniversary of
the Independence of the Republic of Estonia (Feb. 24, 1918)

Congratulations on the Estonian American National Council's Estonian Independence celebration!

Please know that I'm with you in spirit as you celebrate this special day in Estonia's history.

It's good to know that we can look upon the relationship between the American and Estonian communities as an integral part of this nation's recovery from the terrorist attacks of September 11th. I share your support for building better ties between the United States and Estonia, and I'm proud that many of my constituents participate in this group. I want you to know that I share the goal of achieving better understanding and mutual prosperity through cultural, economic and intellectual exchange.

In Maryland, we look forward to further developing our partnerships with Estonia. We will continue to share our National Guard's military traditions, and we will build upon the economic ties between cities that look to the sea for their vitality.

I want you to know that I visited the Baltic States last spring. I was so happy to see the tremendous strides each country was making toward developing their democratic and market-based systems. Estonia in particular is proving its abilities through high-tech initiatives in everything from cellular phones to paperless government. I also appreciate the Baltic States' renewed senses of culture while respecting the rights of Russian-speaking minorities, and I believe they would each make a wonderful contribution to NATO.

Together, America and the Baltic States are doing all they can in the war against terrorism. With America's support, Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia are already contributing to our mutual security by developing modern armed forces, air surveillance systems, and participating in peacekeeping activities. That's why I'm so proud to be a founding member of the Senate Baltic Freedom Caucus.

I support including the three Baltic states in NATO because it would help provide stability and economic opportunity to an area which has such potential for growth. Rest assured, you can count on Senator Mikulski. I will work to ensure that Lithuania, Estonia, and Latvia are all invited to join the NATO alliance in November.

Everywhere I look, America's interest in strengthening its ties with Estonia and the other Baltic States is growing. I look forward to working with you and your organization to help promote a closer and more comprehensive relationship between the United States and Estonia.

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Baltimore Estonian House (MD), February 23, 2002

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There are currently nine Members in the Senate Baltic Freedom Caucus.

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Representing: Estonian American National Council, Inc., American Latvian Association, Inc., Lithuanian American Council, Inc.

400 Hurley Avenue, Rockville, MD  20850
Tel: (301) 340-1954
Fax: (301) 309-1406

TST, Vol. 9, Issue No. 26/2002

The Summit Times

Copyright 2002 by Andrzej M. Salski