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Chicago Tribune publishes LAC letter urging NATO enlargement

The Chicago Tribune on January 22nd published a letter by LAC president Saulius V. Kuprys calling for continued U.S. efforts to enlarge NATO and particularly to include the Baltic States in such expansion. The text of the letter follows:

Enlarging NATO

Saulius V. Kuprys
National president
Lithuanian American Council

In “U.S. throws wrench into Russia ties” (News, Jan 17) Tribune senior correspondent Howard Witt reports that some pundits view the imminent enlargement of NATO to include the three Baltic nations of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania as detrimental to U.S.-Russia relations. Quite the contrary is true. NATO enlargement will redound to the benefit not only of the U.S. and Baltics, but to Russia as well.

The enlargement of NATO will give rise to a more stable European continent and will particularly provide for a stable Scandinavian-Baltic basin, the very heart of Northern Europe. In the long run such stability will benefit Russia itself by assuring democratic and economically vibrant countries on its border. In fact, Russian president Vladimir Putin, in a recent meeting with President Valdas Adamkus of Lithuania, conceded that sovereign countries have the right to enter into security pacts they deem beneficial.

The enlargement of NATO will enhance the overall security and economic welfare of Europe and the United States as well. On the other hand, failure to include these qualifying countries may be viewed as an invitation by residual imperialistic elements in the Kremlin to undertake dangerous strategies that may ultimately threaten our own peace and security.

We trust that stated U.S. policy of NATO enlargement will continue to be one of our national priorities.