Senator Robert Bennett (R-UT), who recently visited Latvia with a Senate delegation to the Summit of NATO aspirant countries, has accepted Baltic American Freedom League’s invitation and has joined the Senate Baltic Freedom Caucus.
Representatives David Dreier (R-CA), Chairman of the Rules Committee and Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA) and Grace Napalitano (D-CA) both members of the Rules Committee visited, Estonia and Latvia in August. They also accepted the invitation and joined the House Baltic Caucus.
While visiting the Baltic countries, the House delegations discussed U.S -Baltic relations, economic cooperation and Baltic membership inNATO and European Union with government officials and members of the parliaments. Baltic press reports indicate that the delegations were impressed by the progress the Baltic Countries have made in developing as free market democratic societies. Congressman Dreier noted that they will be invited to join NATO and EU and will be good partners in these organizations.
Latvia’s President, Vaira Vike-Freiberga, told the delegates that the best way to learn more about a country is to visit it and get aquainted with the situation firsthand instead of obtaining information from the media or other sources.
The purpose of the bipartisan Congressional Baltic Caucuses is to foster good relations between the U.S. and the Baltic countries. The Senate Caucus has 12 members, the House 75 members.The Cochairmen of the Senate Caucus are Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL) and Senator Gordon Smith (R-OR). The House Caucus is headed by Representatives John Shimkus (R-IL) and Dennis Kucinich (D-OH).