August 26, 2014
Ms. Susan Rice
National Security Advisor to the President
National Security Council
Washington, DC 20520
Dear Ms. Rice:
On August 23, the 25th anniversary of The Baltic Way, President Obama on behalf of the people of the United States reaffirmed America’s “enduring commitment to the security” of the Baltic nations. The Baltic American community thanks and applauds the President for his clear, strong and definite statement regarding U.S. Baltic relations.
Ever since the Baltic nations reclaimed their independence, Russia has been a discomforting neighbor. It has continuously threatened Baltic sovereignty by words and deeds It has initiated a succession of economic sanctions, domestic political subversion, propaganda offensives, military harassment and threats.
The latest and most serious of the threats propagated by President Putin comes via the courtesy of the French government: France is about to sell two Mistral class aircraft carrier warships to Russia.
Our President, most members of Congress, the Defense and State Departments, political analysts and western media commentators have unequivocally concluded that sale of the state-of-the-art assault warships to Russia will substantially increase President Putin’s power projection capabilities. Most disturbingly, many foreign affairs specialists have with equal assurance declared that after Ukraine, the primary targets of Mr. Putin’s imperial expansion program are the Baltic nations.
The heavily armed Russian warships, specifically built for land and air invasions, patrolling off the coast of the Baltic nations is a replay of nineteenth century gunboat diplomacy, and greatly aggravate the current situation promoting instability, disruption and divisiveness in the Baltic region. The Baltic American community is alarmed at this, and we strongly urge you to use the resources of your office to stop the French government from selling the warships to Russia.
Stopping the sale will clearly and strongly, in no uncertain terms signal to that President Putin that his military adventurism stops on NATO’s borders.
We support the option recommended by Representative Engel and a group of House members that NATO either lease or purchase the warships from France for its own use. This will provide a financial and political exit for France, and tremendously improve the solidarity of the Alliance.
Thank you for considering my request.
Valdis V. Pavlovskis