Representative Lantos to Host Russian Leaders for First-Ever Joint Congress-Duma Meeting Open to the Public

U.S. House of Representatives
Foreign Affairs Committee
Tom Lantos, Chairman
June 15, 2007

For Information Contact: Lynne Weil, (203) 225-5021

Washington, DC – Chairman Tom Lantos today announced the schedule for a ground-breaking, open meeting next week between the House Committee on Foreign Affairs and the foreign affairs committee of the Duma, the legislature of the Russian Federation.

“The United States and Russia are facing a wide range of challenges,” Lantos noted. “Thus, it is singularly appropriate that we continue our useful tradition of dialogue and inter-parliamentary exchange. And this time, all the world can listen in on the conversation.”

The June 21 joint session will mark the third in the series of meetings between the American and Russian foreign affairs committees, with previous sessions held in Moscow (June 2004) and Washington (November 2005). It will be the first such meeting ever to which the media and members of the public will be invited.

The gathering will focus on four key themes: democracy and human rights, unresolved regional conflicts, strategic stability and trade and economic issues

“This joint session will be ground-breaking,” Lantos said. “I look forward to meeting with my Russian colleagues to discuss pressing issues such as human rights and regional stability, to discuss our differences and to expand our common ground.”

Agenda for Public Session of Joint Meeting

June 21, 2007
Room 2172 of the Rayburn House Office Building

10:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. Opening Statements

10:30 a.m. – 10:55 a.m. Humanitarian Issues (including democracy, human rights)

10:55 a.m. – 11:20 a.m. Unresolved Regional Conflicts (including Kosova, Georgia, Moldova)

11:20 a.m. – 11:40 a.m. Strategic Stability (including the Conventional Forces in Europe treaty, non-proliferation, missile defense)

11:40 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Trade and Economy (including energy security)

Following the morning’s public session, members of the Committee on Foreign Affairs and the Duma will meet for a private lunch and an afternoon closed-door session. (End)

Dear Friends:

Please call the members of the House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee listed below immediately and urge them to tell the Russians that the forceful invasion, the annexation and the occupation of the Baltic countries in 1940 was illegal and against the will of the Baltic people, and that the Russian government and Duma should publicly and clearly acknowledge this historic fact

The acknowledgment of this historical fact by the Russian Federation would lead to improved relations between the people of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania and the people of Russia. It would form the basis for improved relations between the governments of the countries and strengthen stability in the region.

At a minimum, please contact the top four congresspersons shown on the list. If your congressperson is on the list, you absolutely should contact him or her.

The surest way to get your message to a congressperson is by faxing him/her a letter. It need not be a long letter. In this case three or four sentences is enough. The next best way to make contact is to call his/her Washington office and speak to the person who handles foreign affairs for the congressperson. The least effective way is to send an E-mail. Congressional offices receive hundreds of E-mails a day and they do not pay much attention to them.

For additional information on the U.S. House of Representatives and the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee go to ALA’s website and click “Information.”

The hearing is on June 21. Your letters or calls must reach the congresspersons by the 21st.

Please share this information with your friends and relations.

Thank you.

Valdis Pavlovskis, Director
ALA Public Affairs Section

Members of the Foreign Affairs Committee and Subcommittee

Tom Lentos, Chairman (DICA), Tel: (202) 225-5021, (202) 225-3531,
Fx: (202) 225-2035,
Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Tel: (202) 226-8467, (202) 225-3931, Fx: (202) 226-7269
Robert Wexler, Chr. Subcom. on Eur (D-FL), Tel: (202) 225-3001, Fx (202) 225-5974
Elton Gallegly, Ranking Member (R-CA), Tel: (202) 225-5811, FX (202) 225-1100
Howard Berman (D-CA), Tel: (202) 225-4695, Fx (202) 225-3196,
Thaddeus McCotter (R-MI), Tel: (202) 225-8171, Fx: (202) 225-2667
Gary Ackerman (D-NY), Tel: (202) 225-2601, Fx (202) 225-1589
Ed Royce (R-CA), Tel: (202) 225-4111, Fx (202) 226-0335
Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX), Tel: (202) 225-3816, Fx: (202) 225-3317
Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), Tel: (202) 225-2415, Fx (202) 225–0145
Linda Sachez (D-CA), Tel: (202) 225-667, Fx: (202) 226-1012
Jim Costa (D-CA), (202) 225-3341, Fx: (202) 225-9308
Eliot Engel (D-NY), (202) 225-2464, Fx: (202) 225-5513
Dan Burton (R-IN), (202) 225-2276, Fx: (202) 225-0016