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 You are in: Under Secretary for Political Affairs > From the Under Secretary > Remarks > 2001 Under Secretary for Political Affairs Remarks

"Dialogue" Program: Baltic Partnership Council

Marc Grossman, Under Secretary for Political Affairs
Foreign Minister Antanas Valionis, Lithuania, Foreign Minister Indulis Berzins, Latvia, Foreign Minister Toomas Hendrik Ilves, Estonia
Remarks from Office of Broadcast Services' "Dialogue" Program
Washington, DC
December 11, 2001

POSTS: Riga, Vilnius, Tallinn
HOST: Rick Foucheux

MR. FOUCHEUX: Hello, and welcome to "Dialogue," I'm your host, Rick Foucheux.

The Baltic Partnership Commission has wrapped up a day of meetings held here at the U.S. State Department in Washington, D.C. Foreign ministers from Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia met with State Department officials to discuss issues ranging from NATO enlargement and counterterrorism, to regional cooperation with Russia and other Baltic States.

On today's "Dialogue," we are fortunate to have with us our honored guest, Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Marc Grossman; Lithuania's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Antanas Valionis; Latvia's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Indulis Berzins; and Estonia's Minister of Foreign fairs, Mr. Toomas Hendrik Ilves. We also welcome our overseas participants standing by in Vilnius, Riga and Tallinn. But before we join them, Mr. Grossman, I wonder if I could turn to you and ask you to get us rolling this morning.

MR. GROSSMAN: Rick, thank you for the chance to make some comments opening this program.

Let me first thank everyone who is participating today in the three countries for your time. This is the first time we have ever done this here at the State Department, and I am very grateful to my colleagues here, the foreign ministers of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, for participating with us.

Let me also say how touched all of us are here to have the news reports of the commemorative events that you all held to commemorate the 11th of September earlier this morning your time. We held an event here at the State Department. We participated by television in the event that the President of the United States had at the White House.

And we were very, very moved by the work that you all did and the commemorations that you made for the 11th of September, and I want first of all to thank you very much for that.

As Rick said, we have just completed what I consider to be a very good meeting of the Baltic Partnership Council. The ministers and I had a chance to be together yesterday; they also had the chance to meet with Deputy Secretary Richard Armitage, and also to call at the White House on the Deputy National Security Advisor, Steve Hadley.

I don't think it would be very much of a surprise to any of you who follow these issues to know what we talked about. We talked about terrorism, and we talked about the contributions that the United States and our Baltic allies are making to the fight against terrorism. And I will say that one of the most interesting things that came out of our discussion in talking about terrorism, in talking about Afghanistan, was the offer by ministers of the Baltic States to offer the best practices on what they had all learned and your countries had learned over these past few years, which might be of use to those countries trying to get more democratic, to make more successful democracies and more successful economies.

We also had a chance to review the Baltic partnership itself. And those of you who know the history here know that one of the greatest days I think in our country, and certainly in my professional career, was the day at the White House in 1998 when we signed the Baltic Partnership Council and the Baltic Charters.

These are extremely important documents to the United States, and I hope to you as well. We had a chance to talk about the aspirations that our colleagues have to join NATO, to join the European Union, and the work that all of them are doing in many of the regional European and international organizations. And we had a chance to talk about some of the issues that still concern our Baltic partners and the United States of America -- questions of history, questions of economy, questions of minorities, questions of what more the United States can do to support the efforts of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia as they are moving forward.

So I would consider it a very good day. I hope my colleagues would consider it a good day as well. And we are very glad to answer your questions about this and any other subject. Rick, I thank you very much for that chance.

MR. FOUCHEUX: Thank you, Under Secretary Grossman. And, ministers, once again, we appreciate your time today.

And now we join our participants standing by in Vilnius, Riga and Tallinn for a round robin of questions.

Hello in Vilnius -- your first question please.

Q: Hello, my name is -- (inaudible) -- I am representing the news agency, Baltic News Service. And first of all let me express our solidarity here in Vilnius for the American nation, especially today when you are commemorating the terrorist attacks in Washington and New York. And my first question is to both Lithuanian Foreign Minister Mr. Antanas Valionis and to Mr. Grossman. The question is about NATO expansion scenarios. What and which NATO expansion scenario seems the most probable: limited expansion, regatta or big bang? And, if limited expansion is preferred, what chances does Lithuania have to be among those who were invited immediately? Thank you.

FOREIGN MIN. VALIONIS: Thank you for your question. I think that after the famous speech of Mr. Bush in Warsaw, we speak of Europe whole and free, so the bigger the better. But of course I think that Lithuania is indeed the best-prepared country -- the Baltic Republics have been the best-prepared countries. And I have no doubt that all three Baltics will be invited in Prague in November of next year.

MR. GROSSMAN: I don't think I need to respond in any way, but I'd certainly like to comment that we did have a conversation yesterday about this issue. And, as the minister said, we take as our guidance the speech that President Bush gave in Warsaw. And he said clearly there, to us and to all of those states interested in participating, that when it comes to Prague 2002, our job is to do as much as possible, and not as little as possible. And that is our guidance.

We also obviously talked about some of the principles that had been achieved before yesterday, which is of course that no one should have a veto over who is or is not a member of NATO; that no country, by their geography or their history, should be excluded from joining NATO. And also, as the ministers know, that the countries themselves have a big responsibility here to follow the membership action plans, and work with NATO to make sure that they are the best candidates possible. So we very much look forward to carrying out President Bush's instructions, and working toward the Prague 2002 summit.

MR. FOUCHEUX: Thank you in Vilnius. And let's move on now to Riga for a question. Hello in Riga, please go ahead.

Q: Hello, Washington, it's -- (inaudible) -- from Latvian Television. Mr. Grossman, I would like to ask you about the Russian North Atlantic Council, a question which is very interesting to many here in Latvia.

Czech President Vaclav Havel has said that it would turn the alliance into a boundless institution resembling the United Nations. Is NATO ready for this kind of change, and is Russia ready for the Russian North Atlantic Council, keeping in mind its human rights record and the situation of free speech in the country? Thank you.

MR. GROSSMAN: Thank you very much for that question. And I would obviously offer a chance to comment to any of my colleagues here. But let me just say that the North Atlantic Council meetings late last week and then comments that have come since then, from Secretary Powell and others, I believe made clear in what direction we are headed: first, that the relationship with Russia -- Russia and NATO, and Russia and the United States, Russia and Europe -- I think is one that we would like to see improved. And we believe that what the Russians have done since the 11th of September has been extremely important, and you can see the interaction between President Bush and President Putin at Crawford, Texas.

What we want to try to do at NATO is find a better way for Russia and NATO to work together. But I think there are some very important principles here that we need to reestablish or restate. First of all, at the moment NATO is an alliance with 19 members. And those 19 members will remain very much in control of NATO's agenda. NATO will do what it is supposed to do, based on the Washington Treaty of 1949, which is to be a defensive alliance. And I see nothing on the horizon which would change that.

We want to make sure that NATO at 19 can maintain its ability to take the kinds of decisions and actions that are required. But, as Secretary Powell has said, and as the President has said, we want to find new ways of working with Russians; and I believe that's one of the reasons that NATO foreign ministers asked NATO ambassadors to see if they could come up with some new mechanism. So I think there's as lot of positive developments here, and we want to try to pursue them. But for us, for Americans, NATO remains the fundamental security relationship we have with Europe, and we want to make sure that we protect it.

If I might say that in our conversations yesterday, I think all three of the ministers welcomed the developments at NATO last week, and wanted to make sure that NATO and Russia had the best possible relationship.

FOREIGN MIN. BERZINS: Good evening, Riga. I just want to add that NATO, which we want to join, all of us, all three Baltic States, of course Latvia -- should be a stronger, well functioning organization. And in this dialogue with Russia, and these new relations with Russia help to make NATO even stronger. We really appreciate that. And of course the Baltic States are not going to join NATO against (someone?), definitely not against Russia. This is because of common values. This is because we really already, together with our allies in NATO, face future challenges.

MR. FOUCHEUX: Thank you. And we thank you in Riga. Let's complete our first round of questions now by moving on to Tallinn. Hello in Tallinn. Please go ahead with your questions.

Q: Good evening. This is -- (inaudible) -- from daily Newspaper, Postimees. I have a question for the whole panel. According to an Estonian understanding not to provide hard security, whereas some other Russian organizations provide soft security. Nevertheless, after the 11th of September, hard and social security have become one. How do you see NATO's further role in that light?

MR. GROSSMAN: I'm not sure who got that question.

MR. FOUCHEUX: I think all of you -- more interest toward you.

MR. GROSSMAN: Well, thank you very much. If I understood properly, the question is whether there's been a merging of what used to be called hard security and soft security. To be very honest with you, I always thought that that was a distinction without a purpose. I could never understand those people who sought to divide security into one category or another. For example, if you look back to the NATO summit of 1999, what did it do in changing the strategic concept? It recognized that issues like terrorism, organized crime, weapons of mass destruction, were also threats to NATO. And so somehow I think we need to be talking about security as a whole.

Security nowadays, as we all agreed yesterday, is about economic development. It's about human rights. It's about minority rights. It's about the ability of people to pursue their own lives. And it is also very much about issues like terrorism, trafficking in women and children, defeating organized crime. Very important to your countries and to our country is to break the link between narcotics and terrorism. So, as I say, I don't see this distinction. And yesterday in our discussion we didn't divide it that way. We made a list of those things on which our countries could work together, and even more importantly perhaps those issues on which the Baltic countries could work together, so that we are more secure -- soft, hard, either way, we need to protect our countries, and we can best do that together.

FOREIGN MIN. ILVES: If I might add, if we look back, say 15 years ago, it was clear at that point there was a distinction, because we were dealing with a concrete threat from Communist dictatorships. That has disappeared. We don't have that issue anymore. And now in fact NATO is taking a much wider role in dealing with what used to be called soft security, but I mean dealing with precisely those issues which you just mentioned. At the same time, we see the European Union developing for itself a defense capability that it never really conceived of five or seven years ago, and I think that these structures are overlapping much more, because you need to have the flexibility to deal with all kinds of security threats.

Q: Good evening -- (inaudible) -- Estonia daily newspaper. In the last month, gains between the West and Russia got the news. How do you see the new role of the -- the new active role of the Baltic States in these gains? A question to Mr. Ilves and Mr. Grossman please.

FOREIGN MIN. ILVES: Well, I don't know what the game is, but certainly I would say from an Estonian point of view we are wholeheartedly and strongly in favor of including Russia in discussions between NATO and Russia. We want to see a dialogue develop and intensify. I think that we need to get over some of the mind-set that existed before. And the more actively we can include and involve Russia in discussions regarding security, the better it is for Russia and for NATO, and for the Baltic countries. We are also obviously future members of NATO, and we look upon this as something that will continue and flourish, and we hope that in a short time we will be there around the table as part of the NATO part of that discussion.

Q: Hello, this is -- (inaudible) -- from the Baltic News Agency, Riga bureau. I have a question for Mr. Grossman: Has the United States considered the possibility that Russia might seize its growing influence in the international arena, especially after the 11th of September, that it will use its influence in its own interests towards the Baltic States? Thank you.

MR. GROSSMAN: Could you repeat that for me? I apologize.

Q: Yeah. Have you considered that Russia might use its influence, its growing influence in the international arena, especially towards the Baltic States?

MR. GROSSMAN: Well, I mean, obviously I would turn to my colleagues here for a more direct response to that. What I had tried to say to a previous questioner is that we believe that we have seen, even before the 11th of September, but certainly since the 11th of September, a very big change in Russian attitudes and certainly the attitude of the Russian government, to this question of terrorism and international security. And if you recognize what happened between President Bush and President Putin in Crawford, you will see that there was a lot of progress made.

Now, is everything perfect? No. Will everything be perfect for the rest of our lives? Perhaps not. And that's why I also said that we want to make sure that those institutions and structures we are in, like NATO, retain their core purpose. But I think as Minister Ilves just said, and also my other colleagues here, if we can find a way to do more business with Russia, to increase our contacts with Russia, to find those places where our values are intersecting, I think we are all better off. And when you say, Will they use international institutions against the Baltic States? -- I really think that's partially up to us and to make sure that they are involved in a very useful way.

For example, we spoke yesterday, all of us, about what in America we have talked about as our Northeast Europe initiative. What are the objectives? To have the Baltic States work together, to have the Baltic States work with the Nordic States, and to include Russia, and certainly Northwestern Russia. The European Union, as Minister Ilves just said, has programs and are working a way with their Northern Dimension. So I think that the more we can do together the better off we are going to be. And the more we can try to share values, the less likely it is that the premise of your question will come true.

Q: My name is -- (inaudible) -- working for the biggest Lithuanian daily, Lieutuvos Rytas. And my question is for all the participants. I also would like to ask about the new Russian and West relations -- new Russian and United States relations. We know that not only NATO, but all the relations with the West are based on common values. So do you all believe that Russia is already acting according to these common values, Western common values?

FOREIGN MIN. VALIONIS: I think that we are having -- (inaudible) -- good relations with Russia, are interested very much in deeper coordination -- not only with us, but a deeper cooperation with

European institutions, including EU, including NATO. So now it is difficult to answer what institutional forms we will have soon in this relationship, 19 plus one. But, in any case, Russia is moving towards democracy. And I think according to our experience when we started to join European institutions it helped very much to modernize our countries. So I hope that such progress will be very helpful for Russia too.

FOREIGN MIN. ILVES: I'd say that values -- the discussion of values is very important, but it is not based on simply declarations. It is actually based on the legal system you have, the rule of law, whether or not you implement your laws, the respect for press freedoms, the respect for minority rights. Those are the core values of Western democracy as they have developed, especially since the Enlightenment.

Now, I don't think we can ever say a priori one country has those values or cannot have those values. It's a matter of what you do in order to share that legal framework that allows people to live in freedom.

FOREIGN MIN. BERZINS: Thank you. Actually, the question of values is very important for us, the Baltic States, all of us -- Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia -- because we want to join NATO and hopefully really think that we will be able to join -- we will have an invitation in less than one year. And this is important for us indeed, because not just our military forces are going to join NATO; but, as President Havel said, our state -- it means this is about values, about democracy -- about all these things that you now are talking about.

But in the case of Russia, I just hope this close dialogue with NATO countries which base their partnership on principles and on values, will help Russia develop the same ideas. And I think this dialogue, this partnership is all about including maybe the new framework of discussion between 20 countries, not just 19 plus one.

MR. GROSSMAN: I am in the happy position of being able to agree with everything that has been said here.

Q: Hi, it's Riga again -- (inaudible) -- Latvian Television. Mr. Grossman, NATO officials in Brussels have said that important conditions for countries to join NATO is the will of its people. The latest opinion polls show that just about 46 percent of all people in Latvia are in favor of Latvia joining NATO. Is that enough?

MR. GROSSMAN: Well, I think it'd be wrong for me to comment on internal politics in any of the countries here, or this poll or that poll. All I know is that all of the ministers here have reiterated to us their interest in joining NATO. I have reiterated to them the fact that we are taking President Bush's speech in Warsaw as our guidance, and we look very much forward to the countries continuing to work on their membership action plans. And then the NATO alliance will come to some decision in Prague 2002.

FOREIGN MIN. BERZINS: Actually, just to make things clearer, because this is for you, Mr. Grossman, more than for people in Riga, because they know the real situation where we have more supporters of NATO than people who are skeptical against NATO. This, first of all, and as we find correct, and this is what democracy is all about, the majority, and the majority will. And of course we should think about minority in case of NATO enlargement as well -- someone will be against. But basically the biggest number of Latvians support NATO enlargement, and want to see Latvia as a member state of NATO.

Q: Hello -- (inaudible) -- Baltic News Service. The question is for the whole panel. How do you think the small countries, especially like the Baltic States, with limited military forces, with limited economic resources, could contribute to the international anti-terrorist campaign? Thank you.

FOREIGN MIN. VALIONIS: Thank you for your question. I think that we are not going to be only consumers of security, but at the same time suppliers. And after the tragic events of September 11th, Lithuania, at the very beginning, declared the deep readiness to help in everything the United States needs. And of course military resources, maybe military possibilities, are not so big as the United States has. But, in any case, we prepared some very interesting things.

Other main and very important, I think, process is that programs to overcome terrorism will take much more time than only a few military episodes for example in Afghanistan or somewhere else.

So we think that every country can help substantially.

FOREIGN MIN. ILVES: I might add the beauty of alliances is that they incorporate large and small states. NATO is not an alliance made up of countries all the same size with the same capability. In fact, I would point out in your question that two current members of NATO are smaller than the Baltic -- any of the Baltic countries, as clearly they were in the alliance from the beginning, they have done rather well. I think that NATO is based on the principle of each according to their abilities. And clearly we cannot provide carrier battle groups from Estonia; but on the other hand, just as the alliance has performed very well for 50 years with Luxembourg's contribution, I think we too will provide the same sort of very positive input.

MR. GROSSMAN: May I comment on this as well? I think you asked an extremely important question. And both ministers have answered it. I would just add that of course the campaign against terrorism is not just a military campaign. It will be a political campaign, a diplomatic campaign, an intelligence campaign, and very much a financial campaign as well. And the ministers and I had a chance to talk yesterday about the importance to the international community of UN Security Council Resolution 1373. And why is that so important?

That resolution is so important because it goes after terrorist financing and terrorist bases. And we had a good discussion yesterday about how all countries -- big, small, medium-sized -- need to look into their own financial systems -- and we are doing this right now in the United States -- to make sure that they are not abused by terrorism. And those of you who know about how banking systems work, it doesn't matter I think the size of the country there. Those countries that participate actively to meet the requirements of the Security Council of the United Nations will be making a very big contribution to the combating of terrorism. And the three of us had a report yesterday from experts saying that now several hundred million dollars in accounts have already been frozen, and more will come. And we believe this is a very important contribution that all countries can make.

Q: Alexander -- (inaudible) -- Estonian daily. And my question is to the American participant. There are many people in Estonia and Latvia who have no native citizenship, Estonian or Latvian. If the Baltic countries will join NATO, it will be some kind of problem for NATO. Did you discuss this issue? Thank you.

MR. GROSSMAN: Well, we of course have had a long conversation with the Baltic States, both directly and through the OSCE, about issues of citizenship and issues of language. And I think all the countries here have made substantial progress on this. And indeed that's why the United States is for the ending and closing of the OSCE mission in two of the three states.

I would say that as countries progress and proceed on democracy, on rule of law, on dealing with their citizens, that these are issues that they can deal with; that we will help in any way possible. But I don't see that this is something that will be a bar to membership in the alliance. What we want are countries who accept our values, are producers of security and not consumers of security. And I think as all the ministers have said here today, it's a political, it's an economic, it's a military alliance. It's about states joining. And states will join, if that is what they wish to do.

Q: (Off mike) -- again. I have a question for Mr. Grossman. I would like to use this possibility to clarify a real American position on the chance to give Russia a veto on NATO decisions, because when Mr. Robertson declared this idea, it was thought that this idea was bagged by the United States. But after that, last week there were reports that the United States has become less and less enthusiastic on that. What is the real position?

MR. GROSSMAN: Well, I can tell you without fear of contradiction that we do not have levels of enthusiasm about a Russian veto or anyone else's veto who is outside the alliance on the decisions that NATO will or will not make. No one outside the alliance, including Russia, should have a veto over NATO decisions. And I know that there was some speculation about this, some talk about it in the newspapers. But our position has been clear from the very beginning -- it's been clear from 1949 -- it couldn't be any clearer in the President's speech in Warsaw: We don't believe that any country should have a veto about what NATO will or will not do, which is why I think in my introduction I tried hard to describe what NATO will continue to do at 19. I think that's a feeling I was able to convey here to ministers.

Q: (Off mike) -- again, Baltic News Service. In the context of the U.S.-Baltic Charter, can we talk about the U.S. being interested to see the Baltic States joining NATO as soon as possible -- let us say sooner than the other candidate states? The question goes to Mr. Grossman.

MR. GROSSMAN: I want you to start asking questions to others as well here. Our position is clear, and that is what President Bush laid out in his speech in Warsaw. Every democracy in Europe, from the Baltics to the Black Sea, should be available and open for NATO membership, and NATO should be open to their membership. His guidance to us as well was that we should move toward Prague 2002 with the idea of doing as much as possible and not as little as possible. We have not made any decisions here in Washington -- I don't know about other capitals -- about specific countries and specific timetables. But we have very clear guidance from the president of the United States, and we intend to carry it out.

Q: Do the Baltic States estimate their chances to NATO realistically? This is -- (inaudible) -- from Estonian TV Channel 2.

FOREIGN MIN. ILVES: Well, if the question is to me, I would say that I think where one of the hallmarks of our foreign policy is that it's extremely realistic, and I think it matches the understanding of people within NATO.

Q: (Off mike) -- once again. I have a question for Mr. Ilves regarding more active cooperation between NATO and Russia -- can one wait for better bilateral relations between Estonia and Russia?

FOREIGN MIN. ILVES: I think it has been the experience from the previous enlargement -- especially in the case of Poland where both the Russian and Polish officials have admitted that it was in fact after Poland's accession to NATO that indeed the relations between the two countries achieved a level never before achieved in the history of those two countries. We in fact discussed this yesterday, that really the Polish experience shows that after joining NATO, both Poles and Russians can admit that never in the history of their two countries have the relations been as good. And I presume -- I predict this will happen as well with the Baltic countries.

Q: And one more question from Vilnius. Mr. Grossman, is there a clear understanding between the U.S. and your partners in Western Europe concerning NATO expansion?

MR. GROSSMAN: Well, the question of whether there is a clear understanding about NATO expansion, I guess probably not yet -- because the alliance has not yet begun to take the kind of specific decisions that would be required to offer NATO expansion. I would say though that there's a very important understanding which was reached at the NATO summit in 1999, which listed those countries that were interested in NATO expansion, that said that they should work very hard on their membership action plans; and that decided that we would take another decision in Prague in 2002.

I don't know how to describe this time table to you, but I would imagine that some time early next year, our colleagues, ambassadors out at NATO, will begin to have a conversation; and then in each of the 19 capitals, governments will have to come to their own decisions, and then there will be a conversation at NATO.

So I don't want to leave you with the thought that somehow we haven't been thinking about this. But to the specific question of whether there's already an understanding, the answer to that is no -- and that understanding can only come through consensus at the alliance.

MR. FOUCHEUX: Gentlemen, before we conclude our program today, I would like to offer you the opportunity for closing comments. Does anyone care to sort of put a button on it, as we say? (Laughs.)

FOREIGN MIN. VALIONIS: Yes. In Lithuania for six months the chairman of Council of Europe, committee of ministers of Council of Europe -- and I visited a lot of very sensitive countries, including Macedonia, Moldova, Ukraine -- all these countries in Europe, to compare with us which countries which started our ways to NATO and Europe earlier -- to understand how big and difficult goal we have to achieve. So I think that this second wave of NATO enlargement we'll take in Prague in November of next year, and all three Baltics I am convinced will be invited.

At the same time, we initiated the Vilnius 10 movement, and we are together I think responsible for other members -- other aspirants. And I wish for all countries which are in the process to join NATO now the best success.

FOREIGN MIN. ILVES: I would just say that I would just correct my good friend here, it's actually the sixth enlargement that is coming up, not the second. So NATO has in fact enlarged many times.

I think that -- I'd say two things, one about NATO. I think that we all here have understood how important NATO as a goal has been for ensuring that we ourselves understand the common values that we share -- that we have taken significant steps in our legislation, in our reform process, precisely because we want to strengthen those pillars of values.

And, secondly, I think what struck me really during this visit was how far we have come in the past four years. If you are in the middle, changes are -- if you are in the middle of the process, you don't really realize how things change slowly. But when I look back on where we were four years ago and where we are today, it's quite flabbergasting.

FOREIGN MIN. BERZINS: If I may add, 10 years ago, when we started our independence, in the beginning of the '90s, nobody even compared us with Eastern European countries. Now we are in a process, and after my visit here to the United States I am sure that we are doing the right things in all three Baltic States, that we are good partners. And what is really more important is I think we could reach next year, in 2002, both goals of our foreign policy to complete negotiations with the Union, but as well to get invitations. It's a great feeling after visiting the United States that we are doing the right thing, that we have good partners, that we work all together the three Baltic States, with other Vilnius Group countries. And I really think that we all will succeed. Current members of NATO -- NATO states as well as newcomers or candidate countries which will become member states of NATO.

MR. GROSSMAN: Rick, I just wanted to again say thank you to you and to thank all of the people who were involved in this. And I wanted to also thank the ministers for coming -- yesterday and today -- and to reiterate how important the Baltic Charter and the Baltic Partnership Council is to the United States of America.

MR. FOUCHEUX: And that brings this issue of "Dialogue" to a close. A special thanks to our distinguished guests today: Undersecretary Marc Grossman, and Foreign Ministers Mr. Valionis, Mr. Berzins and Mr. Ilves, for joining us today -- as well as all of our participants in Vilnius, Riga and Tallinn -- thank you as well.

For "Dialogue," from Washington, I'm Rick Foucheux, good day.



Released on December 11, 2001

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