Publication: Monitor Volume: 1 Issue: 91

Meeting in Tallinn September 7, the Estonian, Latvian, and Lithuanian presidents Lennart Meri, Guntis Ulmanis, and Algirdas Brazauskas reiterated their countries’ intent to join NATO "as soon as possible" and to prepare themselves for meeting NATO standards. In their joint statement, the presidents described NATO as the principal guarantor of security in Europe and called for a continuing process of strengthening their countries’ ties with the alliance and with the European Union. They endorsed Poland’s proposal for a special summit meeting of the leaders of EU member countries and associated countries to discuss specific ways for enlarging the EU. They emphasized the importance of Ukraine in contemporary Europe and called for Ukraine’s admission to the Council of Europe in the near future. And they expressed the hope that Russia and Russian-Baltic relations would develop in a democratic direction in the future. On regional issues, the presidents favored the creation of a Baltic customs union and integrated transport system. At the concluding news conference, the presidents supported the enlargement of the integrated Baltic peacekeeping battalion to a division-size force and the early construction of the planned Via Baltica highway from Germany via Poland through the three Baltic states. (14)

Yeltsin Briefed on Caucasus Meeting, To Chair Summit.