According to a senior Lithuanian diplomat in Vilnius, U.S. deputy secretary of state Strobe Talbott has presented to the Estonian, Latvian, and Lithuanian ambassadors in Washington a comprehensive State Department draft plan to enhance the Baltic states’ security. The Baltic Action Plan reportedly encompasses three dimensions:
First, U.S. assistance to the three states’ efforts to join European and transatlantic institutions, particularly as regards meeting the criteria for admission to NATO. Second, encouraging the Baltic states and Russia to improve their relations. Third, expansion of U.S.-Baltic relations, including the signing of "cooperation charters" dealing with political, security, and economic cooperation between the U.S. and each of the three Baltic states. According to Vilnius officials, senior U.S. representatives are expected in the region shortly to present the Baltic Action Plan. (Lithuanian Radio, BNS, August 30, 31)
The plan is being advanced in the context of NATO’s recently reported decision to defer Baltic admission to a later stage of the alliance’s enlargement. That apparent decision has generated a search for ways to enhance Baltic security for that interim period of as yet undefined duration.
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