US congressional delegation reiterates commitment to Estonia

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The US congressional delegation with prime minister Kaja Kallas on the Stenbock House viewing platform. Source: Government Office.

The United States stands by its NATO allies, including Estonia, and despite security and other challenges in the region, the leaders of a high-level delegation of senators and congress people say.

On an official visit to Estonia this week, with a bi-partisan congressional delegation, Senator from Mississippi Roger Wicker (R) said: "As the Baltic region faces serious and continuing security challenges, the U.S. is proud to support our steadfast NATO Allies."

On an official visit to Estonia this week, with a bi-partisan congressional delegation, Senator from Mississippi Roger Wicker (R) said: "As the Baltic region faces serious and continuing security challenges, the U.S. is proud to support our steadfast NATO Allies."

"This visit by a bipartisan and bicameral delegation is representative of the strong consensus in the U.S. Congress to push back against the Kremlin's malign activities in the region," Sen. Wicker, who led the delegation with Sen. Ben Cardin (D, Maryland) added, according to a U.S. Embassy press release.

"We also appreciate the important and growing contributions of Estonia and our other regional allies and partners as we work to address global security challenges." 

Senator Cardin added that: "The American alliance with Estonia is based on shared democratic values. We appreciate our bilateral relationship and mutual efforts to support the democratic opposition in Belarus and independent voices in Russia."

"Across the 57 nations that are part of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, rising challenges to democratic norms require a sober and sustained response from those committed to the rule of law and the defense of human rights. Estonia and the U.S. are staunch allies in this contest," Sen. Cardin went on.

The delegation are in Estonia July 6-8 and are representing the U.S. Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, an independent U.S. government commission advancing regional security through the promotion of human rights, democracy, and economic, environmental, and military cooperation.

The rest of the contingent consisted of Sen. John Cornyn (R, Texas), Sen. Thom Tillis (R, North Carolina), Rep. Joe Wilson (R, South Carolina), Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D, Texas) Rep. Steve Cohen (D, Tennessee), Rep. Andy Harris (R, Maryland), Rep. Richard Hudson (R, North Carolina, Rep. Marc Veasey (D, Texas, Rep. Trent Kelly (R, Mississippi) and Rep. Gwen Moore (D, Wisconsin).

A trip to the eastern border city of Narva was also on the itinerary for the delegation, where they met with local community leaders and highlighted the U.S.' strong commitment to regional security, including to the NATO Alliance, and its long-standing partnership with Estonia.

The delegation met Prime Minister Kaja Kallas (Reform), as well as former president Toomas Hendrik Ilves, foreign minister Eva-Maria Liimets (Center) and Reform MP and Riigikogu foreign affairs committee Marhko Mihkelson.

Recent, concrete examples of U.S. security commitments to Estonia and the Baltics include increasing numbers of special forces operatives active in the area, flyovers from iconic U.S. military aircraft including the signature B-52 strategic bomber, and a large-scale airborne drop over Järva County during May's Exercise Spring Storm.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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