CENTRAL AND EAST EUROPEAN COALITION
1612 K Street, N.W., Suite 410
Washington, D.C. 20006
Russia Aggression Must Cease in Georgia
The Central and East European Coalition (CEEC), comprised of eighteen
national membership organizations representing more than twenty-two
million Americans who trace their heritage to Central and Eastern
Europe, expresses its deep concern over the current Russian aggression
toward the sovereign nation of Georgia. Russia’s military attacks, and
subsequent invasion of South Ossetia, and most importantly -- the
bombing of cities and towns far away from the conflict regions --
violate international law and Georgia’s internationally recognized
territorial borders and sovereignty. As a strategic political and
economic partner of the United States, Georgia is in need of immediate
diplomatic intervention and assistance. The dramatic escalation of
violence in this region only works to destabilize the Georgian
government and the remarkable strides they have made in solidifying
their democratic institutions and values. Of further concern is that
Russia may also try to regain its influence on its ”near abroad” if the
West cannot now come to Georgia’s aid.
The present conflict in Georgia has already caused untold devastation
and loss of human lives. The world community must condemn this violence,
and urge Russia to immediately withdraw its forces and cease all
military operations. During this extremely critical period of transition
in this region, it is imperative to support and encourage an ally that
promotes democratic ideals and principles in an increasingly hostile and
autocratic geo-political environment.
With direct and truly neutral international mediation of this dispute,
we can ensure continued Euro-Atlantic stability and prosperity.
Moreover, this crisis amply demonstrates why Georgia should be moved to
the Membership Action Plan (MAP) stage of NATO’s enlargement not only to
secure Georgia, but also to promote security throughout the region.
Recent statements from President Bush, and the two presidential
candidates, Sens. John McCain and Barack Obama, underscore the
non-partisan nature of this issue, as well as the grave importance of a
resolution to this armed intervention, which would promote peace and
stability in Georgia and the region. The CEEC calls upon the U.S.
Administration to increase diplomatic talks with our allies to persuade
the Russian Federation into a peaceful settlement of the current
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The Polish American Congress is a member, and one of the co-founders,
of the Coalition.