E. Europe wants firm U.S. policy on Russia

July 16, 2009 at 2:39 PM
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WARSAW, Poland, July 16 (UPI) -- Eastern European politicians are urging U.S. President Barack Obama to take a firm stand towards Russia when their region is involved, officials said.

Poland's former presidents Lech Walesa and Aleksander Kwasniewski, and former Czech Republic President Vaclav Havel are among 22 politicians who wrote a letter asking Obama not to forget central-eastern Europe and urged him to execute a firm and principled policy towards Moscow, Polish Radio said Thursday.

The letter is to be presented in Washington at a forthcoming conference being organized by U.S. author Ronald D. Asmus, one of the first advocates of NATO enlargement in the early 1990s that led to membership invitations to the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland.

A more determined U.S. policy toward Russia will both strengthen Western nations' security and will lead Moscow to become more cooperative, the letter said.

The letter told Obama not to succumb to Russian pressure to completely abandon plans to deploy U.S. missile defense facilities in Poland and the Czech Republic.

The letter was written after analysts said central and eastern Europe are not among Obama's priorities, the radio said.

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