Embassy of the U.S., Tallinn
This Sunday, January 16, will mark the thirteenth year since the signing of the Baltic Charter in Washington, DC. The Charter, signed by the President of the United States and the Presidents of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, set forth the United States' "real, profound, and enduring interest" in the Baltic States, and this document has been a cornerstone of relations between the U.S. and the Baltic region ever since.
Estonian independence had only been restored seven years prior to the signing of the Charter, and it is remarkable how much progress has been made in that time towards achieving the common visions set forth within the Charter. Estonia's dedication to democracy and the rule of law, as well as its respect for human rights and open markets, speaks volumes about both the nation's trajectory as well as the seriousness with which it embraced the Charter.
The spirit and intent of the Charter prevails, and it provides an interesting insight into a period when Estonia was not yet a member of NATO, the EU, or the OSCE. At the time of the signing of the Charter, Estonia and its Baltic neighbors bore much promise and this has certainly been realized with the contributions of all the signatories to the building of a new Europe having benefitted all.
The Baltic Charter turns thirteen