Durbin, Grassley Introduce Resolution Recognizing & Strengthening Diplomatic Relations, Security Cooperation Between U.S. & Baltic States

The Senators introduce the resolution during NATO Summit week

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) and U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Co-Chairs of the Senate Baltic Freedom Caucus, introduced a resolution recognizing the importance of the alliance between the United States and the Baltic States, including support for the Baltic Security Initiative, which enhances and strengthens U.S. security cooperation with the Baltics and NATO interoperability amid Russia’s unprovoked war in Ukraine.  The resolution is introduced while the United States is hosting the NATO Summit in Washington, D.C., where Heads of State and Government of NATO member countries will discuss important issues facing the Alliance and provide strategic direction for its activities.  In addition to Durbin and Grassley, U.S. Senators Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Steve Daines (R-MT), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), and Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) are also cosponsors.

“Not only do I have strong personal ties to the region, but the Baltic countries are essential NATO partners in upholding democratic values abroad,” said Durbin.  “Our resolution reaffirms our partnerships with the Baltics and security programs to enhance their capabilities as critical allies on NATO’s eastern flank.  I remain steadfast in my support for the Baltic States as they work to combat Russian aggression, offer safe haven to Russian and Belarusian opposition voices, and withstand Chinese economic pressure.”

“The Baltic nations of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania have served as beacons of freedom for over a century. These countries kept the flame of liberty alive during 50 years of Soviet occupation and now stand united as global leaders defending against near-constant foreign aggression,” Grassley said. “As Co-Chair of the Senate Baltic Freedom Caucus, I can proudly say the friendship between the United States and the Baltics is one of our nation’s strongest. I look forward to our continued partnership.”

Last year, Durbin and Grassley introduced the Baltic Security Initiative Act, bipartisan and bicameral legislation to effectively codify the Baltic Security Initiative.  In 2022, the Senate passed Durbin and Grassley’s resolution that celebrates 100 years of diplomatic relations with the Baltic States of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. The resolution also reaffirms the United States’ commitment to NATO.

In Fiscal Year 2024 (FY24), Durbin secured $228 million for the Baltic Security Initiative.

Durbin met with Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis yesterday in his D.C. office to discuss Putin’s efforts to undermine allied security and democracy.  Last year, Durbin traveledto Vilnius, Lithuania, for the 2023 NATO Summit with his Senate colleagues.  In 2022, Durbin traveled to Vilnius, Lithuania, where he received the Aleksandras Stulginskis Star Award—the first American to receive this award.  It was granted to Durbin for his decades-long support of Lithuanian independence and democracy and his promotion of parliamentary values.  He was in Vilnius two years ago on the morning Russia launched its renewed invasion of Ukraine. 

Text of the resolution can be found here.