Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin testifies before the Senate Appropriations State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs Subcommittee on Capitol Hill in Washington March 7, 2017. REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein
Reuters: Eastern European diplomats appeal for U.S. help against Russia
Diplomats from six Eastern European countries appealed to U.S. senators on Tuesday to help them stand up against interference from Russia, including cyber attacks, and insisted that sanctions imposed on Moscow should not be lifted anytime soon.
The foreign minister of Ukraine as well as the ambassadors to Washington from Poland, Georgia, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia appeared at a Senate appropriations subcommittee hearing on Russian activity in their countries.
"Until Russia gets off Ukrainian land, there should be no easing up of sanctions. If anything, they should be increased," said Ukraine's Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin.
Other diplomats agreed, describing efforts within their countries and others to lessen their dependence on Russian natural gas for their energy needs.
"We really think about diversification," said Piotr Wilczek, Poland's ambassador to Washington.
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WNU editor: I live in Canada .... can Canada distant its economic/political/cultural ties with the U.S. .... the answer is no. I use to live in Ukraine and I have a place in Russia .... I know that the countries in the eastern bloc cannot break away from Russia .... and whether they like it or not .... the economic/political/cultural ties are too close. But I also understand why some of these states are not comfortable with the political/economic pressure that Russia can exert on them ... and they are worried about their independence. In the end these eastern European nations will have to find some accommodation with Russia .... and Russia will have to compromise .... but for now relations are in the "toilet" .... and I expect that to be the case for the foreseeable future. As for going to Washington and begging for help .... I wish these eastern European diplomats luck .... but they are going to be disappointed.