Gen. Wesley Clark, former Ambassadors, and community leaders target battleground states

New video warns of Trump’s attacks on NATO endanger freedom, from the Baltics to the Black Sea

 

WASHINGTON DC – A group of American ethnic leaders from central and eastern Europe (CEE), together with former US ambassadors to NATO and 14 CEE nations, General Wesley Clark, former NATO Supreme Allied Commander and Ambassador Mark Brzezinski (retired) today announced a campaign warning voters in battleground states of the danger that reelection of President Donald Trump poses to freedom in so many countries of their heritage.

As part of the launch, they have released a joint statement, video, and a print ad aimed at highlighting President Trump’s ongoing threats to NATO and former Vice President Joe Biden’s commitment to championing the military alliance as a bulwark for the people of central and eastern Europe against Russian authoritarianism and aggression. The campaign is targeted to ethnic and social media of Americans whose families hale from central and eastern Europe.

“The ethnic community leaders and former diplomats who come together today know central and eastern Europe. They know America. And they know Vladimir Putin,” said General Clark. “That’s why I join them to warn voters, particularly in battleground states, that, because he threatens NATO, Donald Trump is dangerous to their families’ homelands and to our country. Vice President Joe Biden, on the other hand, is a proven champion of NATO and of democracy in Europe and around the world.

He added: “Freedom in nations from the Baltic to the Black Sea, from bigger states such as Ukraine and Poland to smaller ones such as Estonia and Montenegro, is on the ballot in 2020. In the coming weeks, all of us will sound the alarm in every battleground state with direct voter contact — phone calls, social media, and the rest. The stakes are too high to do any less.”

“Instead of uniting our friends and dividing our enemies, President Trump has done the reverse, setting back the US interest,” said Ambassador Brzezinski. “President Biden and Vice President Harris will positively change the tone and content of our relations with other countries, at a time when a collective approach is the most effective approach.”

“As a Ukrainian-American I know how crucial NATO is not only to peace in Europe but also to giving countries as yet outside NATO the confidence and courage to stand up to the dangers of Russian aggression. Ukraine knows this well. The Russian invasion and annexation of Crimea serves as a warning to all of Europe and Ukraine today serves as Europe’s bulwark and the front line against further Russian aggression, fighting a hot war on its eastern border,” said Ulana Mazurkevich, a Ukrainian-American community leader in Pennsylvania.

“After the alliance-weakening Trump presidency, renewed American leadership is essential. Vice President Biden’s unshakeable and longstanding support for NATO will restore the strength of the Alliance, so necessary for American and European security,” she added.

At a recent virtual press conference, Brzezinski and Mazurkevich – as well as General Clark and Peter S. Ujvagi, a former Ohio State Representative, and Hungarian American community leader – described President Trump’s efforts to withdraw from NATO, and the long-term repercussions to millions of central and eastern European families by emboldening Russian President Vladimir Putin.

To view the new video, please click here.

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Statement by American CEE Ethnic Leaders and Former Military and U.S. Diplomats

Since World War II, the NATO Alliance has protected peace and freedom in Europe. Since the fall of Communism, it has been the bulwark for the people of central and eastern Europe against Russian authoritarianism and expansionism.

And all of us know that key to NATO’s success is America’s leadership role.

Every US president, Republican and Democrat since Harry Truman has understood that.

Until Donald Trump.

Today freedom in central and eastern Europe is in danger — and is at stake in this election — because NATO is in danger. Donald Trump has disparaged NATO and suggested that the US withdraw. He has alienated our NATO allies and emboldened Russia’s Vladimir Putin.

Threatening NATO threatens American values and American interests. More democracy is better for the people of every nation and makes our democracy and our allies’ democracies safer.

Many of us know this from our own experience and the experiences of our parents and grandparents.  Before 1989, too many countries in central and eastern Europe were governed by dictatorships beholden to Moscow. Others of us know this from our work with our democratic allies to keep central and eastern Europe free and peaceful.

In contrast to Trump, Vice President Biden is a proven champion of NATO and its security role in central and eastern Europe. In 1998, just nine years after the fall of the Berlin wall, he led the successful Senate fight to expand NATO to include Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic. And he strongly supported adding eleven more countries, from the Baltics to the Black Sea, to the Alliance.

Today, the causes of freedom in central and eastern Europe — and, thus, of NATO — have no stronger champion than Joe Biden.

That is why we are urging every freedom-loving American, particularly those whose families knew central and Eastern Europe before NATO, to join us in supporting Joe Biden for President. Donald Trump is too great a danger.

 

Individuals

General Wesley Clark (Rtd.), Former Supreme Allied Commander of NATO

Ambassador Mark Brzezinski (Rtd.), former U.S. ambassador to Sweden

 

Former US Ambassadors to NATO

Ambassador Nicholas Burns (Rtd.), former Under Secretary of State, former U.S. Ambassador to NATO and to Greece

Ambassador Robert Hunter (Rtd.), former U.S. Ambassador to NATO

Ambassador Alexander Vershbow (Rtd.), former NATO Deputy Secretary-General, Assistant Secretary of Defense, and U.S. Ambassador to Russia, NATO, and South Korea

 

National and battleground state central and eastern European American leaders

 

National:

 

Almira Ahmetovic, Bosnian-American community leader (New Jersey)

Alex Braun, Czech American community leader

Tom Dine, former President of American Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty in Prague

Radu Florescu, Romanian-American community leader

Lukas Lipinski, Founder, Polish Americans for Biden

Vytas Maciunuas, past president of the Lithuanian- American Community (New Jersey)

Ulana Mazurkevich, Former Public Member of the U S Congressional Commission on Ukraine Famine 1932-33, Member Steering Committee Ukrainian-Americans for Biden, Ukrainian-American community leader

Danguole Navickas, past president of World Lithuanian Community

 

Amir Ovcina, Bosnian-American community leader (Illinois)

Maureen Pikarski, Chair, National Democratic Ethnic Coordinating Council, Polish American community leader

Steven Rukavina, Croatian American community leader

Maximillian Teleki, Hungarian American community leader

Nevena Trajkov, Political Scientist/Professor, Macedonian-Americans for Joe Biden

 

Peter S. Ujvagi, Ohio State Representative (ret.), Hungarian American Community Leader

Ilir Zherka, Albanian American community leader (Maryland)

 

Battleground states:

 

Florida

Vira Bodnaruk, President, Ukrainian Language Society

Angele Karnas, former Florida delegate to Lithuanian American Community, National Council

Oksana Piaseckyj, U S Committee on Ukrainian Holodomor-Genocide Awareness, Cultural liaison Ukrainian community in Miami

Michigan

Nevena Trajkov, Political Scientist/Professor, Macedonian-Americans for Joe Biden

 

Minnesota

Zinaida Poletz Gutman, US Committee on Ukraine Holodomor Genocide Awareness, Vice President, Ukrainian Maidan Minnesota Committee

Ohio

Rimantas Aukstuolis, President of Lithuanian Center, Cleveland, OHIO

Dona Brady, retired Councilwoman and member of Cleveland City Council Ward 11, Albanian-American Community Leader

Andrew Fedynsky, National Democratic Ethnic Coordinating Committee, Ukrainian -American community leader

Marta Fedoriw, public relations chair, Ukrainian National Women’s League

Peter S. Ujvagi, Ohio State Representative (ret.), Hungarian American Community Leader

Pennsylvania

Vedat Gashi, 4th District, Westchester County Board of Legislators, Chair, Committee on Public Works & Transportation, Vice-Chair, Budget and Appropriations, Albanian-American community leader

Terese Gecys, past president of Lithuanian-American Community, Inc Philadelphia Chapter

 

Roman Petyk, Associate General Counsel, University of Pennsylvania, Ukrainian -American community leader

Steven Rukavina, Croatian American community leader

Dr. Onile Sestokas, Former Chairperson of the Free Lithuania Committee in Maryland  and Former Chairperson of Lithuanian Catholic Youth Association

 

Texas

Chris Wynnyk Wilson, Coordinator Austin, Texas Ukrainians

Virginia

Ambassador Mark Brzezinski (Rtd.), former U.S. ambassador to Sweden

Orest Deychakiwsky, former Policy Advisor Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (Helsinki Commission), Ukranian-American community leader

 

Former US Ambassadors to central and Eastern European nations 

Ambassador Colleen Bell (Rtd.), former U.S. Ambassador to Hungary

Ambassador Donald Blinken (Rtd.), former U.S. Ambassador to Hungary

Ambassador Avis Bohlen (Rtd.), former U.S. Ambassador to Bulgaria

Ambassador Brian E. Carlson (Rtd.), former U.S. Ambassador to Latvia, 2001-2005

Ambassador Greg Delawie,(Rtd), former U.S. Ambassador to Kosovo

Ambassador Norman Eisen (Rtd.), former U.S. Ambassador to the Czech Republic

Ambassador Charles L. English (Rtd.), former U.S. Ambassador to Bosnia and Herezgovina

Ambassador James B. Foley (Rtd.), former U.S. Ambassador to Croatia

Ambassador Peter W. Galbraith (Rtd.), first US Ambassador to Croatia, mediator of the Erdut Peace Agreement

Ambassador Mark Gitenstein (Rtd.), former U.S. Ambassador to Romania

Ambassador Michael Guest (Rtd.), former Ambassador to Romania

Ambassador Christopher Hill (Rtd.), former Ambassador to Albania, Iraq, Macedonia, Poland, South Korea

Ambassador James H. Holmes (Rtd.), former U.S. Ambassador to Latvia (Rtd.) 1998-2001

Ambassador Tracey Ann Jacobson (Rtd.), former U.S. Ambassador to Kosovo

Lt. Governor of California Eleni Konalakis, former United States Ambassador to Hungary

Ambassador James D. Melville, Jr, (Rtd.) former U.S. Ambassador to Estonia

Ambassador Tom Miller (Rtd.), former US Ambassador to Greece, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and the Cyprus Negotiations

Ambassador William Dale Montgomery (Rtd.), former US Ambassador to Bulgaria, Croatia, Serbia and Montenegro

Ambassador Larry C. Napper (Rtd.), former U.S. Ambassador to Latvia and Kazakhstan.

Ambassador Steven Pifer (Rtd.), former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine

Ambassador Michael Polt (Rtd.), former U.S.  Ambassador to Estonia

Ambassador James Rosapepe (Rtd.), former U.S. Ambassador to Romania

Ambassador Theodore Sedgwick (Rtd.), former U.S. Ambassador to Slovakia

Ambassador John Shattuck (Rtd.), former US Ambassador to the Czech Republic, 1998-2000; Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, 1993-98

Dr. Bart Szewczyk, senior policy advisor to US ambassador to the UN Ambassador Samantha Power

Ambassador Carl Spielvogel (Rtd.), former U.S. Ambassador to Slovakia

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