The Central and East European Coalition (CEEC) recently prepared and sent its questionnaire for the 2020 Presidential candidates to both the Trump and Biden campaigns. The CEEC has been sending questionnaires on our issues of interest to candidates on a nonpartisan and fully inclusive basis since the 1996 Presidential election. The coalition was founded in 1994 and represents over 22 million American voters, and the Estonian American National Council is an original member. The questionnaire, and the campaigns’ responses, serve as a useful tool for our constituents to assess the candidates’ positions on policy matters that impact U.S. relations with the CEE region, NATO, Europe, and the transatlantic partnership.
The questionnaire included a request for forwarding to the campaigns’ foreign policy staffs with a one week response time. Once responses are received, they will be published to CEEC member communities for consideration as constituents determine their candidate of choice. In the meantime, readers are encouraged to use these questions as a tool in contacting and evaluating local races between candidates running for House and Senate seats. Please stay tuned here for any responses received from the Presidential campaigns in the coming weeks.
Central and East European Coalition Questions for the 2020 Presidential Candidates
The Central and East European Coalition is comprised of 18 national membership organizations that represent more than 22 million Americans of Central and Eastern European (CEE) descent. As we represent communities in the United States with heritage from countries that neighbor Russia, our constituents have a vested interest not only in U.S. relations with central and eastern Europe, but also the U.S.-Russia relationship, and U.S. policy toward the region. Since 1996, we have sent questionnaires to candidates on a fully nonpartisan and inclusive basis.
To inform our voters on the candidates’ positions on our issues of interest, we respectfully request that the campaigns submit responses to the following questions:
- What is your position on the implementation of U.S. sanctions in response to the elections in Belarus and their aftermath?
- What are your plans for the future of U.S. commitment to NATO? Please include comments on your views of the ideal level of U.S. troop presence and capabilities in the European theater, and any withdrawals from Germany.
- What are your policy goals for U.S. relations with Russia? Please include any concerns you have regarding adherence, or lack thereof, to the numerous standing agreements that both nations have signed on to. Examples include: Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe, Helsinki Final Act of 1975, NATO-Russia Founding Act of 1997, and Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances of 1994.
- What is your position on sanctions against Russia with respect to both Ukraine and Crimea?
- How do you see the role of the U.S. in countering Russian hybrid warfare in the Caucasus region, including the creeping occupation of Georgia’s sovereign territory?
- What is your stance on disinformation coming into the U.S. and the CEE nations from sources within Russia and elsewhere, and the misinformation being fed to the Russian people about the U.S. and its allies?
- How would you characterize the effect of the Putin regime’s policies toward central and eastern Europe on U.S. national interests? Are there Kremlin policies that you consider to be contrary to strengthening democracy, human rights, and stability in the region?
- Considering the Kremlin’s long history of using gas and oil as a means of political and economic pressure, what is your position on U.S. assistance to ensure energy security and independence in the CEE region, to include working to end the Nord Stream 2 project, and supporting the Three Seas Initiative?