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Baltic States: Presidents Urge NATO To Keep Doors Open

Tallinn, 27 May 1997 (RFE/RL) -- The presidents of the Baltic republics, Poland and Ukraine today urged NATO not to close its doors after admitting a first wave of new members.

Lennart Meri (Estonia), Guntis Ulmanis (Latvia), Algirdas Brazauskas (Lithuania), Aleksander Kwasniewski (Poland) and Leonid Kuchma (Ukraine) met in Tallinn today.

In a joint communique they reiterated their common position that NATO should remain open for all countries aspiring for membership.

The presidents also said they would work together within the framework of Nato's Partnership for Peace program to address what they called the new security challenges facing Europe.

The communique also stated that each state has the right to choose the means to ensure its own security, including treaties with the alliance.

The presidents hailed the NATO-Russia charter saying it enhanced mutual confidence, security and stability in the Euro-Atlantic area.