Review of the Role of the Polish American Congress 
in Bringing Poland into NATO

Historical Background

Chronology of Efforts on behalf of NATO Enlargement: 1991-1998

The Debate on NATO Enlargement:
Hearings before the Committee on Foreign Relations, US Senate
October-November 1997
Including testimony by PAC President Edward Moskal and Jan Nowak Jezioranski
(PDF, 558 pages, ~3MB)

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Historical Background: 1939-1991

In order to understand why the Polish American Congress was founded and what it did to bring Poland into NATO and return it to the family of Western Nations - one must go back to the tragic events that molded Poland's history in the 20th Century.

On September 1, 1939 Poland was invaded by the Nazis, and shortly after that the Soviets attacked from the East, ripping Poland apart and sending millions of its citizens into Siberia and methodically killing Polish intelligentsia. (KATYN Massacre).

During World War II, the Polish military forces fought valiantly on the side of the Allies, on all fronts, while the Polish Underground continued the struggle in the Polish territories.

Towards the War's end, after Teheran (November 1943), it became painfully evident that Poland would not be a free country; so in reaction to that, the Polish American community met in Buffalo NY, in May 1944, with over 3,000 organizations and 15,000 delegates to create an organization which would continue the struggle for a free and independent Poland. The Polish American Congress adopted an American Agenda aimed at assuring that its members become better informed American citizens and a Polish Agenda to help Poland in its great hour of need, keeping the American public and Administration informed on what was happening to the enslaved people of Poland and how this affected the security of the United States ... The American Polonia learned a very bitter lesson on Pulaski Day, October 11, 1944, when at a meeting in the White House, President Roosevelt deceived it by creating the impression that Poland would be free within its pre-war borders. In actuality, months earlier he and Churchill had already conceded Poland's eastern territories to Stalin. The February 1945 Yalta Agreement, signed by the three war-time allies, was later violated by the Soviet Union.

Over the last 50 years the Polish American Congress fought on the political front, by informing and educating all who would listen -- of Poland's rightful place in the Western community and of human rights violations and the undue suffering of the Polish people under the Soviets. The Polish American Charitable Foundation (created in 1971) helped the people of Poland with humanitarian and medical assistance.

The Polish American Congress is a federation, an umbrella organization covering the majority of Polish American fraternal, veteran, social, cultural, religious and other types of organizations. There are 41 units, called Divisions and Chapters in 20 key states. (In the folder you will find some statistics). Each one of these has local member organizations. In larger Polish American communities, like Chicago and Detroit, they number hundreds of local organizations and many individual members. In aggregate we estimate a total of a million members.

The Polish American Congress' Council of National Directors sets policy carried out by the Headquarters in Chicago. The Washington, DC office maintains contact with the Administration and appropriate governmental agencies. In its contacts with the U.S. Congress, it monitors and helps develop legislation on issues of interest to the Polish American community (foreign affairs, humanitarian assistance, immigration, cultural, social, human rights, etc. )

During the immediate post-war period the Polish American Congress was involved in activities aimed at improving the economic and political situation in Poland.

The issue of NATO expansion and inclusion of Poland in the Alliance has been in the forefront of Polish American Congress' activity for nearly seven years. The Polish American Congress started discussing NATO membership for Poland, Hungary and Czechoslovakia-Slovakia on June 14, 1991 (Polish American Congress meeting in New York City).

Following are highlights of Polish American Congress actions and legislation dealing with NATO expansion and ratification of the treaty.

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1991

1991 June 14

The Polish American Congress discussed removal of Soviet troops from Poland and membership for Poland in North Atlantic Treaty Organization (Polish American Congress Council of National Directors meeting in New York City).

Resolution passed by Polish American Congress Council of National Directors urging the United States that "any economic aid to the Soviet Union should be closely linked to the removal without further delay of all Soviet Union's military forces from Poland."

1991 July - September

A series of events, including correspondence and exchange of communications between President Lech Walesa and Gorbachev, visit of Polish Prime Minister Bielecki to Washington, DC, and correspondence between PAC President Edward Moskal and President George Bush.

1991 September 22

Resolution was passed by Polish American Congress, Northern California Division, calling for NATO membership for Poland, Hungary and Czechoslovakia.

1991 October 16

Polish American Congress, National Vice President, Wojciech Winkler sends a petition with 700 signatures to President Bush recommending economic aid to the former Soviet Union, strengthening security of East Central Europe by extending full membership in NATO to Poland, Hungary and Czechoslovakia, and granting emergency credits to independent republics of the former Soviet Union for purchase of food and medicines from Poland, Hungary and Czechoslovakia.

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1993

1993 October 28

Polish American Congress meets in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Adopts resolution concerning admission of Poland to NATO: "Now be it resolved: To urge the Government of the United States to ensure that Poland become a full member of NATO as soon as possible." Resolution with strong cover letter transmitted to President Clinton on October 28.

1993 November 2

Polish American Congress planning and discussion session concerning Poland's entry to NATO and security of East Central Europe. In January Clinton will go to Brussels, then to Prague to meet Heads of State of Poland, Hungary and Czech and Slovak Republics and then to Moscow. Russia considers Poland and the other countries in the region as their sphere of influence.

1993 November 8

Article by Stephen S. Rosenfeld, "An Earlier Tilt Toward Moscow" in The Washington Post. A Yale graduate student's obscure journal article on World War II diplomacy is sending ripples through Washington. History doctoral candidate William Larsh is the author of an article on then-Ambassador to Moscow W. Averell Harriman's handling of the Polish question in 1943 and 1944. This is a disclosure of the American role, and that of Harriman's, in Stalin's consummation of a Communist takeover in a nation whose liberation from Nazism was a principal Allied war aim. The new article argues that Harriman "fundamentally" misread Stalin. He covertly negotiated the replacement of the recognized Polish government in exile with the Soviet dictator's Polish puppets. His hope was that Stalin, having tended to Soviet security needs in the East European buffer zone, would let the Poles run their own internal affairs. His method was to hide American diplomacy so as not to stir up public opinion, especially among Polish Americans.

Harriman's chief, Franklin D. Roosevelt, evidently had no similar illusions about what Stalin had in mind for Eastern Europe. Harriman recorded this breathtaking note: "On one occasion in May (1944) the President told me that he didn't care whether the countries bordering Russia became communized ... Today Poles and others in Central Europe feel a tentative chill ... Yeltsin warns against East Europe's being taken into NATO. ... the United States offers what many Eastern Europeans perceive as insufficient concern for their exposure to Russia. The Clinton administration has its reasons not to invite new members right now. First it wants to settle solidly on a new NATO mission, meanwhile it offers democratic Eastern Europeans a lesser 'partnership'."

1993 November 15

An article by Henry Kissinger, in the German Welt am Sontag, was summarized in the Polish daily newspaper, Rzeczpospolita. Loosely translated: "We defied attempts at blackmail when Russia was still strong, what sense is there in guaranteeing internally divided Russia the right to blackmail? Russia's right to her security, should not be treated by the U.S. Government as a basis for support of Moscow's historic objective - control over the politics of its neighbors".

1993 November 18

"Ghost of Yalta" by Rowland Evans and Robert Novak, Washington Post.

"...President Clinton is giving Boris Yeltsin and the Russian military a sweet deal offering Russia virtual hegemony over most of the former Soviet Union and denying Eastern Europe entry into NATO. Yeltsin visited Warsaw in late August and stated that Poland had the right to join NATO, however when he returned to Moscow, Gen. Pavel Grachev, the Russian Defense Minister and Andrei Kozyrev, the Foreign Minister, pressured him and warned Yeltsin that the military would destabilize Russia ... "

Clinton has been ambiguous on the NATO question, partly because Poland insists on joining and has a potent political lobby in the United States. After receiving a letter from Yeltsin rejecting NATO expansion, Clinton said membership could come in the future -- but not now. In fact, however, Administration sources say Yeltsin has been informed that NATO will not expand into Eastern Europe during Clinton's presidency.

Czech President Vaclav Havel, reflecting Eastern European opinion, warned the Council of Europe in a speech last month that Clinton's decision resurrects the "ghost of Yalta".

The military's power over Russia's policy, unimpeded by Clinton because of his commitment to Yeltsin's presidency, is also shown by a new military doctrine -- much of it still secret. It gives carte blanch to the use of troops throughout the old Soviet empire for "peace-keeping", specially for large Russian minorities.

The Moscow summit in January will cement the Clinton-Yeltsin unwritten pact that keeps Eastern Europe out of NATO and unleashes the Russian army.

1993 November 19

Polish American Congress letter to President Clinton - An invitation by Lech Walesa for Clinton to visit Poland on the 50th Anniversary of the Warsaw Uprising on August, 1994. (NOTE: President Clinton did not accept).

1993 November 22

Special meeting in the Polish American Congress Washington DC Office concerning the latest developments indicating Russia's threatening posture and Clinton's lack of strong response.

1. Polish American Congress must meet with Clinton prior to his January trip.
2. Polish American Congress must call the other ethnic groups and discuss strategy to meet the common danger.

1993 November 24

President Moskal's letter to Senator Simon to "Share with you some of our concerns over the new U.S. policy towards Russia and the states of the former Soviet bloc, including Poland ... "So far these first signals of neo-expansionism have not met with any response from the U.S. Administration. The proposal of "Partnership for Peace" does not offer to neighbors of Russia and countries of East-Central Europe either a deterrent against potential aggressors or a credible prospect of achieving security under a NATO umbrella in the future ... We hope that the United States never again will be a partner to any deal with any great power at the expense of smaller countries. We trust, therefore, Mr. Senator, that you will oppose vigorously any policy that could be perceived in Moscow as condoning, tacitly or explicitly, Russian ambitions to dominate other nations either by coercion and military threat or economic blackmail."

1993 November 24

"Not This Partnership," by Henry Kissinger, Washington Post. " ...The concerns of both Russia and Eastern Europe could be met by a qualified NATO membership for Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary ... without joining the integrated military structure. The PFP would create a vacuum in Eastern Europe..."

1993 November 24

Rzeczpospolita article "Russia - USA, Strategic Partnership - Common Responsibility For Peace."

1993 November 26

"Czy Nowa Jalta", article by Jan Nowak. His analysis of the Joint Report, published by Niezawisimaia Gazeta on 11/23/93. In reality the concept of "strategic partnership" is an exact copy of the thinking of Strobe Talbott of the State Department, a close friend of Clinton and Allison, current Undersecretary of Defense. The "New Yalta" would rest on the acceptance by the Russians of American conditions of mutual disarmament in exchange for tacit agreement on the part of Washington to the rebuilding by Moscow of the empire and the sphere of influence over East Central Europe.

1993 November 30

Remarks by U.S. Secretary of State Warren Christopher at the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe, Plenary Session, Rome, Italy. "...We have proposed to our NATO allies a Partnership for Peace that will extend practical security cooperation to the North Atlantic Cooperation Council partners and other European nations. At the same time we propose to open the door to an evolutionary expansion of NATO membership."

1993 November 30

President Moskal's letter to Senator Paul Simon. "... Russian neo-expansionism has not been met with any response from the U.S. Administration. PFP does not offer any security. Dangers still abound in post-Cold War Europe. The revolutions of 1989 led to the collapse of communism. Four years later -- where are we headed? Europe has no stable security. Rising nationalism, ethnic conflict, geopolitical rivalries threaten to undercut fragile democracies ..."

1993 November 30

The Polish American Congress Washington Office Fax to 18 national ethnic organizations Re: Russian Neo-imperialistic Policy and the U.S. Invitation for a meeting on December 6, in the Polish American Congress office. "We would like to extend, and share with you, our information and to discuss possibilities of coordinated action."

1993

Polish American Congress Letter to the White House. "... Would you be kind enough to arrange a meeting for a delegation of the Polish American Congress with President Clinton at anytime convenient to him, between now and his departure for Brussels, Prague and Moscow ... It has became a tradition, in the last 49 years, that each President would give us an opportunity to share with him our concerns relating to United States policy towards Poland. The timing of such a meeting would be of particular importance to us in view of the forthcoming meeting of President Clinton with European leaders."

1993 December 1

"A Bigger - and Safer - Europe: New York Times Op-Ed.

1993 December 2

Senator Simon's letter to President Clinton. "... I met with Ed Moskal plus other leaders -- they have two requests:

1. On your next trip to Europe go to Poland - (gesture also welcomed by the Polish American community in USA).
2. Poland, Hungary and Czech Republic should be admitted to NATO."

1993 December 3

Brussels - Addressing the NACC in Brussels, Poland's Foreign Minister Andrzej Olechowski said, "The Partnership for Peace proposal would only fulfill Polish expectations if it opened the door to NATO membership, which remains Poland's strategic objective."

1993 December 6

"Coalition" founding meeting at the Polish American Congress Washington, DC office -- 14 national ethnic organizations represented. This was a historic meeting, at which the subject of Russian neo-imperialism was discussed and at which the coalition of ethnic groups with roots in Central and Eastern Europe was reinvigorated with a common issue.

The meeting was opened by Myra Lenard, Executive Director, Polish American Congress. Casimir Lenard conducted the meeting, and Mr. Jan Nowak, National Director, briefed the assembled representatives on the overall political situation, and specifically the known position of the Clinton Administration concerning its developing relationship with President Yeltsin. Each representative of the other ethnic groups joined in expressing his concerns. It was mutually agreed that the situation was drastic and required a joint effort on the part of each one of the organizations.

1993 December 6

Memorandum from President Edward J. Moskal of the Polish American Congress to the Presidents of all Member National Organizations, and Presidents of State Divisions and Chapters, on Russian neo-imperialistic policy and the U.S., asking all to SEND LETTERS to President Clinton, Secretaries of State and Defense, Chairman of the Democratic National Committee and both senators of each recipient's state, expressing dismay and astonishment, as United States citizens, informed and concerned voters, at the possibility that the U.S. may, in some way, encourage the Russian government to engulf Poland and other neighboring countries. Attached were: a sample letter, lists of addresses, newspaper clippings.

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1994

1994 January

The Polish American Congress and members of the Central and East European Coalition invited to Milwaukee, WI to meet at a "Round Table" with officials from the White House, National Security Council, State Department and others ... to openly discuss the concerns of the European ethnic groups (20 selected leaders of the Coalition with roots in the four Visegrad countries) and then, on the next day to hear a major foreign policy speech by President Clinton and have an opportunity to meet with the President after his remarks.

The night before the Milwaukee meeting, President Clinton's mother passed away and Vice President Gore made the presentation.

1994 January

NATO Meeting in Brussels. President Clinton declares that it will be the policy of NATO to bring in new member countries from Central Europe.

Prague meeting of President Clinton with the leaders of Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic. No longer a question of whether NATO would be expanded, but "when" and "how."

Enactment of the NATO PARTICIPATION ACT of 1994 ...

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1995

In 1995 NATO published a statement describing the process that it would follow to add new member countries to the Alliance.

1995 February 6

Polish American Congress issues a Legislative Alert (5 pages) to all of its Divisions and Chapters. Re: TITLE VI - REVITALIZATION AND EXPANSION OF THE NORTH ATLANTIC TREATY ORGANIZATION, as part of H.R. 7 National Security Revitalization Act to be presented on the House floor the week of February 13. The bill supports the extension of NATO and establishes criteria for membership. It names Poland, Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic. It provides for assistance from the United States and other NATO members to facilitate transition of these four to full NATO membership.

1995 February 16

The NATO PARTICIPATION ACT AMENDMENTS -- Drawn from the foreign policy plank of the "Contract With America. "...This law aims to speed up the process of incorporating the emerging democracies of Central and Eastern Europe into NATO. Passed the House 241-181. In mark-up Congressman Torricelli (D-NJ) eliminated the important key target date of January 10, 1999, with: "in the near future".

U.S. Congress action on this legislation now moved to the Senate. Senator Hank Brown (R-CO) again took the lead to introduce the bill to mandate a "NATO Transition Program." Polish American Congress will issue a Legislative Alert with information to its members and the press.

1995 February 27

Polish American Congress letter to Anthony Lake, National Security Council: "...On April 6, 1994, Yeltsin requested a 'special agreement'... we understand that Clinton decided to accede to open dialogue and sent 25 points to the NATO Council. Strobe Talbott recently met Russian Foreign Minister and German Defense Minister; they may exchange formal letters... The Polish American Congress supports an expanded NATO to enter into security agreements with Russia -- submitting five questions to dispel our concerns and doubts..."

1995 March 15

Polish American Congress PRESS CONFERENCE at the National Press Club, Washington, DC. Reason for calling news conference is the exchange of Memoranda between the Polish American Congress and Anthony Lake, NSC.

- The Administration adopted a two-track approach to enlargement of NATO -- however, the Moscow train is moving faster (Vice President Gore visited Moscow last December 14), while progress on the East Central European train was stopped by the NATO Council last October, pending internal discussions and studies.

- The Polish American Congress is not opposed to a security agreement between NATO/Russia. We are opposed to any security deal prior to Enlargement. Process on both tracks are to move at same speed.

- Questions at the Press Conference were answered by Polish American Congress Director Jan Nowak.

1995 March 15

Polish American Congress issues "Answers to Commonly Asked Questions on NATO Expansion".

1995 March 15

Polish American Congress Press Release on the Polish American Congress National Press Club conference: "...Clinton Administration and Yeltsin discussions are taking place without the participation of the smaller countries involved , whose leaders are neither consulted nor informed. "...We are anxious that errors of the past should not be repeated -- The Yalta Agreement with Stalin led to the Soviet domination of Eastern Europe and the start of the Cold War..."

1995 March 15

In a letter to Mr. Lake, President Moskal states, "Washington's efforts to placate Moscow's leaders over the past year and half have failed. Instead of making Russians more reasonable, Russia has become 'increasingly confrontational and aggressive'. Russia has taken numerous actions around the world that are against the interests of the U.S. and its allies."

1995 March 23

Senator Hank Brown and Senator Paul Simon introduce a bill to mandate "NATO Transition Program" -- requiring the President to establish a program to expand NATO membership. The "NATO Participation Act Amendments of 1995" strengthens certain provisions of the NATO Participation Act of 1994, signed into law last November. This program will establish joint planning, training and military exercises with NATO forces; encourage greater interoperability of military equipment, air defense systems and command, communications and control systems; and permit greater conformity of military doctrine.

1995 April 3

Polish American Congress President Moskal's letter to Senator Mitch McConnell concerning U.S. funding for RFE/RL, VOA and other.

1995 April 24

Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland, Wladyslaw Bartoszewski's remarks at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, Washington, DC. After an introduction into his remarks, the Minister stated: "I shall not discuss the obvious benefits enlargement will bring to Poland and the members of NATO, including the USA, instead I will discuss the main objections voiced by opponents -- and I have divided these into five categories.

1995 May 1

The Central and East European Coalition Letter to President Clinton, signed by Myra Lenard, Executive Director Polish American Congress, for the Coalition. "... We share our concerns, our fears from the growing manifestations of aggressive nationalism and recent pronouncements by Russian leaders ... Since Chechnya we no longer dismiss these statements as mere rhetoric ... The U.S. should respond from the outset. Lack of reaction, silence, playing down or glossing over of early symptoms of forthcoming danger may be falsely perceived as passive approval, even encouragement to [Russian] expansion ... We address you on eve of your visit to Moscow on the 50th anniversary of V-E Day. We join in paying tribute to the heroic struggle ... At the same time we hope this commemoration will not turn into a celebration of victories of Stalinism, which merely brought another form of enslavement to the people of East Central Europe."

1995 October 30

An Open Letter - NATO ENLARGEMENT - A POLISH AMERICAN CONGRESS POSITION PAPER -- "...The Polish American Congress is deeply concerned that sources in Brussels say that any meaningful progress is suspended until the December 1996 ministerial meeting. In January 1996 it will be exactly two years since President Clinton posed the questions: "Who?" and "When?" Further delay undermines the credibility and influence of the United States ... The people of East Central Europe would feel the answer, in reality, is "maybe" or "never"...

1995 October 23

President Moskal's letters to Chairmen of the Democratic National Committee and the Republican National Committee inviting them to the Polish American Congress Council of National Directors meeting in Washington, DC, November 9-10, 1995.

1995 October 30

President Moskal's letter to President Clinton, expressing concern by reports that no meaningful progress will be made prior to the December 1996 Ministerial meeting.

1995 November 9

The Polish American Congress meets with President Clinton.

1995 November 14

Anthony Lake, NSC, letter to President Moskal as a follow-up on discussions with President Clinton.

1995 November 17

The Polish American Congress steps up the appeal for NATO membership for Poland with a nation-wide Mailgram Hotline campaign.

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1996

1996 September

Enactment of the "NATO ENLARGEMENT FACILITATION ACT" -- Legislation to assist the admission of Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic into NATO, approved in the House of Representatives by a vote of 353-65, and in the Senate by a vote of 81-16. NOTE: The Three above listed laws were all U.S. Congressional initiatives, greeted by the Administration with indifference, if not downright hostility (See Gilman, 4/23/97, The Washington Times)

1996 November

President Clinton's campaign speech in which he plays up to the Polish American community.

1996 December

NATO ministers declare that they would convene a summit in July in Madrid, at which time they would decide which countries would be invited to membership in the Alliance.

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1997

Installation of the Polish American Congress WEB PAGE AND USE OF INTERNET to reach broader audience beyond Polish-American ethnic community. Throughout the year, articles, announcements and updates are posted to keep the public aware of developments, including a "scorecard" of US senators and their positions on NATO Enlargement Ratification and a sample letter to be sent to senators.

1997 February

Roth-Lieberman Concurrent Resolution (S. CON. RES. 5) in the Senate reinforcing US Congress support and commitment to the extension of membership in NATO to the democracies of Central and Eastern Europe and expressing the sense of Congress that such extension is essential to the consolidation of enduring peace and stability in Europe.

The Polish American Congress at President Moskal's direction immediately issued a LEGISLATIVE ALERT to all Divisions to write to their Senators to ask them to become co-sponsors of this Resolution.

1997 February 19-22

Polish American Congress sponsors CONGRESSIONAL STAFFERS VISIT TO POLAND -- eleven members of US Senate and Congressional staffs, specialists in Foreign Relations, Armed Forces, Military Intelligence, and Appropriations, for the purpose of observing Poland's readiness to join NATO. High level meetings and working sessions on Vice Ministerial level and members of Polish Sejm and Senate. Visit to military base. These US staffers are the specialists who will be preparing briefings and legislative materials for the US Senators and Congressmen, in preparation for NATO Enlargement.

1997 March

The Polish American Congress, as a member of the Central and East European Coalition meet with Deputy Secretary of State, Strobe Talbott, to discuss the timetable for NATO enlargement and voice concerns about the NATO/Russian Charter and the NATO/Ukraine Charter and the issue of a voice or vote for Russia. Mr. Les Kuczynski represented the Polish American Congress at the meeting with Strobe Talbott.

1997 April 22

Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott, along with Minority Leader Tom Daschle, announce the appointment of 28 senators to serve on a newly created NATO Observer Group.

1997 April 30

The Central and East European Coalition sponsors an all-day conference on Capitol Hill entitled "Security and Stability in Central and Eastern Europe." Two panels of distinguished experts. Mr. Les Kuczynski participated in the conference.

1997 May 8-10

Niagara Falls, New York - Meeting of the Polish American Congress Council of National Directors. Keynote speaker: Mr. Jeremy Rosner, newly appointed Special Advisor to the President and Secretary of State for NATO Enlargement Ratification.

1997 May 1

The Polish American Congress hosts a Breakfast on Capitol Hill to celebrate Polish American friendship and the commemoration of the historic Third of May Polish Constitution of 1791. Official sponsors are Senator Barbara Mikulski, and Congressman Benjamin Gilman, the Polish Ambassador to the United States, Jerzy Kozminski, and Polish American Congress President Edward J. Moskal. The Breakfast also has 30 honorary sponsoring Senators and 36 honorary Congressional sponsors. Special guest speaker is the Prime Minister of Poland, Wlodzimierz Cimoszewicz.

1997 May

NATO Ministers meeting in Portugal to start preparations for the Madrid summit.

1997 May 27

The signing of the Founding Act between NATO and Russia (in Paris).

1997 July 8, 9

Madrid, Spain - NATO Summit: POLAND, HUNGARY, CZECH REPUBLIC officially invited to join the Alliance, to end the division of Europe. Polish American Congress included in conference call from MADRID -- Jeremy Rosner and Daniel Fried called to congratulate all concerned on Poland's selection.

1997 September 30

Polish American Congress, on behalf of the Central and East European Coalition, invites 23 national organizations to meet in the Washington, DC offices of the American Legion. Mr. Casimir Lenard, Polish American Congress National Director, chaired the meeting. The purpose of the meeting is to coordinate efforts on informing Americans throughout the country about the importance of NATO enlargement for the security of the United States and the world. Organizations present include veterans organizations, ethnic groups, and representatives of business, associations and institutions who had already issued public endorsements of NATO enlargement. Main goal of the group, named The NATO Enlargement Ratification Working Group, is to insure an overwhelming Senate vote to ratify the accession of Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic to NATO in early spring of 1998.

1997 October 27

Steering Committee of the NATO Enlargement Ratification Working Group meets in the Polish American Congress Washington, DC office.

1997 October 18-26

Polish American Congress invited by the Secretaries of State and Defense to participate as observers on a tour to NATO headquarters (Brussels) , US European Command, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Poland, to assess the military readiness and preparations of the three candidate countries to join NATO. President Moskal selected Colonel Casimir Lenard to represent the Polish American Congress on the trip

1997 October 31

Meeting of the NATO Enlargement Ratification Working Group. Discussion on increasing Grass Roots support for NATO Enlargement Ratification.

1997 November 5

Polish American Congress President Edward J. Moskal testifies before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearings, in favor of Poland's membership in NATO.

(Text of Presentations at the hearings, 558 pgs, PDF, ~3MB)

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1998

1998 January 6

Polish American Congress and members of Central and East European Coalition meet with Strobe Talbott, Deputy Secretary of State, to discuss on-going "process" of NATO enlargement, beyond the first three candidates, general security issues in Central and East Europe, security guarantees for those countries not yet invited to join NATO.

1998 January 14

Polish American Congress and members of the Central and East European Coalition meet with Juri Luik, Estonian Ambassador to the North Atlantic Cooperation Council (NACC) and Valdis Birkavs, Latvian Foreign Minister, to discuss security issues of the Baltic States, and support beyond the US-Baltic Charter of Partnership.

1998 January 16

Washington, DC, at the White House: Signing of the US-BALTIC CHARTER OF PARTNERSHIP between the United States and the three former Soviet Baltic nations: Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.

(To be continued ... )


NOTE: The United States Senate ratified the Protocols of Accession to the NATO Treaty on April 30, 1998 -- granting membership to Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic. The three new members were officially inducted to NATO at the time of the 50th Anniversary celebrations of the Founding of NATO in April, 1999, in Washington, DC.


May 21, 1998: President Clinton signs the NATO Enlargement Pact admitting Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic. At left are Ambassadors of Poland (Jerzy Kozminski), Hungary and the Czech Republic, next to them Secretary of State Madeleine Albright; at right is Senator Barbara Mikulski of Maryland.

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