1. Письмо Буша Фрайберге
Letter from the President of the United States of America George W. Bush [03 May 2005]
President of Latvia Vaira Vike-Freiberga has received a letter from the President of the United States of America George W. Bush. In his letter George W. Bush writes:
"Thank you for your letter, including your kind invitation to visit Latvia. I look forward to seeing you, together with President Adamkus and president Ruutel, in your beautiful capital.
Our meeting is an important opportunity to celebrate the freedom and security your nation now enjoys and to renew our common commitment to advancing freedom, prosperity, and tolerance throughout Europe and the world. I welcome the chance to discuss how democracies, by harnessing the vigor of their entire societies, can strengthen freedom at home and advance liberty beyond their borders. I am grateful for your efforts to support civil society in the region and for your contribution to demanding missions in support of freedom in Afghanistan and Iraq.
During this trip, I will mark the sacrifice of America and many other nations in defeating Nazism. In Western Europe, the end of World War II meant liberation. In Central and Eastern Europe, the war also marked the Soviet occupation and annexation of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania and the imposition of communism. Given this painful history, I understand the difficulty of your decision on whether to attend the May 9 commemoration in Moscow, and I respect the choices you and the other Baltic leaders have made. Thank you for sharing your views with me.
Even as we acknowledge the past, this anniversary is an opportunity to look forward and build a future based on our shared values and our shared responsibilities as free nations. As allies and friends, our countries will work to strengthen democracy at home and advance freedom abroad. America is proud to stand shoulder to shoulder with you."
2. Комментарий МИДа о европейской позиции по вопросу оккупации
Комментарий Департамента информации и печати МИД России в связи с высказываниями ряда европейских политиков относительно “оккупации” стран Балтии Советским Союзом и необходимости осуждения этого со стороны России
Вопрос: В последнее время участились требования к России признать и осудить “оккупацию” стран Балтии в 1940 г. и принять на себя ответственность за это. Какова российская позиция в этой связи?
Ответ: Российская позиция по данному вопросу неоднократно излагалась и остается неизменной. И ввод дополнительных частей Красной Армии, и присоединение прибалтийских государств к Советскому Союзу не вступали в противоречие с нормами действовавшего в то время международного права.
Так, в соответствии с международно-правовой доктриной середины XX века под “оккупацией” понималось приобретение государством никем не заселенной территории, которая ранее не принадлежала какому-либо государству, путем установления над ней эффективного контроля с намерением распространить на нее свой суверенитет. Кроме того, этот термин означал временное занятие в ходе вооруженного конфликта армией одного из воюющих государств территории (или части территории) другого государства.
Для правовой оценки ситуации, сложившейся в Прибалтике в конце 30-х годов прошлого века, термин “оккупация” не может быть использован, поскольку между СССР и прибалтийскими государствами не было состояния войны и вообще не велось военных действий, а ввод войск осуществлялся на договорной основе и с ясно выраженного согласия существовавших в этих республиках тогдашних властей – как бы к ним не относиться. Кроме того, в Латвии, Литве и Эстонии на протяжении всего периода их пребывания в составе Советского Союза, за исключением времени оккупации Германией этой части территории СССР в годы Великой Отечественной войны, действовали национальные органы власти. И, как известно, именно эти власти – опять же, независимо от того, как их расценивать сегодня - в лице Верховных Советов соответствующих республик приняли в 1990 г. решения, приведшие к их выходу из состава СССР. Так что, если подвергать сомнению легитимность органов власти советского периода, возникает вопрос и о легитимности провозглашения республиками Прибалтики своей независимости.
Соответственно и любые претензии, включая требования о материальной компенсации за якобы имевший место ущерб, который, как кое-кто считает, стал результатом произошедшего в 1940 году, лишены оснований.
Попытки же поставить политику Союза ССР в тот период в один ряд с действиями гитлеровской Германии, которая вела в Европе агрессивную войну с целью порабощения или уничтожения целых народов, абсурдны в силу одного того очевидного факта, что благодаря в первую очередь усилиям СССР были обеспечены разгром гитлеровской Германии и избавление Европы от нацизма. Особенно кощунственно подобные инсинуации звучат в преддверии 60-й годовщины Великой Победы.
Что же касается оценки репрессивных действий существовавшего в СССР в 30-50-х годах прошлого века режима, то она неоднократно давалась как в Советском Союзе, так и в России. И в Москве не видят ни малейшего смысла в очередной раз возвращаться к этому вопросу. Если же кто-то пытается превратить его сегодня в реальную политику, то это попытка спекулировать памятью в угоду конъюнктуре.
3. Пресс-конференция советника Буша по национальной безопасности Стивена Хедли
For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
May 4, 2005
Press Briefing by National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley
James S. Brady Briefing Room
12:27 P.M. EDT
Q Do you think that Russia should use the occasion of this celebration to talk about the darker Soviet past and acknowledge its occupation of Poland and the Baltic countries, and try to make some rapprochement with these countries?
MR. HADLEY: Well, obviously, the trip, I think, is an occasion and an opportunity for people to both celebrate some of the accomplishments of the history, as in ending fascism and Nazism in Europe, but also to come to terms with some of that history. We've been pretty clear on how we see and understand that history. One of the legislative chambers of the Soviet Union did, in 1989, renounce, essentially, the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. Obviously, it would be an appropriate thing for Russia, now having emerged out of the Soviet Union, to do the same thing.
But I think one of the things that the President wants to do on this trip is to encourage parties to look forward and to focus on what now ties us together; that, in fact, Europe now is moving towards a Europe, whole, free and at peace. We do share common values of democracy and freedom, and we should be talking about ways -- while acknowledging the past, we ought to be talking about ways to move forward and advance those principles not only in Europe, but also beyond.
Q But didn't Putin just recently praise the Nazi-Russian alliance as a method of securing its borders? And aren't you concerned about the growing trend toward authoritarianism in Russia?
MR. HADLEY: The President has obviously spoken about the importance he attaches to the progress of freedom and democracy in Russia. He has said very clearly that as Russia becomes more democratic and strengthens its democratic institutions, it will enable us to have an even closer relationship with Russia. So this has been on the agenda for a while.
It is interesting that in that speech you allude to -- the so-called state of the union speech for Putin -- the focus really was democracy, and I think there are some hopeful passages in that speech whereby he made clear that Russians have opted for democracy and freedom as their future. And, of course, as Russia and as Putin move to implement and operationalize those principles, it will enhance the cause of peace and security in Europe, and also enhance the course of freedom, both in Europe and abroad.
Q Does the President see a need to press President Putin on democracy again in Moscow, as he did in Bratislava?
MR. HADLEY: Well, look --
Q Or was the message received then and there's no need to bring it up again?
MR. HADLEY: Well, it is interesting. I don't -- it is interesting that, as you know, it was a subject of Bratislava, and it is interesting that Putin decided to devote his speech to the subject of democracy. But, obviously, this has been a subject of conversation between the two men for months and months, and I'm sure it will continue to be a topic of conversation of them in the weeks and months ahead.
Q What message are you trying to send to Putin by beginning the trip with visits to two ex-Soviet republics, Latvia and Georgia?
MR. HADLEY: Well, we're not -- the President is not going to those two countries to send any message to Europe -- to Russia. As I tried to point out, the trip as a whole is an opportunity taken together to celebrate, obviously, the defeat of fascism and Nazism in Europe. It is also to acknowledge and celebrate the end of communism of Europe -- in Europe -- and the advent of what we're beginning to see increasingly, a Europe whole and free, where democracy and freedom are increasingly practiced by all the states. That's the real message.
And the real message, of course, to all countries, is what does that democracy and freedom require? It requires, of course, respect for minorities, rule of law, and inclusion of minorities in your political system. That's obviously one message that he will send -- and that the common values that are reflected increasingly in Europe ought to be a basis for us cooperating to deal with problems not only in Europe, but abroad.
So if you take all of that together, I think that's really the message. It's a celebration of really the progress of freedom in Europe, and a rededication to work in partnership with Europe to advance the cause of freedom not only Europe, but abroad.
Q Would you address those outside this administration, though, who served in the National Security Council who have said the President had to go to Latvia and Georgia, given the type of ceremony that's going to be going on in Moscow and the new Stalin statues and the way that Putin is planning on holding the ceremony?
MR. HADLEY: I don't know whether he had to go or not. But the point is the President decided he wanted to go in order to showcase the kind of message I just described. And I think he's looking forward to a very productive trip.
Q Last week, President Bush said that he didn't appreciate Putin's comments, his renewed commitment to providing short-range anti-aircraft missiles to Syria, and that he had made those views known. Do we expect that that's going to be a high priority on the President's list -- his discussions with Putin? And do we also expect that he might talk about that publicly?
MR. HADLEY: Well, I think as you think about this trip, it is -- the focus, particularly of the Moscow segment, is obviously going to be the celebration there. Putin will be host to -- President Putin will be host to over 50 heads of state and government. And I think the celebration and the commemoration of the end of the war in Europe is going to be the central focus. There's -- the President is going to have a meeting with President Putin; it will not last very long. And then there will be the private dinner. And I think this is one of few meetings, bilateral meetings that President Putin is having. So there's not a lot of time to work with here.
Again, this is an issue, though, that the two leaders have talked about, that we have talked about with the Russians in other channels. And our concern, of course, is weapons of that sort that could fall into the hands of terrorists, particularly when you're talking about a country like Syria that has a history and has current relations that involve support for terror. So it's a concern that we have been clear with the Russians about; they have tried to address. There is a controversy about whether they have addressed it in an adequate way. But this is not a new issue. This is an issue that's been on the agenda for a while.
Q But does the President think that perhaps he can be more persuasive in a face-to-face private meeting to re-address that?
MR. HADLEY: He's had face-to-face private meetings with President Putin and has had an opportunity to raise all of these issues.
Q Will the President make any specific statements in support of either the Baltic states' desires for Russian acknowledgment that they lost their freedom a second time at the end of World War II, and -- or of Georgia's desire for Russian troops -- to move Russian troops out of Georgia?
MR. HADLEY: Well, as I said, if you look at all the stops together, I think it will be an opportunity for the President to celebrate freedom. And part of that freedom, of course, is the defeat of Nazism and fascism in Europe. Part of that freedom -- celebration of freedom, of course, is also the end of communism and the liberation of Central and Eastern Europe. And he, of course, will want to celebrate both of those events. So I think that is an opportunity for him, by his presence and in some of the statements he will make, to emphasize that point.
He will also make clear that it is a nation -- a Europe now of states whole, free, and at peace; that sovereign states -- sovereignty needs to be respected; and that since we are -- since the states of Europe increasingly are committed to a common set of values and principles, this ought to be able to be a framework by which they peacefully and through negotiation can resolve the kinds of issues you've talked about. And he will obviously want to encourage that process.
Q Sir, will the President meet with the Chinese President? Is he satisfied with the current U.S.-China relations?
MR. HADLEY: I think the President believes we have a good relationship with China, but as I said, there's very little time in Moscow and there will be not an opportunity for the President to meet with other world leaders in a formal way. He, of course, is meeting with President Putin, which, as you would expect, since President Putin is the host, and it's very traditional to meet with the head of government of the host country when you visit. So that's, I think, quite to be expected.
Q By opening the trip with a speech, one of whose main themes is that democracy is more than just elections -- not to belabor the point, but isn't that directed at Vladimir Putin?
MR. HADLEY: I think it is an issue that all states that are building democracies need to confront; that as the President said many times, democracy is a journey, it's not just about getting your sovereignty and declaring majority rule. It is increasingly about rule of law, respecting minorities, providing safeguards for individual rights, but also dealing with your minority communities. And that is a message that we've had to learn at home, as the President has been very eloquent about this, over our 200-year history. It is an issue that countries that are new to democracy need also to address. And that is something that the Baltic states will need to struggle with, Georgia will need to struggle with, as well as Russia.
So I think it's an effort -- it's not pointed at anybody. But the President, as you know, has been very passionate of the importance of the freedom agenda and the spread of democracy, and he's tried to help countries understand what democracy really requires, what the journey looks like. And a lot has been accomplished, but all of these countries would be the first to recognize they have further to go. And what the President, I think, is trying to do is to help them chart in a way the way forward in terms of the next generation as they -- of the development of democracy.
Q Does President Bush have scheduled to be meeting with South Korean President Roh in Moscow? Are they going to maybe discuss North Korean issues?
MR. HADLEY: As I said, there really isn't any time for him to meet with other world leaders. He is going to meet with President Putin as the chief executive of the host country, which you would expect, but there really is no plans for other bilateral meetings.
Q Do you consider this a diplomatically tricky trip? It would be easy to offend the Baltic leaders who don't want to go to Putin's party; it would be easy to offend Putin. Is this any trickier than the normal trip to Europe?
MR. HADLEY: Look, it's a tricky world out there. There are a lot of challenges the world over. I think it is not tricky in this sense; that the President is going with a vision and a set of principles, and he's very clear about that vision and comfortable with those principles, and he believes that those principles provide the framework by which various issues of the day can be resolved. And that's the message he's going to send.
Q And if they're offended, the heck with them?
MR. HADLEY: Sir.
Q Can you respond to those critics who say --
MR. HADLEY: I'm sorry, I pointed to the gentleman at the back. I'm trying to get some of the folks in the back. Sorry, you're next.
Q Thank you so much. Could you specify the agenda of the bilateral meeting between President Putin, especially if the case of North Korea issue might be coming up? Where will be their focus on the North Korea issue of this moment?
MR. HADLEY: The two men have been together a lot. They have a very good personal relationship. Everybody knows the issues of the day. I think they will be meeting in a very small group and they will discuss the issues of the day; there's not, sort of, any formal or set agenda. But it's not surprising -- there are a range of issues in which we are working with Russia, and it's not surprising that they would come up and certainly that is one of the issues on that agenda. Whether it will come up specifically or not, I really don't know.
Q Certainly the two men have been together a lot, yet, there have been a number of issues that have strained relations, most notably, the last discussion in Bratislava at which President Putin clearly showed there were things he didn't want to be talking about. Will some of this meeting entail a sense of shoring up of that relationship, rebuilding a rapport that had existed early on, yet has been made difficult?
MR. HADLEY: I don't think that the relationship is strained. I think they have had a rapport, they continued to have it in Bratislava, and they will have it in Moscow. I think it is interesting that for all the publicity associated with the discussion of democracy and freedom in Bratislava, that we did see a speech, a very important public speech by President Putin devoted to that subject. So I think it's an indication that this is an ongoing dialogue between the two leaders on this very important subject.
Q Can you respond to those who -- those critics who say that there have been mixed signals from the Bush administration about Russia; that on the one hand, the President in his inaugural address and since has talked about the spread of liberty and freedom, and yet on the other hand, there are these meticulous efforts to continue to be friendly with President Putin, because you need his cooperation on other issues; and that those are mixed signals and that administration officials who may be part of the State Department who are overseas are kind of quietly working with some of the more anti-Russian forces and some of the former Soviet republics?
MR. HADLEY: I don't think there have been mixed signals. Obviously, the President has said that we have a strategic relationship with Russia, we have a lot of common interests, and a lot of common issues where -- that are important to them and important to us, that if we're going to make progress on, we're going to have to work together -- combating terrorism, one; combating proliferation is another. And it's wholly appropriate for us to work those issues and cooperate where it is in our mutual interest to do so, and at the same time, be very clear about our principles, be very clear about the importance, we think, to the future of Russia, to the future of Europe, and to U.S.-Russian relations, for Russia to make continued progress on the road towards enhanced freedom and democracy.
I don't think those two things are inconsistent. They are -- they are both very important to the relationship, both that we cooperate on areas of common interest, and that Russia can make progress on the freedom and democracy agenda -- because, again, the more they do, the more it will make it possible for us to have the kind of relationship we would like to have with Russia.
Q When the President is watching the parade in Moscow, will he be in the peanut gallery? And who will be on either side of him in the peanut gallery, which world leaders?
MR. HADLEY: I have not seen a seating chart. (Laughter.) This isn't our party, this is the Russians' party. As I say, the President and President Putin have a good relationship and I'm sure that the Russians will handle it in a way that is consistent with diplomacy, protocol, and all those other things.
MR. JONES: Final question.
Q Steve, can you tell us a little bit about --
MR. HADLEY: And then you. Two more questions. Sir?
Q Vladimir Putin was recently in the Middle East meeting with Israeli and Arab leaders. He proposed a peace discussion in Moscow that hasn't gotten off the ground. But what do you think his motives were there? That's traditionally been a U.S. sphere of influence.
MR. HADLEY: Well, actually, if you think about it, historically, there has been a Soviet and Russian participation in the Middle East. I would point out that the Quartet, for example, has four members, one of whom is Russia, and we have worked very closely with the Russians in the context of the Quartet to try and advance the Middle East peace. So it's not at all surprising that President Putin would go to the Middle East. He also has a relationship with the Israeli government and with Prime Minister Sharon, and it's not surprising that he would go there.
He did talk about a conference. There are questions, obviously, about timing. The idea of a -- sure, there will be, obviously, conferences in this process; but the question about when and about what are issues that need to be addressed.
Q Thanks, Steve. Sorry to jump to today's news, but can you give us some indication of what the administration's view of the arrest of al-Libbi means, in terms of the consequences and disruptive nature it might cause to al Qaeda?
MR. HADLEY: As the President said earlier -- and I direct you to his remarks -- this is a big deal. This is a guy who was not only, in some sense, the successor to Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, but also, in some sense, because in some sense the leadership is a bit constrained, he was not only doing operations, he was a facilitator, he was into finance, he was into administration. This is a real accomplishment and a positive step in the war on terror. And I think it is also testament to the good cooperation we are getting from the government of Pakistan, who had the lead.
This, in many ways, is their accomplishment. We provided active support, but this is really something that they have accomplished, and we salute them for it. And it's an indication that, by working together with friends and allies, and doing the patient kind of work that's required over time, we can set back this organization and to bring to justice its key leaders. And we continue to believe that's a critical element to success in the war on terror.
Thanks very much.
END 12:55 P.M. EDT
4. Комментарий МИДа о выступлении Хэдли
Комментарий Департамента информации и печати МИД России относительно высказываний советника Президента США по национальной безопасности С.Хэдли с рекомендацией России денонсировать пакт Молотова – Риббентропа
В связи с высказыванием советника Президента США по национальной безопасности С.Хэдли о том, что России следовало бы денонсировать пакт Молотова - Риббентропа, исходя из того, что это уже якобы было сделано Советским Союзом, хотели бы дать следующие пояснения.
“Пакт Молотова – Риббентропа” – это описательный термин, под которым подразумеваются секретные протоколы к советско-германскому Договору о ненападении 1939 года. Факт подписания этих протоколов был, как известно, осужден в Постановлении Съезда народных депутатов СССР, которое является внутренним актом Советского Союза, было принято в определенном историческом контексте и содержит политические оценки “пакта”.
Указанное постановление никто не отменял. Россия является государством-продолжателем Союза ССР, и в этом качестве она признана всеми другими государствами, действует в Совете Безопасности ООН и прочих международных организациях, выполняет взятые Советским Союзом на себя международные обязательства. Призывать Россию переподтвердить эти обязательства, равно как и внутренние акты Советского Союза, не имеет никакого смысла, и об этом хорошо знают все, кто профессионально занимается внешней политикой.
Очевидна также контрпродуктивность попыток выносить в повестку дня современных международных отношений вопрос об оценке хотя и трагических, но принадлежащих прошлому событий. Лучше озаботиться судьбами сотен тысяч людей, которых лишают элементарных прав человека, включая право на гражданство, прикрываясь необходимостью разобраться в событиях, к которым эти люди не имеют никакого отношения. Они просто хотят нормально жить и не быть заложниками “историко-политических” игр.
5 мая 2005 года
5. Пресс-конференция Скотта МакКлеллана
Press Briefing by Scott McClellan
The James S. Brady Press Briefing Room
12:35 P.M. EDT
Q On that subject, the Russians are pretty unhappy with the use of the word "occupation" by the President in the letter that he wrote to the President of Latvia. They say that -- they argue that their troops were introduced on the basis of an agreement and consent by the authorities that were in those countries at that time. So they're arguing with your language. I wonder also if this casts a shadow over the meeting.
MR. McCLELLAN: No, I don't think so. Look, the President looks forward to the trip. I think the purpose of the trip is really threefold, to celebrate victory over the Nazis and the fascists, to mark the end of communism, and to talk about the advance of freedom in Europe and in other parts of the world. And so that's really the purpose of the trip.
The President looks forward to beginning the trip in Latvia, where he will meet with the three Baltic Presidents. And he looks forward to that meeting. Some of those -- you saw in the letter, the President talked about the importance of renewing our common commitment to advancing freedom, prosperity, and tolerance throughout Europe and the world. And that's one of the messages that he will be taking on his trip when he leaves tomorrow morning. And you saw in the letter, as well, where he talked about how we must remember the past as we move forward together on our shared values.
Russia is someone who we have good relations with. We have a good strategic relationship with Russia. We work very closely with Russia in a number of areas, whether it's trade, economic issues, or our cooperation in the global war on terrorism, and our cooperation on stopping the spread of weapons of mass destruction. And we will -- the President looks forward to meeting with President Putin. So, no, I wouldn't view it that way. But we must remember the past as we move forward to advance freedom and democracy and tolerance and prosperity.
Q So the President will continue to refer to it as occupation?
MR. McCLELLAN: I think you will hear more from the President when he is in Latvia, and he will talk about that very painful history that the Baltic states went through. That was a painful history for the Baltic states. The end of World War II marked the liberation of many parts of Europe, but not parts of Central and Eastern Europe. It marked the beginning of communism and occupation, and it was a painful part of their history. And now those countries are free and working to move forward on the democratic institutions that sustain free societies.
And one of the things the President is going to be focusing on in some of his remarks will be expanding on his inaugural address and talking about the importance of advancing freedom and democracy, and how freedom is about more than just elections. Freedom is about rule of law and protection of minorities and minority rights. It's about an open and inclusive society that is based on tolerance. And it's about building the structures for freedom to really be sustained. And that's one of the things the President will focus on in his remarks.
6. Еще одна пресс-конференция МакКлеллана
Press Gaggle by Scott McClellan
Aboard Air Force One
En route Riga, Latvia
9:57 A.M. EDT
Q Scott, did Putin make comments today where he denounced the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact, which is not something you get to weave into a question at the White House very often. There were remarks he apparently made today where he denounced the pact as, I think, the administration wanted him to do.
MR. McCLELLAN: Let me double check that. I haven't seen any updated news reports on the flight. You heard that --
Q It would be that he said -- he was referring to the 1989 denunciation by then Soviet Union parliament. And I think he said it was done then, and as the successor state, we --that applies to us, as well. So it was kind of a back-door way of saying --
MR. McCLELLAN: This morning?
Q I don't know the exact timing of when he said it, but I saw the news reports this morning.
M. MRCLELLN: I didn't see any of the news coverage.
Q If you could comment on that, that would be --
MR. McCLELLAN: Okay, let me take a look at what he said.
Q The Soviet action applies to Russia, as well.
MR. McCLELLAN: I'm sorry?
Q That what the Soviets did applies to Russia.
MR. McCLELLAN: I saw some of his comments yesterday, but I haven't seen his comments today.
Q What does the President think about the fact that the Russians were protesting his trip to the Baltics in a former letter to the Secretary of State? How does he feel about the Russians trying to tell the U.S. President where he can and can't go?
MR. McCLELLAN: Well, I don't know that I'd necessarily look at it that way, first of all. But the President looks forward to going to Latvia and visiting with the Baltic leaders of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia. He's previously been to Lithuania, as you are aware. And again, the purpose of this trip is to honor the sacrifice of Americans, Europeans, Russians who helped bring about victory over the Nazis and end fascism in Europe during World War II, and to mark the growth of democracy and freedom in the region. And it's also an opportunity just to really underscore the President's commitment to continuing to work with countries in Europe and beyond to advance freedom and democracy and tolerance around the world.
But the President looks forward to going to Russia and celebrating victory in World War II. And he also looks forward to going to Latvia and using that to mark the mark the occasion of the end of the Cold War, as well, because the end of the Cold War led to the growth of freedom and democracy in Central and Eastern Europe, and it was a significant moment. And it also helped to advance freedom in other parts of the world, as well.
But I just -- I don't know that I'd look at it the same way as you do, David, in terms of what you're saying.
Q The Russians have protested the fact that he's going to the Baltic States. What is the President's response to the fact that they communicated that protest to the Secretary of State?
MR. McCLELLAN: I think the President's response is that he looks forward to the trip, going to both Latvia and Russia. That's the President's response -- and Georgia, and The Netherlands, as well. One thing he's talked about in his letter to the Baltic leaders was that he understands and respects the decisions each of them came to when deciding whether or not to attend the ceremony in Russia. And he also has stated that we have to remember the past as we look ahead, to work together on advancing our shared ideals and values that are based on democracy and freedom, and that the end of World War II marked the beginning of a painful period for the Baltic States. And we must remember that as we look to the future.
Q Do you want to set up his speech tomorrow?
MR. McCLELLAN: We're still a little bit in advance of it. Maybe when we get a little bit closer. Let me just talk generally about it. Maybe we can talk a little bit more about it later. I think this is a speech that you all will be interested in hearing.
The President, in his remarks, will expand on his inaugural address. I think in his remarks he will mark the occasion of the end of World War II, but also talk about what that period meant for the Baltic States. And he'll talk about the painful history that they went through after World War II, and while it meant liberation for parts of Europe, it did not -- the Baltic States did not realize that until many years later, because of the government that was imposed on them by the Soviet Union. So I think he'll touch on that in his remarks.
But he'll really focus on the importance of advancing freedom and democracy in the world, and talk about how the Cold War really marked a period of great advance -- of a really great advance in freedom. This has been an age of the advance of freedom. And the President will talk about the obligations that free societies have. For free societies to really be sustained, they have to be built on some fundamental values. Those include the rule of law, protection of minorities and minority rights, open, inclusive societies. And I think he'll also talk about the important structures of democratic societies, and strong, independent -- the importance of strong and independent institutions.
So this is really a speech that says freedom is about more than just elections and majority rule, it is about important values that democratic societies need to follow to sustain that freedom. And so I think that's really kind of the thrust of what he'll talk about.
Q Have these remarks been adjusted --
MR. McCLELLAN: He'll also honor the sacrifices that were made in World War II, as well.
Q Have these remarks been adjusted in any way since the protest that was delivered to Secretary Rice?
MR. McCLELLAN: No. This trip has been -- we've been planning this trip for some time. The President felt it was important to go to Latvia and The Netherlands and Russia and Georgia. And when we go to Georgia, it's an opportunity for the President to highlight the success story of one of the world's newest democracies, and to praise them for the reforms that they are pursuing to continue on the path to democracy, as well.
And going back to the remarks in Latvia, I think that the President will talk about the importance of continuing to advance freedom and democracy in other parts of the world. The Middle East is an area that I think he will focus on in his remarks, as well, and the progress we're seeing there, and how we all must work together to support the advance of freedom throughout the world. The end of the Cold War marked the end of tyranny in a part of the world, but as you all recall, the President outlined the importance of working to end tyranny throughout the world, because when you have free and democratic societies, you have a more peaceful world. And free societies lead to hopeful societies that defeat the ideology of hatred that we have seen in parts of the world.
END 10:16 A.M. EDT