Questions for the Senate Hearing to Confirm the Nomination for Secretary of State (2017)

The Central and East European Coalition is comprised of 18 national membership organizations that represent more than 22 million Americans who trace their heritage to Central and Eastern Europe (CEE). We advocate for issues of key importance and interest to our respective constituencies, in particular matters that affect the stability and well-being of Central and Eastern Europe as well as U.S. strategic interests in the region.


  1. As Secretary of State, what would your strategy be to deal with Russian aggression in Ukraine and other Russia-related threats in Central and Eastern Europe?  How do you propose addressing Russia’s perceived “spheres of influence” or national interests versus another country’s territorial integrity and national interests?  What options would you employ to achieve Russia’s withdrawal from lands it unlawfully controls, such as Crimea, eastern Ukraine, Abkhazia, South Ossetia, and Transnistria?


2. What is your position on the sanctions against Russia with respect to both Ukraine and Crimea?


3. How do you view NATO’s role in countering Russian aggression? What is your position on maintaining U.S./NATO equipment and troops permanently in CEE? Please provide specifics.


4. Where do you stand on NATO enlargement, to include countries such as Georgia and Ukraine? 


5. What is your position on the Visa Waiver Program’s expansion to include other CEE countries, such as Poland? How would you make that happen?


6. Considering Russia’s long history of using gas and oil as means of political and economic pressure, what is your position on U.S. assistance to ensure energy security and independence in the CEE region?

7. What should the Administration’s priorities be on countering and exposing foreign disinformation, cyber-, and information warfare? How can the U.S. be more effective in fighting on this front? What interagency efforts are needed to be more successful?

8. What is your position on the proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP)?  Are you in favor of moving forward with these negotiations? If so, what do you think are the key provisions that would benefit the U.S.?

9. Do you consider Russia’s policies toward Central and Eastern Europe as being inimical or at least potentially inimical to U.S. national interests? If so, what concrete Russian policies do you consider as being contrary to U.S. geo-political interests in the region. How will the Trump administration address Russian policies in furtherance of its plans to make America great again?

10. Do you believe that U.S. interests are best served and cement long-standing friendships when Washington publicly lectures Central and Eastern European NATO allies about their internal matters, as the current Administration has done?

11. As a Co-Chair of the OSCE Minsk Group, the United States plays a critical role in maintaining stability in the South Caucasus region through its mediation of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict. While OSCE Co-Chairs have determined there is no military solution to the conflict, Azerbaijan continues to violate the 1994/5 cease-fire agreements and has committed ISIS-style atrocities. How will you hold Azerbaijan accountable for its actions and ensure a peaceful and just resolution to this conflict?

12. 2015 marked the centenary of the Armenian Genocide, which was condemned as a crime against humanity by the Allied Powers as it occurred, but which Turkey denies to this day. Pope Francis publicly affirmed the Armenian Genocide stating it is an open wound that must be healed. What steps will you take to end its denial and reaffirm the proud chapter in U.S. diplomatic history to help save the survivors of the first genocide of the twentieth century?

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