"This report provides background and analysis on the political and economic situations on Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia (commonly collectively referred to as the Baltic states), their foreign policies, and U.S. policy toward them. The Baltic states achieved their long-held dream of full independence from the Soviet Union in the aftermath of the failed August 1991 coup by Soviet hard-liners. Since 1991, the these three countries have made great strides in building democracies and free market economies. They have also sought integration into Western economic and security structures, in part because they see themselves as part of the West, in part to protect themselves from instability or a nationalist resurgence in Russia. The Baltic states achieved these goals in 2004 […] The United States has provided significant amounts of economic aid to the Baltic states. Due to their success in economic reform, the Administration phased out bilateral aid for Estonia in at the end of FY1996, and did the same for Latvia and Lithuania at the end of FY1999. The United States continues to provide security assistance to the Baltic states to strengthen their armed forces and help them achieve greater interoperability with NATO, as well as to improve their border security and export controls. The Baltic states have been strong supporters of U.S. policy in Iraq, Afghanistan, and the war on terror, and have deployed troops to Afghanistan and Iraq. This report will be updated as events warrant."
CRS Report for Congress, 96-584