Mishawaka, Ind. – Rep. Jackie Walorski (IN-02) yesterday returned from a weeklong, bipartisan trip to the Czech Republic. While there, Walorski met with Czech Parliamentarians and participated in panel discussions regarding current defense collaboration and cyber security and privacy between the U.S., European Union (EU) and the Czech Republic.
Relations between the Czech Republic and the United States were officially established in 1993 following the collapse of the USSR and the subsequent breakup of Communist-aligned Czechoslovakia. Since transitioning into a democracy in 1989, joining NATO in 1999, and the EU several years later, the Czech Republic has gradually become a close economic partner and formal military ally of the United States.
In addition, the Czech Republic is a major importer of energy, such as crude oil and LNG and currently has a dependence on Russia for energy supply. Tensions in the region have jeopardized that supply, and the United States has an opportunity to expand its energy export market there.
“No one understands the threat posed by Russia better than the men and women who live in the Czech Republic,” Walorski said. “Here, the threat of Russian aggression is a visible reality. This visit reaffirmed my commitment to collaborate with the Czech Republic to mitigate regional concerns and push back against Russian encroachment.”
During her panel on current defense cooperation between the U.S. and Czech Republic, Walorski spoke with the Deputy Minister of the Czech Republic Ministry of Foreign Affairs Jakub Kulhánek and Czech Ambassador to the United States Petr Gandalovič . During their discussion, Walorski mentioned the recent confirmation hearings of the next Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in the Senate Armed Services Committee, where each nominee called Russia the U.S.’s greatest threat.
“The U.S. is deeply committed to the strength and security of both NATO and the EU,” Walorski added. “It is only when we work with our NATO and EU partners that we can be successful in combating threats from other counties and I look forward to strengthening our continued partnership.”
Walorski represents the 2nd Congressional District in Indiana, where she serves as a member of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee, House Armed Services Committee, and House Committee on Agriculture.