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Sunday, April 8, 2018

Trump and the Baltic countries

Por qubano22005

The United States has reiterated both its economic and geopolitical commitment to NATO- member Baltic countries, an interest that evidently glimpses at the US interest of to encircle the borders of Russia and have "allies" as a measure of containment towards the Eurasian country. However, during the last meeting of NATO member countries, Donald Trump questioned the financial contribution of the rest of the members of the organization and denied Washington’s commitments regarding mutual defense, established in article five of that military bloc. The meeting with the leaders of the Baltic countries to discuss security, business, trade, energy and culture was successful, the White House said.

A report from the White House states Trump received his counterparts Raimonds Vejonis, Kersti Kaljulaid and Dalia Grybauskaite, presidents of Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania respectively, at the executive mansion, with whom he celebrated the centenary of the independence of the three nations and will set the stage for another century "of strong ties", said his administration.

Although the Baltic nations have close cultural ties with Russia, all these countries bear a historical grudge against the Eurasian country; for many years they were subjugated to the designs of the then Soviet Union that from Moscow exerted repression on the rest of the nations colonized by the Russians and that under the mantle of socialist nations the Russians controlled. It is understandable that after the collapse of the Soviet Union several members of the then Soviet republics joined NATO, perhaps as a protective shield, but also as evidence of their opposition to the policies outlined by the Kremlin and its communist leaders for years.

According to Vox digital portal, the Baltic-United States Summit reviewed the relationship it has with members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), but the main goal was to reiterate the commitment to pay one or two percent of their Gross Domestic Product to the alliance.

Meanwhile, the Baltic leaders reiterated their interest in the security of their countries and above all the protection that the treaty must give them. Just a few weeks ago Vejonis told Latvian television that he expected Washington to publicly commit to the security of the region. At that time the Latvian head of state told the press that his country expected the White House to send a strong message of support for Baltic security and defense.

The fear of the Baltic States is not unfounded. Donald Trump was very precise in an interview with The New York Times when he was questioned about his commitment to these nations in the event of a Russian aggression, to which the American president responded: "Have they fulfilled their obligations to us? Trump has not hidden that his country and especially his administration want to reduce spending with NATO. On several occasions, he has described as unjust the payments that the rest of the members of the alliance make compared to those by the United States. The Estonian Prime Minister, Juri Ratas, has also expressed to Mike Pence issues related to defense, especially the installation of US air defense systems that the Baltic States, members of NATO, want to be deployed in the Eastern border of the Alliance.

Among the requests for help from NATO members in the Baltic area is the sending of more troops to strengthen the eastern flank of their countries, which clearly borders with Russia. Also through press releases, they have revealed their interest in making stronger the airspace of the Baltic States. Dalia Grybauskaite has already stated that it is vital for their safety.

The meeting is held in the context of the political siege that is being carried out against Moscow, after the attempted poisoning of agent Serguey Skripal and his daughter Julia. This fact motivated the expulsion of Russian diplomats in the United States, to which the Baltic nations joined to compute 150 Russian diplomats expelled from diplomatic missions.