Vice President Mike Pence made clear that the United States stands with the people of the three Baltic Republics in the face of Russian aggression during his visit to Estonia last summer.
“Under President Donald Trump, the United States of America rejects any attempt to use force, threats, intimidation or malign influence in the Baltic States or against any of our treaty allies.”The Baltic leaders are expected to stress that the US should not underestimate the threats Russia poses to them right now.
At a time, Moscow is continuing to conduct missile tests in international waters extremely close to Latvia and Sweden.Some experts say a number of NATO countries are concerned about Trump’s frequent phrase of Russian President Vladimir Putin,but also look to see what action the U.S. is taken.“On the other hand, I do think that the Baltic Republics also look at what the U.S. is actually doing,in terms of troop rotations to Europe, in terms of exercises in, in Northern Europe, and, and there they actually see a lot of US commitment and a lot of serious US effort on both searing, both searing deterrence and security in northern Europe.”
Luke Coffey of the Heritage Foundation says Trump has been tough on Russia. “He just expelled 60 Russian diplomats. He is providing lethal weapons to Ukraine and Georgia.”Most experts agree that the Baltic Republics would like to see a permanent US military presence in their countries as a strong signal to Russia instead of just rotational exercises by NATO.“I do think that they are, they are very eager to see even a small US presence in the Baltic States as a signal of U.S. commitment to their, to their security.”“That’s something we’ve advocated here at the Heritage Foundation to have a bricks-and-mortar presence, not just rotational presence of US forces, but forces permanently based in the Baltic States.As long as the Baltic states want us there, we have to be as guests. The president and the Baltic presidents are also expected to discuss trade investment and cultural exchanges.
Cindy Saine, VOA news, Washington