Baltic states to ask Trump for greater protection from Russia


Baltic leaders to seek more US protection against Russia

Trump, Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid, Latvian President Raimonds Vejonis and Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite met for a working luncheon in the morning before holding a joint news conference later in the day.

Trump's more confrontational rhetoric of late has eased initial concerns in the region over what had appeared to be a more conciliatory approach to the Kremlin when the US leader first arrived in power.

The United States will also continue its efforts to improve defense and security infrastructure in the Baltic region, strengthen Baltic national resilience efforts and build defense capacity through security assistance programs such as the Foreign Military Financing and International Military Education and Training programs, or IMET, the White House said.

"I hope that the United States and other allies understand that the airspace of the Baltic states must be better protected and defended", Lithuania's Grybauskaite told her country's public broadcaster LRT ahead of the visit.

It is including about anti-aircraft missiles long-range Patriot.

Trade between the United States and the Baltic allies are small compared countries like China, Canada and Mexico, but that trade has been an issue on the top of Trump's mind, making it likely to come up in the meeting of the leaders.

The White House announced Tuesday that the United States would boost its alliance with the Baltic states through an infusion of more than $170 million in military aid as the region looks to fend off potential Russian aggression.

In July U.S. Vice President Mike Pence raised the possibility of deploying Patriots in nearby Estonia.

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President Donald Trump declared "nobody has been tougher on Russia" during a meeting with the heads of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania to the White House on Tuesday, while also repeating his desire to have a good relationship with President Vladimir Putin.

The Baltic states were deeply rattled by Trump's campaign rhetoric questioning NATO's relevance, his erratic behavior, and his initial unwillingness to criticize Russian President Vladimir Putin.

But the public mood changed after Trump made a decision to provide anti-tank missiles to Ukraine to defend against Russia-backed separatists, and to boost funding for USA forces in Europe.

However, fresh characteristics- along with the United States of America resolution to eliminate 60 Russian mediators within the wake of the nerve fuel attack on previous Russian double-agent Sergei Skripal in Salisbury best month- have actually lengthy gone a method versus guaranteeing them.

He discussed: "Advisers would potentially have actually pleased Trump tenacious screen of power is the one kind of communique Putin takes substantially", he discussed.

Mr Trump has pressured North Atlantic Treaty Organisation members to boost their military budgets to meet a benchmark of 2% of their GDP on defence annually.

The Baltic states, with a combined residents of just 6 million, had actually been inhabited and also linked with Moscow throughout Global Problem II.

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