DN - Defence Notes

Baltic presidents to visit Trump

22nd February 2018 - 14:08 GMT | by ​Agence France-Presse in Tallinn


US President Donald Trump will welcome his counterparts from three Baltic states in Washington on 3 April to discuss security and economic ties, the Estonian presidency said 22 February.

The presidents of fellow NATO members Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania – Kersti Kaljulaid, Raimonds Vejonis and Dalia Grybauskaite – last met with Trump in Warsaw, Poland in 2017.

Lauri Kuusing, Estonian presidential advisor, said: ‘Our security cooperation is very good, and all four countries are contributing at least two percent of GDP to national defence in 2018.’

The Baltic trio are among only eight NATO allies expected in 2018 to meet the defence spending benchmark repeatedly insisted upon by Trump.

The US visit can be seen as a sign of how the Baltic states are now firmly anchored in the West, 100 years after Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia regained independence after World War I. Latvia will mark its centenary in 2020.

Kuusing said: ‘This meeting on the 100th anniversary of our independence once again reaffirms the special bond and good cooperation between the Baltic countries and the US.’

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