President Donald Trump recently welcomed the leaders of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania to the White House.The President noted that this year marks the 100th anniversaries of the three Baltic Nations’ independence. Throughout decades of Soviet occupation, the United States never ceased to recognize the sovereignty of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania.
At the U.S.-Baltic Centennial Summit, President Trump said, “we’re inaugurating 100 years of renewed partnership among our nations, grounded once more in our shared commitment to independent sovereignty and a total respect of the rule of law.”
This includes boosting defense and security cooperation. In particular, the United States plans to provide nearly $100 million for procurement of large-caliber ammunition and over $70 million in training and equipping programs to the three Baltic nations to build the capacity of the security forces of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania.
President Trump noted the vulnerabilities the Baltic States face in regard to their energy infrastructure. To address this, the U.S. will provide expertise to help prevent, detect, thwart, and recover from hostile cyber-attacks. The U.S. will also offer technical assistance to support energy diversification projects, including synchronizing the Baltic and European electric grids.
In an effort to guard against those who would undermine democracy and freedom via disinformation in Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, the United States will commit 3 million dollars to strengthen independent media outlets, public service broadcasters, and media literacy skills in the region.
The Baltic States remain strong NATO Allies and European Union partners who are meeting their pledge to invest two percent of GDP in defense spending. They also continue as partners with the United States in the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS and the NATO-led Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan. The U.S. commitment to the collective defense of our NATO Allies remains ironclad.
The United States admires all that Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania have accomplished these past 100 years and the United States looks forward to continuing its strong partnership in security and prosperity in the years to come.