Trump sends US Vice Pres­i­dent to Baltic States to demon­strate sol­i­dar­ity and sup­port

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«The pres­i­dent sent me here so that I would say this – we are with you. We are with Es­to­nian, Lat­vian and Lithua­nian peo­ple and coun­tries. And we will al­ways be to­gether,» said US Vice Pres­i­dent Mike Pence on Mon­day, 31 July.

«It is a big priv­i­lege for me to be here and pass on a very sim­ple mes­sage from US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump,» said Pence dur­ing a press-con­fer­ence with Baltic pres­i­dents.

USA and Baltic States are pre­pared to ex­pand their strate­gic re­la­tions in se­cu­rity field, said Lat­vian Pres­i­dent Rai­monds Ve­jo­nis af­ter a con­ver­sa­tion with Pence.

He and Pence dis­cussed ways of strength­en­ing co­op­er­a­tion with Baltic States in anti-air de­fence, as well as pre­ven­tion of hy­brid threats and threats to the in­for­ma­tion space.

The pres­i­dent said USA is the clos­est strate­gic part­ner for Baltic States. Over the course of the past six months, po­lit­i­cal di­a­logue be­tween USA and Baltic States has reached a never be­fore seen in­ten­sity, said Ve­jo­nis.

«All the meet­ings that have taken place of­fer con­fi­dence about the un­changed stance of USA to­wards NATO and readi­ness to de­fend Baltic States. We highly value the pres­ence of Amer­i­can troops in Baltic States, as well as the com­mit­ment from USA to in­crease de­fence fund­ing for Europe’s de­fence,» said Ve­jo­nis.

Latvia’s pres­i­dent also con­firmed that Latvia will ful­fill its ob­jec­tive and in­crease de­fence bud­get to 2% of GDP next year.

Baltic pres­i­dents and US vice pres­i­dent also dis­cussed eco­nomic co­op­er­a­tion. Ve­jo­nis wel­comed the plans from USA to start ex­ports of liq­ue­fied nat­u­ral gas to Baltic and Cen­tral Euro­pean coun­tries to im­prove the re­gion’s en­ergy se­cu­rity and di­ver­sify sup­plies of en­ergy re­sources.

REUTERS/SCANPIX

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