New president brings unrest to the Baltic states

by Adelina Kiskyte

The results of the election will impact more than just the United States. The close relationship between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin may be threatening to the Baltic states.

Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia that were once part of the Soviet Union fear that the new president of the US may bring trouble to their lands.

Russia has already proved an aggressor by trying to provoke fear in Lithuania. 9,000 Russian troops were trained, along with the Russian naval fleet, next to the Lithuanian border in Kaliningrad in December 2014.  

According to Lithuanian politician and member of the Green Party, Mecys Laurinkus, security problems will only be a small part of the picture. He says that led by the new president, the USA will develop new attitudes towards the European Union and “such development will have a large influence upon the relationship between Russia and the US.”

Last month the British government announced that next year they are sending around 800 soldiers along with military equipment to Estonia. This is the biggest of Britain’s military steps with regards to Russia since the end of the Cold War.

According to the Estonian press, Estonia trusts NATO, but seems to question its authority: “Estonia has largely centred its own security and defence on cooperation with the United States, but Trump’s potential accession requires the need to think more about cooperation between European nations. NATO certainly will not dissolve, but a Trump presidency could lead to the need for a more active European role in NATO.”

The United States and members of NATO are committed to defending the Baltic countries that joined the military alliance in 2004. However, Trump has said that the US would only protect NATO states in case of an attack, if those countries “have fulfilled their obligations to us.”

 

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