News / USA

Obama to Reassure NATO Baltic States

Obama to Reassure NATO Baltic Statesi
Luis Ramirez
September 01, 2014 1:00 AM
President Barack Obama leaves Tuesday for a trip to Estonia and later Wales, in Britain, for a gathering of leaders of NATO countries. As VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports, Russia's latest actions in Ukraine are making the trip an especially important one.
Obama to Reassure NATO Baltic States
Luis Ramirez

President Barack Obama leaves Tuesday for a trip to Estonia and later Wales, in Britain, for a gathering of leaders of NATO countries. Russia's latest actions in Ukraine are making the trip an especially important one.

The arrival of U.S. troops in Estonia last April was a concrete sign of American support for Baltic nations feeling threatened by Russia's aggression in Ukraine.

Obama's stop in Estonia -- a NATO member -- is meant to reaffirm America's defense commitments.

“Part of the reason I’ll be going to Estonia is to let the Estonians know that we mean what we say with respect to our treaty obligations,” said the president.

Fresh violence and evidence that Russia is sending hundreds of troops into Ukraine means Obama's visit comes at a critical time.

Estonia, like Ukraine, is a former Soviet Republic, and also like Ukraine, has a large Russian minority. These factors make Estonians feel vulnerable.  

Heather Conley, a former Deputy Assistant U.S. Secretary of State, said, “There has always been a great fear in the Baltic states that if push came to shove, they question whether NATO would really have their back. And I think it’s very clear, not only with words and our solidarity, but we’ve actually put U.S. soldiers, hardware, in the Baltic states.”

But NATO's capacity to fulfill its commitments is another question. With European members cutting their defense budgets, much of the burden of providing equipment and personnel for alliance missions is falling on the U.S.

The president plans to call on member nations to do more.

“Part of the reason I think this NATO meeting is going to be so important is to refocus attention on the critical function that NATO plays to make sure that every country is contributing in order to deliver on the promise of our Article 5 assurances,” said Obama.

U.S. officials hope the crisis in Ukraine will be enough of a wake-up call for NATO members to realize they should boost their contributions.




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Comment Sorting
by: Lawrence Bush from: Houston, USA
September 01, 2014 8:01 AM
There do remain many independent states on earth their sovereignty thay can not defend in consequence of any external aggression upon their rex territory, their people, their govt......... any strong internal rebellion, insurgency even. The prominent power blocks that's with the military pacts both the Super Power states do have many states in their allegiance. The military Warsaw pact is an obsolete one - once headed by the erstwhile Soviet Union, but our NATO has withstood the test, passage of time of the Cold War and the current World Transition.......

To attaining the NATO summit, president Obama moves to the Baltic state of Estonia, a NATO member state, is a right move; so, sending troops there to deter the Russian move. May be, malgre the Warsaw pact and the former Soviet Union are dissolved, still Russia remains powerful, with the possession of the n-stockpiles that can challenge any state on earth including America. Seeing the volatility in Ukraine, it appears that the current Russian govt. does have the same vindication - anti-west bias.And, it's the real cause of the Russian intervention in Ukraine.......The Baltic states are the NATO new NATO members whereas

the Ukraine state is not yet. It has given the opportunity to the Russian govt. to keep its eyes upon Ukraine than the Baltic states where a realistic NATO deterrent remains against Russia...... The anti-West bias and its very intervention in Ukraine is a sample example of it. Proper NATO strategies of military, politico-diplomatic, economic and other dimensions are necessary to collectively deterring Russia on its borders aside even. It's necessary to bolster the Baltic states in terms of strength now; and, at the same time, to bail Ukraine out of the Russian coup.

by: Michael from: S-Pb
September 01, 2014 7:00 AM
for everything of the United States and made in Ukraine. To do this, and paid the money Kiev junta.

by: Vic from: New Zealand
September 01, 2014 6:17 AM
Russia and China can now see that the USA is a Super Pussy, not a Super Power. Yes, other countries need to fight harder for their freedom, but the West did reassure Ukraine when it surrendered its nuclear weapons that it would be supported against Russian aggression.

by: Anonymous
September 01, 2014 3:57 AM
Betrayed Ukrainians will soon make U-turn in its priorities. They love the west and wanted to be part of it but we don't want to defend them,help them,instead we sent military help to Kurds. They are standing alone and face death with Russia. We left them alone. Nobody will turn its face to the West,it will turn rather back.

by: jay from: New York
August 31, 2014 11:54 PM
If a country has no chance to defend itself against it's neighbor, than giving arms to that country is just causing more civilian deaths, more instability, and more involvement by countries that need not feed the cripple. What is so important about keeping Ukraine for the West, golden cabbage, I know it can't be the beer!

by: Greg Yount from: Colorado
August 31, 2014 11:23 PM
I be very nervous if i were a NATO ally!!! as we just need to have shown that so should be in the face of Putin's aggression so farI would not believe any reassurances from it's become very clear that none of the Western powers have any stomach for anything stronger than half assed sanctions, and Putin has left in the face of every sanction so far and continued his march into Ukraine!!!!

by: Tom Murphy from: Homeland America
August 31, 2014 10:37 PM
People in NATO member countries need to get out of their comfort zone and get their home country military forces mobilized and armed with anti-tank weapons. Follow the examples of Israel and Finland during World War II who have fought beyond their material capabilities. Then when US forces come to your aid, you will have a head start in defeating your enemy.

by: tiktin from: Boise, Idaho
August 31, 2014 10:28 PM
And so what is NATO going to do? Declare war on Russia? Have you considered what war with Russia would mean? It would mean the destruction of the United States and Europe. It would make World War II look like a picnic. It would mean that you and you family, along with all other families would die. Isn't it time to stop and think before spouting silly nonsense?

by: wavettore from: USA
August 31, 2014 10:26 PM
“Tertium non datur” the Romans used to say. That means there is no third possibility. Only two concepts exist: egalitarian and pyramidal. What you see in the Middle East and in general all over the World is the fruit of one of the two since the egalitarian system is still today an abstraction. The same pyramidal system applied by the Animal kingdom is also the only system adopted by all "Human" societies. To continue in the same Direction would lead to a New World Order as its natural destination and apotheosis of that concept which was written by Two Hands.

The Two Hands
Also visible in the Animal kingdom, the brutal Strength is no better or worse than the deadly Deception.
Two are the Hands to cross and shape our World
to mold It like a vase of clay and put their own seal
the scepter of command, illusion of reward
to drive at will one Destiny with no steering wheel

In the last World war, the Hand of Strength and Hand of Deception have crossed once again.
Strength personified by the Axis and Deception by the Allies.
Gestapo versus CIA.
One long scar still bleeds over this Planet.
With Strength defeated, the winners of the War have extended their cunning Hand, robbed the whole World and transformed each town in a place where Deception is the only reality.
Two new blocks were soon formed right after the War.
UK and USA celebrated Capitalism
Russia instead was infatuated with Communism

The Two Hands had only changed gloves.

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