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Trump to Host Summit Marking Baltic Independence Centennial


FILE - White House deputy press secretary Raj Shah speaks during the daily press briefing in the Brady press briefing room at the White House, in Washington, Feb. 8, 2018. Shah announced Thursday that President Donald Trump will host the leaders of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania for a Baltic Summit at the White House on April 3.

President Donald Trump will host the leaders of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania for a Baltic Summit at the White House on April 3.

According to Principal Deputy Press Secretary Raj Shah, Trump and the three heads of state will celebrate the 100th anniversary of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania’s independence.

The summit, which will mark the beginning of another century of strong ties and cooperation between the countries, will focus on the three Baltic states’ achievements since gaining independence.

Business, trade, energy, and cultural partnerships will be on the agenda, as well as the issue of strengthening the countries’ security, the press secretary added.

"I think what we have seen in the past four or three years is the community of democratic nations is under attack," Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics recently told VOA Russian Service, referring to Russian interference.

FILE - Estonia's Prime Minister Juri Ratas (L), Lithuania's President Dalia Grybauskaite (2-L) and Latvia's Prime Minister Maris Kucinskis (R) are seen with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker (2-R) at the start of a summit of European Union (EU) leaders in Brussels, Belgium, March 22, 2018.
FILE - Estonia's Prime Minister Juri Ratas (L), Lithuania's President Dalia Grybauskaite (2-L) and Latvia's Prime Minister Maris Kucinskis (R) are seen with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker (2-R) at the start of a summit of European Union (EU) leaders in Brussels, Belgium, March 22, 2018.

"The very basis of our democratic institutions are under attack through social media by fake news, and also through the influence of money, and it is very important that we stick together," he said.

The Baltic nations are aiming to bolster that message during the upcoming summit. And, as Rinkevics emphasized, it seems appropriate to mark 100 years of Baltic independence in Washington.

"It's important that we are celebrating the 100th anniversary of our sovereignty, our independence, here, together with our Lithuanian and Estonian friends, because the role of the USA has been and still is very significant," he said.

Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania mark the centennial of their 1918 independence declarations despite their 47 years under Soviet rule, from 1944 to 1991.

This story originated in VOA's Russian Service.

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