- POSTED: 16 Aug 2014 01:45
US President Barack Obama will go to Estonia next month to reaffirm Washington's commitment to NATO allies at a time of rising tensions with Russia over Ukraine, the White House announced.
WASHINGTON: US President Barack Obama will go to Estonia next month to reaffirm Washington's commitment to NATO allies at a time of rising tensions with Russia over Ukraine, the White House announced on Friday (Aug 15).
"In light of recent developments in Ukraine, the United States has taken steps to reassure allies in Central and Eastern Europe, and this trip is a chance to reaffirm our ironclad commitment to Article V as the foundation of NATO," the White House said.
Article V of the NATO charter pledges that allies will treat an attack on one member as an attack on all.
Obama, who will travel to Estonia in early September on his way to a NATO summit in Wales, will meet in Talinn with the presidents of all three Baltic states - Estonia's Toomas Hendrik Ilves, Latvia's Andris Berzins and Lithuania's Dalia Gybauskaite. Once part of the Soviet Union until independence in 1991, the Baltic states became full members of NATO in 2004.
Russia's annexation of Crimea and alleged support for rebels in other parts of eastern Ukraine has raised fears in former Soviet republics over Moscow's territorial ambitions.
The White House said Obama and his Baltic counterparts will discuss "ongoing cooperation on regional security and policies that support economic growth, and ... collective defence."
Obama will also hold bilateral talks with Estonia's Prime Minister Taavi Roivas on strategic and regional cooperation and "our shared commitment to the trans-Atlantic partnership," the White House said.