ERR in Washington: Obama Receiving Praise at Home for Estonia Trip ({{commentsTotal}})

Presidents Ilves and Barack Obama on Wednesday. Source: (Courtesy of the Office of the President of the Republic of Estonia)
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US President Barack Obama's decision to stop over in Estonia before the NATO summit in Wales has received wide praise even from his critics in the Unites States, says Lauri Tankler, ERR's correspondent in Washington.

Obama's approval rating continues to be low in the United States – 42 percent; Republicans oppose and Democrats support the president. But both sides are united on foreign policy, becoming worried about the increasing threat from Russia, said Tankler on ETV.

The Heritage Foundation a think tank linked to the Republican Party, has previously criticized the Obama administration, but lent its support for the trip to Estonia, as has Kurt Volker, the former US representative to NATO.

Luke Coffey, a fellow at the Heritage Foundation, said Obama has realized Estonia is "the one shining star" among its allies, and the visit is an acknowledgment.

Coffey said Obama should announce military bases in Eastern Europe, as it makes no sense not to have military capabilities in the region. He said Obama should also make a quick stop-over in Finland to add support to Finland joining NATO.

He said pre-positioning equipment in the Baltics, a naval presence, enhanced cybersecurity cooperation and more joint training exercises should be announced, as well as LNG exports to the Baltics, as 100 percent of Estonia's gas currently comes from Russia.

Tankler said a partisan United States political environment has found one common topic, which is praising Estonia.



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