Joe Biden to visit Latvia and meet Baltic presidents in late summer (4)
U.S. Vice President Joe Biden will visit Latvia at the end of summer and meet with the presidents of the three Baltic countries, the office of Latvian president Raimonds Vejonis announced on Thursday.
Biden informed Vejonis of his plans on a telephone call on Wednesday. The trip is likely to be one of Biden's last as vice president.
Biden has traveled frequently to the Baltic States to reassure them of U.S. support in light of Russia's aggressive actions in Ukraine since 2014.
Spokesman for the Latvian president Janis Siksnis said that Vejonis and Biden discussed the upcoming NATO summit in Warsaw, where decisions are expected on increasing the presence of allied troops on the alliance's eastern flank.
“The U.S. military presence in the region has promoted a bigger contribution of other allies. Thanks to that, the NATO summit in Warsaw will decide on the deployment of multinational battalions to the Baltic States and Poland,” Vejonis said.
Biden underscored the “unshakable” U.S. commitment to the security of the Baltic States and the importance of the bilateral relationship between the United States and Latvia. He added that the considerable increase of the presence of U.S. troops in Eastern Europe would strengthen the Baltic defense and improve NATO’s deterrent.
Biden, 74, is an experienced U.S. politician representing the Democratic Party. He was elected Vice President in 2009. Biden and U.S. President Barack Obama will leave office on Jan. 20, 2017.