Baltic presidents meet with US Vice President Pence

President Kersti Kaljulaid and U.S. Vice President Mike Pence in Munich.
President Kersti Kaljulaid and U.S. Vice President Mike Pence in Munich. Source: (Toms Kalninš/Office of the President of Latvia)

President Kersti Kaljulaid along with her Latvian and Lithuanian counterparts met with U.S. Vice President Mike Pence in Munich on Saturday. The meeting focused on security issues and confirmed the close mutual co-operation between the USA and Europe as well as the Baltic states.

“The fact that the new U.S. administration is strongly represented at the Munich Security Conference serves to show that strong trans-Atlantic relations, cooperation, and contribution to NATO remain highly valued in Washington. The same message was also repeated to all three Baltic states by the U.S. Vice President in person,” President Kaljulaid said after the meeting.

Pence had said he was glad that Estonia was among the countries that allocate 2 percent of their GDP to their defense budgets, and that and Latvia and Lithuania would reach the same level next year, the president added.

“As for the role of NATO, we share a similar position as that of Vice President Pence – the Alliance represents deterrence and guarantees, along with obligations. The member states are required to fulfil the obligations they have taken, as this alone will keep NATO strong. Only the strong establish peace,” Kaljulaid said.

The president thanked Pence for his speech delivered in Munich, which in the assessment of the Office of the President conveyed a strong message. Pence emphasised that Europe remained an irreplaceable ally of the U.S., primarily in the sphere of security. The U.S. maintained its promises and shared values of freedom, democracy, and the principles observed by a state based on the rule of law.

At the meeting the situation in Ukraine and the Minsk agreements were also discussed. “I emphasised that by attacking Ukraine, Russia has violated the principles of international law. Russia has no ‘special right’ in Ukraine and shouldn’t have any special interests. Therefore, it is important for countries that think as we do to stand collectively for the continued implementation of the current sanctions,” President Kaljulaid said.

Editor: Dario Cavegn

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