The Estonian prime minister, Kaja Kallas, on 14 June met with the new US president, Joe Biden, at the NATO summit in Brussels, Belgium; the US head of state affirmed strong support for Estonia.
Kallas met with Biden together with the Latvian president, Egils Levits, and the Lithuanian president, Gitanas Nauseda.
According to the White House, president Biden “underscored strong US support for the security of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, as well as the entire Baltic region”.
“The four leaders committed to further strengthening our political, military and economic partnerships, including working together through NATO to address challenges posed by Russia and China,” the White House added in a statement.
According to Reuters, president Biden told the European allies at the NATO summit that the alliance’s mutual defence pact – known as the Article 5 of the NATO charter – was a “sacred obligation” for the United States.
“I want all Europe to know that the United States is there,” said Biden. “NATO is critically important to us.”
The Estonian prime minister, Kaja Kallas, told the Estonian Public Broadcasting that Biden had assured her the defence of the Baltic states was very important to the US. She added that the consensus was that China wasn’t an enemy of NATO – rather a rival or a challenge. “NATO’s clear adversary is Russia,” Kallas said. “Everyone emphasised that.”
On 15 June, Biden will meet the leaders of the European Union in Brussels, and on 16 June, he’s due in Geneva, Switzerland, for his first meeting with the Russian president, Vladimir Putin.
Cover: The new US president, Joe Biden (second left), meeting with the Estonian prime minister, Kaja Kallas, the Latvian president, Egils Levits, and the Lithuanian president, Gitanas Nauseda. Photo by Stenbock House.