The president of Estonia, Kersti Kaljulaid, on 3 April met with her American colleague, the US president, Donald Trump.
Kaljulaid tweeted after the meeting that she was “happy to meet president Trump … on my first visit to [the White House]. [The] US-Estonian relations have never been as close as over the past few years.”
According to the Estonian embassy in Washington, DC, president Trump said the US never ceased to support independence of Baltic countries. “Your burden sharing in NATO is exemplary, you are contributing to coalition to defeat ISIS. Our economic relations are growing. We are enhancing cooperation in energy security,” Trump added.
Fox News also tweeted a quote from president Trump who said, “For a century that United States has stood with the people of the Baltics, in support of their independence, sovereignty and self-determination.”
The White House also announced after the meeting that more than 5,000 US troops will join multinational forces in this year’s Saber Strike exercise, the largest event of its kind to take place in the Baltic region.
Trump “tough” on Russia
In addition, the US president declared that “nobody has been tougher on Russia” than him.
“Getting along with Russia is a good thing, not a bad thing,” Trump said in the meeting, according to CNN. “Now maybe we will and maybe we won’t. Probably nobody’s been tougher on Russia than Donald Trump. If you take a look at our military strength now, which probably wouldn’t have happened if the opponent had won … We’re now exporting oil and gas. This is not something that Russia wanted.”
The US president added that “just about everyone agrees” getting along with Russia is a good thing “except very stupid people”.
The Estonian president met with Trump alongside with the presidents of Latvia and Lithuania, Raimonds Vejonis and Dalia Grybauskaite, respectively.
In addition to meeting Trump, Kaljulaid will partake in a Baltic-US business forum and attend a dinner, hosted by the national security adviser of the president, H.R. McMaster.
Kaljulaid to visit General Einseln’s grave
On 4 April, Kaljulaid will give a public lecture and she’ll also visit Arlington National Cemetery, where she will pay her respects to the former commander of the Estonian Defence Forces, General Aleksander Einseln, who was buried in Arlington on 2 April.
The US established diplomatic relations with Estonia in 1922, and when Estonia was occupied by the Soviet Union in 1940, the States never recognised the annexation.
While Estonian presidents frequently visit DC, only two incumbent US presidents have visited Estonia – George W. Bush in 2006 and Barack Obama in 2014.
Cover: Donald Trump and Kersti Kaljulaid (courtesy of the Estonian President’s Office).