Joe Biden on Estonia and the Baltics: Russia, don’t bully a NATO member

During the 2020 United States presidential campaign, the then-Democratic presidential nominee, Joe Biden, published a document on his vision on the US relations with Estonia and the Baltics, saying he will send a strong message to Russia: don’t bully a NATO member.

“As President, Joe Biden will send a strong message to Russia: don’t bully a NATO member. Joe Biden’s long-standing support for the Baltic states and belief in America’s commitment to our allies contrast sharply with [the current president] Donald Trump, who has questioned the value of the NATO alliance,” Biden writes in the policy document.

“Joe Biden will steadfastly support our NATO allies, unlike President Trump, who has questioned the value of the Alliance, and once confused the Baltics with the Balkans. Joe Biden will continue the European Deterrence Initiative, which pays for the deployment of U.S. and NATO troops to the Baltic states to deter a Russian invasion,” the document continues. “He won’t raid the fund to pay for the border wall with Mexico, as President Trump did when the transferred $770 million in already appropriated funds from the initiative.”

Also, Biden promises to continue to oppose Nord Stream 2, which will increase Europe’s reliance on Russian gas and expose Europe to blackmail by Russia.

An advocate for military aid to defend the Baltics

Biden’s policy document points out that he was a key architect of NATO membership for the Baltic states as a leading member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. “In May 2003, Biden enthusiastically voted for Estonian, Latvian, and Lithuanian NATO accession. Since then, Biden’s commitment to Baltic security has only increased.”

The president-elect of the United States also says that during the administration of president Barack Obama, he was the point-person on Baltic security. “In this capacity, he travelled to the Baltic area, met frequently with Baltic political leaders and diplomats, and advocated for military aid to defend Baltic security, including the European Reassurance Initiative.”

Joe Biden defeated incumbent Donald Trump in the 2020 United States presidential election and will be inaugurated as the 46th president in January 2021. A member of the Democratic Party, Biden previously served as the 47th vice president from 2009 to 2017 and United States senator for Delaware from 1973 to 2009.

Biden ran with California senator Kamala Harris, who has now become the first female vice president-elect and the first vice president-elect of colour.

Cover: Joe Biden at ABC Town Hall in Philadelphia on 15 October 2020. Photo by Adam Schultz / Biden for President. *This article was originally published on 20 October 2020 and amended on 7 November 2020.

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