Image by SAC Laura Bullas
During a meeting today in Vilnius, the defense ministers of the three Baltic nations agreed to raise defense spending above the 2% goal set by the NATO alliance, in a bid to American pressure from President Trump for other NATO members to pay their fair share of defense costs.
During the meeting, Latvian Defense Minister Raimonds Bergmanis, Raimundas Karoblis and Estonian Defense Minister Juri Luik signed a joint communique today, expressing the commitment to raise defense spending above two percent of GDP.
The communique also emphasized the importance of the presence of the NATO battle groups in the Baltics, thus strengthening the region’s security, as well as the important role NATO and the United States play in the region militarily. The communique also expressed support towards Georgia and Ukraine’s Euro-Atlantic ambitions. The communique also expressed support for military cooperation with Great Britain after Brexit, reproved The Baltic Times.
The three former Soviet republics have been frightened by significant Russian military pressure on the region as Moscow ramps up its push back against NATO encroachment on its borders. The region is keen for NATO support against the militarization of Kaliningrad by the Kremlin and massive troop movements and exercises in neighboring Belarus.