They were admitted to mobilize, if necessary, units and equipment to ensure the defense of the sovereignty of the Baltic countries against a possible threat from Russia.
The United States admitted Wednesday that it would mobilize units and equipment to protect the sovereignty of the Baltic States (Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania) if necessary, against a possible threat from Russia.
The possibility was advanced by US Secretary of Defense James Mattis during a joint press conference with Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite held today in Vilnius.
According to Estonian public television (ERR) quoted by international agencies, James Mattis responded in this way when asked if Washington would be considering the possibility of installing defensive systems such as a Patriot missile launch battery in the Baltic countries.
“We will highlight defensive systems if necessary to ensure that (national) sovereignty is respected,” said US Secretary of State for Defense.
Still on this matter, Mattis added that Washington will always assess the context and analyze “the specific system” and “necessary” to respond to each situation. And he called “any destabilizing” any increase in “Russian combat power” in the vicinity of the Baltic states.
In the Lithuanian capital, James Mattis stressed that both the United States and NATO remain firmly committed to the security of these countries.
The annexation of the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea and Moscow’s support for pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine deeply concern the Baltic states – Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania – since 2004 of the European Union and NATO after half a century of Soviet occupation Which was in force until the early 1990s.
Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevicius wrote on Twitter that Mattis’ visit to Lithuania is “another demonstration” of the solidity of the “transatlantic link” and a “clear message to anyone who is tempted” to test this relationship.
— Linas Linkevicius (@LinkeviciusL) May 10, 2017
Last summer, during a summit in Warsaw, NATO agreed to deploy multinational troops in these three Baltic States and Poland as part of a strategy of deterrence, which was heavily criticized by Moscow.