Despite U.S. presidential election victor Donald Trump, NATO will stay defending all of its allies, the Alliance Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg claimed on Thursday, Reuters report.
In July, the head of the Latvian parliament's foreign relations committee, Ojars Eriks Kalnins, said Trump's comments about Baltic defence were "very dangerous" and contradicted policies of both the U.S. Republican and Democrat parties.
The United States ambassador to Germany, John B. Emerson, said on the public broadcaster ZDF that it seemed that American voters "have given up on the political process and followed his message", making it clear that it seemed Mr. Trump would be the next president. "We look forward to working very closely with President-elect Trump, his administration, and with the United States Congress in the years ahead, including on issues such as trade, investment, and global peace and security". Moscow has raised the ante by sending nuclear capable missiles to the Kaliningrad enclave, which borders Poland and Lithuania, and adding to its Baltic Sea fleet.
During his campaign, Trump had said he would call off the climate agreement reached in Paris previous year.
Russian President Vladimir Putin cited those promises when congratulating Trump, insisting: "Russia is ready and wants to restore fully-fledged relations with the U.S.".
However, with Trump now headed to the White House, many in the region are wondering just how deeply he means to challenge the Nato treaties, or what his relations with Putin will entail.
"It is the moment to realise that what is being done (to boost Europe's own defence capabilities) is not entirely useless, that there is a good reason for it", an European Union diplomat said.
"I congratulate Donald Trump on his election as the next President of the United States", Stoltenberg said in a statement early Wednesday.
"During this year's Nato Summit in Warsaw the USA chose to increase its military presence in Poland, thereby strengthening the alliance's Eastern flank", President Andrzej Duda said in a letter ostensibly congratulating Trump on his victory.
But he also added his hopes that Trump would annul the obligatory visa for Poles, which is especially crucial to Polish businessmen who want to function within the US market.
Trump on his election victory but delivered a stern reminder of America's obligations to its allies. And for the Baltic states, this is existential.
As for U.S. -Russia relations, Sipila hoped that Trump would open new doors to resolve, for example, the crisis in Syria. "The question is what his policy is really going to be", Mihkelson said.
Prannoy Roy, co-founder and co-executive chairman of NDTV, asked the panelists: "If you can't respect a president, does it also stop the world respecting the American people for voting for a man like this?" "There could be less conflicts between United States and China", the professor said.
Trump is not likely to go along to get along with North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, and the fact that so much of the campaign centered around Clinton et al calling him a Russian "puppet" is likely to add to his skepticism about the need to continue throwing troops at Latvia and Estonia almost 30 years after the Soviet Union crumbled.