Lithuanian president meeting US Vice-President Biden in Riga

US Vice President Joe Biden.  Photo Ludo Segers

“Following the NATO decisions in Warsaw, we have high expectations for the US mutual investment in our regional security. Therefore, we will discuss what else the United States could do for the Baltic states and the rest of the region in addition to common NATO decisions,” Grybauskaitė said in an interview broadcast on the national radio LRT on Tuesday.

She emphasized the need for the three Baltic states to secure continued and efficient US presence in the region, which would help deter potential enemies, as well as solve the issue of the so-called Suwalki corridor. Furthermore, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia count on US leadership in the development of the regional air defence system, said the Lithuanian president.

“We speak about deterrence, US direct participation in all issues of security enhancement in our region,” Grybauskaitė told the national radio.

The Lithuanian leader has said the Baltic states seek to ensure continuity in US policies after the new president takes office.

Grybauskaitė says the Baltic presidents and Biden will discuss regional cyber and energy security matters.

Earlier this summer, NATO decided to station four battalions in each of the Baltic states and Poland, a total of about 4,000 troops. Poland will host a US-led battalion. US have also pledged to deploy an additional land forces brigade in Eastern Europe.

The United States have been rotating units of land forces in the Baltic states and Poland since 2014.

The visit by Biden, a member of the Democratic part, may be viewed as the US administration’s confirmation of NATO’s collective defence commitments.

The issue has drawn massive attention after Republican candidate in the US presidential race, Donald Trump, spoke about certain preconditions for a NATO response to Russia’s potential aggression in the Baltic states.

Biden recently criticized Trump for his stance on Russia.

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