According to the press release, Trump’s visit “is viewed internationally as an attempt to demonstrate a special attention to security of the Baltic and Eastern European countries and to once again express the US commitment to NATO‘s collective defense.”
This year’s meeting will bring together the heads of twelve Eastern and Central European states near the Adriatic, Baltic and Black seas.
Trump will make the stopover in Poland ahead of the G20 summit in Germany. Some observers say the meeting in Warsaw will demonstrate Poland‘s regional leadership as an offset to the Germany and France-dominated bloc in the European Union.
Concerns had rippled across Eastern European countries after Trump’s election campaign pledged to improve the relations with Russia and undermined NATO, dismissing the Alliance as outdated. Furthermore, he refused to state public support to the principle of collective defense during a recent visit in Brussels.
However, diplomats also note the increased frequency of visits of officials of the new US administration to the region. In May, US Secretary of Defense James Mattis visited Lithuania, and US House of Representatives President Paul Ryan went to Estonia in April.
At the end of July, the Baltic presidents are scheduled to meet with US Vice-Presidetn Mike Pence in Estonia.