US commitments to Baltics are ‘strong and serious’

Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linkevičius and US Secretary of State Kerry.   Photo Ludo Segers

The meeting, which was held in the sidelines of the meeting of NATO foreign ministers, was also attended by the foreign ministers of Latvia and Estonia.

“The US will contribute to our regional security, and this is the most important. (…) The Americans’ commitments are strong and serious,” Linkevičius said on Thursday.

The Alliance’s foreign ministers are meeting in the run-up to the NATO Summit in Warsaw where Allies may decide to station an international battalion-sized combat team of about 1,000 soldiers in each of the Baltic states and Poland. On Wednesday, the scheme received a go-ahead from NATO’s Military Committee.

In response to the Russian actions in Ukraine, a company of US troops was deployed in Lithuania in spring of 2014 along with a small NATO staff. Earlier this year, NATO announced plans to quadruple the military budget for Europe.

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