di Tommaso Vicarelli
(I prepared this article the same week this summit between President Trump and the Heads of Three Baltic States happened, just 7/10 days before the last missile attack was launched by the coalition formed by USA – UK – FRANCE against the Damasco Government’s regular forces in Syria, since that moment the balnces that Russia helped to build in that zone changed suddenly, but we think it might be interesting not to keep this article on the draft but rather publish it for receiving further commentes)
It is still not clear Trump’s approach on foreign policy and especially his stance about USA – Russian relations. But what the American President said on Tuesday, during the meeting alongside with Baltic Heads of States, was not entirely expected, mostly in this moment during which USA-Russia relations touched a very low point.
The three Baltic Presidents have been invited to the White House for celebrating the 100th anniversary of the declaration of independence of the Baltic states, but in reality they regained independence only after the collapse of Soviet Union in 1991.
Since that moment the three Baltic Dwarfs, have always been showing a clear aggressive behaviour against their neighbour Russia. They rather than find a channel of dialogue with Russian Federation, backed by NATO, opted for a hostile hard-line.
Trump referring to Russia textually said that: “nobody has been tougher than him on Russia”, and added that: “getting along with Russia is good thing, not a bad thing”.
Probably it was only part of his strategy to push them, as well as other member states, to respect the payments of the NATO bills, inasmuch recently the target spending raised from 1 to 2 percent of GDP.
Through those words President Trump wanted to make them understand that, if they want a strong NATO must contribute more to the expenditures of the alliance, otherwise USA, remaining the only leader of the entire coalition, might decide to improve its relations with Russia and sign with Putin new agreements. And if this speculation could become real, Baltic States stance on NATO would surely turn worse.
Even though just a week ago 60 Russian diplomats, that U.S. official said were likely spies, have been expelled, and even if his unclear strategy in Syria has been not only ineffective but went openly in contrast with Moscow-Damascus axis, Trump phoned Putin for congratulating for his fourth mandate as President of Russian Federation.
What he said during that speech and this calling, do not change very much the general situation, in fact the Western World does not lose any opportunities for criminalizing Russia, but the openness showed by US President might help to appease the tensions between NATO one hand and Russia on the other, especially in this very “hot moment”.
The Baltic Region still represents a strategic geographic area where come together many tensions and where a possible escalation between NATO and Russia might outbreaks.
But while Putin has always been showing a wise approach, the three Baltic States always tried to provoke a Russian counter reaction. That is exactly why NATO needs them and Baltic States need the Atlantic Alliance to carry on their provocative and sick foreign policy.
But speaking about this aspect Trump underlined the fact that because of him, NATO member countries have started to “pay their bills.”
“They were not paying what they should be paying. Since I came in, many, many billions of dollars have been paid by countries that weren’t paying, and now they’re paying, and they will pay more. Frankly, they will have to pay more,” Trump said.
(Full Replay: President Trump Press Conference With Leaders Of Baltic States: https://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2018/04/03/watch_live_president_trump_press_conference_with_leaders_of_baltic_states.html)
As I have already mentioned it can just be a strategy to lighten the US military expenditures dedicated on NATO budget, but I am certain about one aspect; if we gather together the all population of the three Baltic States we do not reach the same population who live in Madrid and around the Spanish Capital City.
Said that, considering their small populations, it is easy to understand that the increase from 1 to 2 percent of the GDP as membership fees for the alliance, is a request that Baltic States cannot afford easily. But it is also true that nobody asked them to play at Risiko against Russia.