Baltic leaders stress need to strengthen NATO's eastern flank in letter to Biden

  • 2022-07-28
  • BNS/TBT Staff

VILNIUS – The leaders of the Baltic states have sent a letter to US President Joe Biden on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations, stressing the need to strengthen NATO's eastern flank.

The letter from Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda, Latvian President Egils Levits and Estonian President Alar Karis calls for continuous effort to strengthen the security of NATO's eastern flank without leaving any gaps, the Lithuanian presidential press service said.

In their letter, the Baltic presidents also stressed the need for the international community to support Ukraine in its fight against the aggressor by all possible means until victory is achieved.

"For the Baltics, independence was not a gift, we had to defend it on the battlefield. We know that freedom, sovereignty and independence are priceless. So do the Ukrainians," the letter reads.

The Lithuanian, Latvian and Estonian president also thanked the United States for its leadership in defending the international order based on universal principles and norms, which is especially important in the current geopolitical context when dictators are trying to impose their will on sovereign states by force.

Lithuania, which declared the restoration of its statehood in 1918, was de jure recognized by the United States on July 28, 1922.

In 1940, after Russia occupied Lithuania, US Secretary of State Benjamin Sumner Welles declared that the US did not recognize the Soviet annexation of the three Baltic states and that the diplomatic and consular offices of these countries could continue to operate.