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US Election Hits The Baltic States – OpEd

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Political upheavals in 2020 in major countries stir people all around the world. It turned out, that presidential elections in a single country, which are a purely internal affair of the state, have a global impact on the foreign policy of many states. Thus, the world froze in anticipation of the results of the US elections.

The Baltic States, in particular, want to know if the new president continues financial, political and economic support to them. The second worrying question is whether the United States continues to provide military assistance to ensure security in the Baltic region.

The Baltic countries’ authorities also worry about the future of NATO, where the U.S. plays the key role. It is well known that Trump has repeatedly disparaged NATO as a drain on the U.S. national budget that mainly benefits Europe.

The U.S. has been trying unsuccessfully for years to get Germany and other rich NATO Nations to allocate more on defence. Trump has often criticized European members of NATO for failing to meet annual defense spending targets, accusing them of riding for free on Washington’s coattails. The Baltic States made their best to rise defence budgets and to prove their loyalty even to the detriment of the well-being of its citizens.

Biden is not going to force European countries to pay more. Germany and France will definitely get support anyway without such sacrifices as the Baltics have made. It should be said, plans of the Baltic countries to host the American military contingent planned to withdraw from Germany are becoming more and more illusory.

If the recount does not take place and Joe Biden becomes the head of the White House, Germany will seek to change Trump’s decision and keep the American military. It means that the Baltics could not expect the permanent U.S. military presence on their territories in near future.

Therefore, there is a high probability that the Baltic States will continue to exploit the idea of Russia’s threat in order to strengthen their position in the eyes of the new American president. In the event of a tougher rhetoric towards Russia, the Baltic countries still have a chance to enlist further support.

Joe Biden said in an interview that in terms of countries presenting a threat to the U.S., Russia takes the cake. Biden, on the other hand, has said NATO advances American security interests and has helped create prosperity not only in Europe but at home as well. It is not clear what he would prefer: to concentrate efforts on the U.S prosperity or NATO collective defence.

So, the Baltic States will keep accusing Russia in order to get the U.S. help. We could hardly expect further independent foreign policy or any foreign policy changes. The Baltic States have long ago chosen them and everything again depends on the U.S., not them.

Viktors Domburs

Viktors Domburs

Viktors Domburs is an engineer, born in Latvia, and now lives in the United Kingdom.

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