Obama in Estonia: Critical stopover
Ahead of the NATO summit in Wales, US President has chosen to stop at Estonia to discuss various ends and means to contain the full-blown crisis in Ukraine. He is expected to meet Presidents of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. The three states joined NATO in 2004 and have been deeply concerned with the developments in the neighboring Ukraine who is at the brink of a massive aggression by the Russian forces.
Ukraine has asserted that Russian military backed rebels have created much unrest in its territory and can easily take on the Parliament if things go on the same footing.
Obama’s trip to the Baltic states, in the capital of Estonia which is only about 500 miles from Russia, is a clear signal to Russian heads that they will not have a free pass in any of the NATO territory like the way they are moving in still a non-NATO Ukraine.
The stop-over by the President also symbolizes the message from the NATO group leaders which are gathering in Wales, of troops being positioned along the Eastern European borders. The rapid rise and occupation of the barbaric militants of ISIS are another major source of worry for the eastern members of the alliance. The recent unrest which is seen globally can provide a solid base for the revamp of the NATO as the strongest alliance in troubled times ever since its 65-year old history.
NATO members that border Russia, watching the once-unthinkable breach of Ukraine’s borders, are looking to the NATO summit, to affirm its commitment to Article 5, which provides for collective defense of states under attack. Culmination and creation of a “high-readiness” force that places new state-of-the-art equipment and thousands of troops in Eastern Europe is high on the agenda. The NATO and Russia 1997 agreement that no permanent NATO troops will be positioned in Eastern Europe provides for the provision of rotation of troops along the eastern borders. White House has termed it as a defensive strategy than an offensive to provoke Russia, looking at recent turn of events in Ukraine.