U.S. will defend NATO Baltic states against Russia, Blinken says
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken gives remarks to U.S. Embassy staff in Vilnius Rotuse on Vilnius (Lituania), March 7, 2022.
Anthony Blinken is Secretary of State on Monday promised fellow NATO member LithuaniaAny Russian military aggression on the Baltic states or against them will be repelled by the United States.
“The United States commitment [NATO’s] Article 5 – an attack on one is an attack on all,” Blinken said, “that commitment is sacrosanct.”
Blinken spoke at the press conference held in Vilnius, Lithuania with Gabrielius Landsbergis, Lithuania’s foreign minister. Similar remarks were made in Latvia, another Baltic state that is part of NATO.
Blinken stated, “We will defend every inch of NATO land if it is under attack,” referring to President Joe Biden’s comments in last week’s State of the Union. “No one can doubt our readiness. No one should doubt that we are determined.”
Blinken stated that in Latvia, there was no yet a decision on whether the U.S. should send permanent troops to the Baltics.
Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia (the third Baltic country) have all provided assistance to Ukraine along with NATO member countries and Western countries. They also harshly sanctioned Russia for its invasion of neighboring Ukraine.
Concerns have been raised that Russia could target the Baltic countries, which were previously part of Russia’s Soviet Union prior to its dissolution three decades back.
Blinken will be visiting Estonia Tuesday.
Landsbergis claimed that “the United States of America, Lithuania and the other alliance partners are doing a lot. But we can’t stop.”
“We can’t afford for Ukrainian cities becoming another Srebrenicas, Groznys, or Aleppo,” said he. He was speaking about the location of the 1995 massacre of more then 8,000 Muslims in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Also, the destruction of Chechen City by Russian forces in 2000 and 1999, and the devastation of the Syrian civil War.