The defence of Vilnius, Riga and Tallinn is just as important for NATO as the defence of London, Paris and Berlin, US President Barack Obama stated on Wednesday, pledging that the Baltic states will never lose their independence again.
Barackas Obama
© Reuters/Scanpix

"The defence of Tallinn, Riga and Vilnius is just as important as the defence of Berlin and Paris and London," Obama said in his speech in the Estonian capital.

"We will be here for Latvia. We will be here for Lithuania. You lost your independence once before. With NATO, you will never lose it again," the US president said.

He emphasized that NATO is not targeted against other countries but established for collective defence, and the Baltic membership only made the Alliance stronger.

"Our NATO Alliance is not aimed against any other nation. We're an alliance of democracies dedicated to our own collective defence. Countries like Estonia and Latvia and Lithuania are not post-Soviet territory. You're sovereign and independent nations with a right to make your own decisions," said Obama.

"We will defend our NATO Allies, and that means every Ally. In this alliance, there are no old members or new members, no junior partners or senior partners. They're just Allies, pure and simple, and we will defend the territorial integrity of every single Ally," said the US president.


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