Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
. Military Space News .




Subscribe to our free daily newsletters



SUPERPOWERS
Pence in Estonia to ease Russia fears in Baltic region
By Polina KALANTAR
Tallinn (AFP) July 30, 2017


US Vice President Mike Pence on Sunday visits Estonia to reassure the three Baltic NATO members, concerned over neighbouring Russia's military activity, before continuing on to Georgia and Montenegro with the same mission.

Pence will meet with Estonian Prime Minister Juri Ratas on Sunday regarding the possibility of installing American anti-aircraft defence systems in the small country of 1.3 million people.

Relations between Moscow and Tallinn have been fraught since Estonia broke free from the crumbling Soviet Union in 1991, joining both the EU and NATO in 2004.

More recently Estonia and fellow Baltic states Latvia and Lithuania have been spooked by Russia's frequent military exercises near the region and its 2014 annexation of Crimea from Ukraine.

On Monday, Pence will meet Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid and her Lithuanian and Latvian counterparts, Dalia Grybauskaite and Rajmonds Vejonis.

He will then visit troops from the Enhanced Forward Presence programme, under which NATO has deployed four battalions to the Baltic states and Poland to bolster the western defence alliance's eastern flank.

- 'We are watching' -

Local analysts expect Pence to offer Estonians what they want to hear, including that "the US is a good loyal ally and that they appreciate Baltic sacrifices including their 2 percent of GDP spending on defence and their participation in military operations in Afghanistan," according to Tallinn University international relations specialist Matthew Crandall, as quoted by public television ERR.

Analyst Andres Kasekamp added on the same channel that "the timing, before Russia's Zapad exercises (in September in Belarus, near the Lithuanian border) shows that the US wants to say: 'We are watching what's happening here very closely and you can be certain of our support.'"

The Zapad exercises have triggered concern in Lithuania, since they will take place relatively close to the Suwalki gap, a land corridor crossing southeastern Poland which is critical to the security of the Baltic states.

The 80-kilometer (50-mile) stretch of border with Lithuania is sandwiched between the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad to the west and Moscow-friendly Belarus to the east.

This corridor of land is considered the potential Achilles heel of NATO's eastern flank, because a hypothetical Russian offensive there could easily isolate the three Baltic countries to the north.

Lithuanian authorities have said that up to 100,000 Russian and Belarussian troops could take part in the exercises. But Belarus Defence Minister Andrei Ravkov told the Russian TASS news agency that the soldiers will only number around 13,000.

- Russo-Georgian war memories vivid -

Pence is expected to make similar assurances in Tbilissi during talks with Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili on Monday night and with Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili on Tuesday.

US backing of Georgia's sovereignty and territorial integrity will also be well-received in the country, especially since it is not a NATO member and memories of the 2008 Russo-Georgian war remain vivid.

To that end Pence will on Tuesday meet with US and Georgian troops who are taking part in the Noble Partner 2017 exercises.

He will then continue on to Podgorica to meet with Montenegro's leaders on Tuesday night. The tiny former Yugoslav republic has a population of 660,000 and lies on the Adriatic sea.

Montenegro joined NATO in June in the face of bitter opposition from Moscow, which says NATO's steady expansion into the former communist states of eastern Europe threatens its own security and cannot go unchallenged.

On Wednesday, Pence will attend the Adriatic Charter summit, which in addition to the US and Montenegro will bring together four other countries in the region (Albania, Bosnia, Croatia and Macedonia).

Kosovo, Serbia and Slovenia have observer status and should also be represented at the meeting of the alliance, which was created in 2003 in order to facilitate the region's integration into NATO. So far Albania, Croatia, Montenegro and Slovenia have joined.

SUPERPOWERS
Sri Lanka finalises $1.12 bn port deal with China
Colombo (AFP) July 25, 2017
Sri Lanka's government Tuesday approved the sale to China of a majority stake in a loss-making but strategically-sited deep sea port for more than a billion dollars, the ports minister said. The cabinet gave final approval to sell a 70 percent stake in Hambantota port for $1.12 billion to state-owned China Merchants Port Holdings, minister Mahinda Samarasinghe told reporters. The Chine ... read more

Related Links
Learn about the Superpowers of the 21st Century at SpaceWar.com
Learn about nuclear weapons doctrine and defense at SpaceWar.com


Thanks for being here;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.

SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once


credit card or paypal
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5 Billed Monthly


paypal only

Comment using your Disqus, Facebook, Google or Twitter login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

SUPERPOWERS
Arleigh Burke-class destroyer Ralph Johnson completes builders trials

Yemeni rebel missile shot down near Mecca: Arab coalition

Lockheed awarded $130.3 million contract for Patriot missile foreign sales

US deploys Patriots in Lithuania for NATO war games

SUPERPOWERS
Two countries order Rheinmetall air defense systems

Raytheon receives Standard Missile contract for U.S., foreign navies

Raytheon, Lockheed to upgrade Javelin missile system

Progress with Russia over air-defence system: Erdogan

SUPERPOWERS
AeroVironment supplying small UAS to Australia

Insitu receives contract for Afghan ScanEagle UAS services

Leonardo DRS, Moog receive counter-UAS weapons contract

Singapore offers Manila drones, urban warfare training

SUPERPOWERS
82nd Airborne tests in-flight communication system for paratroopers

North Dakota UAS Training Center Depends on IGC Satellite Connectivity

First UAVs, Now Ships - Connectivity for the next generation of remote naval operations

Northrop Grumman receives Australian satellite ground station contract

SUPERPOWERS
BAE, Gorizioni Group partner on BvS10 all-terrain vehicle

Raytheon receives $75 million Small Diameter Bomb II contract

BAE testing new monitoring system for military bridges

China military setting up technology research agency

SUPERPOWERS
Japan's scandal-hit defence chief resigns

GAO report details sting operation that defrauded DOD surplus program for police

White House to issue executive order on defense industry sourcing

Pentagon trims Pakistan military aid over Haqqani inaction

SUPERPOWERS
China to 'step up' troop deployment against India; China buzzes US recon plane

China urges ASEAN to reject outside interference

Sweden plans large joint military exercise with NATO

China and India locked in high-stakes, high-altitude border row

SUPERPOWERS
Nanoparticles could spur better LEDs, invisibility cloaks

New material resembling a metal nanosponge could reduce computer energy consumption

How do you build a metal nanoparticle?

Nanostructures taste the rainbow




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News






The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2017 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement