Ukraine is less interesting than the Islamists and a killed journalist, – Kęstutis Girnius
bssb.be 05.09.2014 Riga Vilnius Tallinn
Even though US President Barack Obama expressed strong support for the Baltic States in Tallinn, Lithuanian observers say his statements were cautious enough to leave open door for a dialogue with Moscow.
Political observer Kęstutis Girnius tells DELFI he gets the impression that voters in the United States do not find developments in Russia’s policies a matter of great urgency.
At a press conference with Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves, Obama restated support for NATO allies, promised greater US air force presence in Estonia, but noted that some NATO members were quite timid about their obligations to spend two percent of the GDP on defence. Obama also said he wanted to see “a strong, productive and cooperative” Russia.
Girnius notes that Obama needs Russia’s backing in solving many international policy issues, so one could hardly expect the US leader to say anything else. Girnius adds that there is little chance of unexpected statements or promises to the Baltic nations on the eve of the NATO Summit.
“Even if they had made important decisions, they would certainly not announce them today.”
“The American reporters were less interested about Ukraine and more about the Islamic State and the killed journalist. I think, this points to the priorities of the American people.” Grinius says.
He summarizes Obama’s statements in Tallinn in one sentence: “A very firm commitment to the Baltic States, moderate support for Ukraine and reluctance to shut doors for Russia.”