The Speaker of the United States House of Representatives has backed NATO, declaring the alliance as the “unequivocal, unambiguous” support of President Trump’s administration.
Following a meeting with Estonian Prime Minister Juri Ratas, Paul Ryan, a Republican and close ally of the president said that President Trump had changed his position on NATO following remarks claiming the alliance was “obsolete” when on the campaign trail.
Mr Ryan said that the Trump administration “feel very strong that the NATO alliance is extremely crucial and essential.”
In a statement released by the Estonian government, Mr Ryan is quoted as saying: “The contribution of the US to Europe’s safety is remarkable, and greatly appreciated by the Estonian people. We work together for peace and the US can always count on Estonia, both in the fight against terrorism and in other matters.”
In the meeting with Prime Minister Ratas, the prospect of closer collaboration between the two nations economically and on cyber security were discussed.
Last month, the Estonian military undertook an exercise that included two US UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters.
Around 4,000 NATO troops are currently stationed in Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia as a response to Russian aggression in the region.
Mr Ratas called for a united European effort that could more effectively counter Russian threats. He said: “Europe can contribute to fight against terrorism and counter any hostile Russian influences only if it is strong and efficient.”
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