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Blinken wraps up tour to Baltic countries, reassures that NATO will protect against Russian threats

Antony Blinken
Posted at 4:54 AM, Mar 08, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-08 07:54:20-05

TALLINN, Estonia — U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken is wrapping up a short tour of the three Baltic states aimed at reassuring the former Soviet republics that NATO will guarantee their security as Russia's war with Ukraine rolls on unabated.

Blinken met senior Estonian officials in Tallinn on Tuesday, a day after hearing appeals from both Lithuania and Latvia for more support and greater U.S. and NATO troop presence to deter a feared Russian intervention.

"The United States commitment to [NATO's] Article 5 — an attack on one is an attack on all," Blinken said in Latvia on Monday, according to CNBC. "That commitment is sacrosanct."

As the war in Ukraine rages, leaders in all three Baltic states have expressed grave concerns about Russian President Vladimir Putin's intentions for former Soviet bloc countries that are now allied or otherwise linked to the West.

NATO thus far has not jumped into the fighting in Ukraine, given that Ukraine is not part of the alliance. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has called on NATO to enforce a no-fly zone over Ukraine, though the alliance has thus far resisted over fears that such a move could further escalate the war.

On Sunday, Blinken told CBS News that he would give the "green light" to orders that would allow NATO to fly planes into Ukraine airspace as a deterrent.