President Trump meets at the White House on Tuesday with leaders of Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia. The “U.S.-Baltic Summit” celebrates the 100th anniversary of independence for the three countries.
Throughout the Second World War and the Cold War, the Baltic countries were dominated by the Soviet Union. They regained their independence in the early 1990s and joined NATO in 2004.
The Trump administration will highlight the Baltic countries’ robust defense spending. Latvia and Lithuania devote nearly 2 percent of their economies to defense — a NATO benchmark — while Estonia spends slightly more than 2 percent.