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 Trump admits US may abandon Baltics in case of Russian aggression

After becoming the official Republican presidential candidate, Donald Trump went even further in his controversial statements.

This time, he has stated that the U.S. might not come to the defense of a NATO ally under attack from Russia if that country has not fulfilled its obligations to America.

Censor.NET reports citing Financial Times.

After his nomination as the Republican presidential candidate, Trump went much further than his previous controversial comments that he would consider reducing the U.S. role in a military alliance that has formed the bedrock of the transatlantic security relationship for many decades.

Asked whether he would defend the Baltic states in the face of Russian aggression if president, Trump said: "If they fulfill their obligations to us, the answer is yes."

The billionaire had already sparked concern among many U.S. allies, including the other members of NATO and countries such as Japan and South Korea, that he would adopt an isolationist stance that would dramatically affect a series of relationships that most experts argue have provided for security in Europe and Asia.

Read more: Trump campaign excludes lethal aid to Ukraine from GOP's official program, - The Washington Post

In response to Trump's remarks, Linas Linkevicius, Lithuania's foreign minister, said: "There is no ground to doubt Lithuania's commitments, and we do not doubt [our] Allies' commitments."

An ambassador for a NATO country in the Baltics said: "A lot of people here are very queasy at the prospect of Trump's presidency and how it could empower Putin."

The publication recalls that U.S. President Barack Obama offered reassurance in a speech in Tallinn in 2014 that the U.S. would respect NATO's commitment to collective defense, known as Article 5, if the Baltics were attacked.

But Baltic officials express concern about allies promptly triggering Article 5 that will allow Russia to go far before it is retaliated.

Read more: Turchynov, Szubin discuss tracing and return of funds syphoned off from Ukraine by Yanukovych and his allies

Earlier, Trump excluded the provision of lethal aid to Ukraine from GOP's official program. Trump staffers came up with a proposal to replace the corresponding item with softer language calling for "appropriate assistance." The amendment was voted on and passed. This unexpected move turned out to be at odds with almost all party national security leaders.

On the contrary, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has repeatedly condemned Russia's invasion of Ukraine and criticized Trump for his sympathy toward Moscow. During her campaign, she stressed the Kremlin would rejoice at Trump's victory.

As reported, Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton have more or less equal chances to win the U.S. presidential election scheduled for Nov. 8, 2016. Each of them is supported by 40 percent of Americans.
 
 
 
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