TALLINN (Sputnik) – The US military presence in the Baltics is a key factor in guaranteeing security and stability for the countries in the region, Estonian Prime Minister Taavi Roivas said Friday.
"The military presence of allies - both from the United States and Europe – instills trust and is the guarantor of stability in our region," Roivas said at a meeting with a US Senate delegation, as quoted in a statement on the Estonian government website.
The delegation of US senators, led by John McCain, is currently on the last day of its working visit to Tallinn. Among the members of the group are Democratic Party lawmaker Sheldon Whitehouse and John Barrasso, a member of the Republican Party.
The visit to Estonia is part of a European tour, during which the delegates are also due to visit Norway, Sweden and Latvia.
On August 7, the Estonian Defense Ministry announced that the country would receive $68 million from the United States for military base infrastructure development through NATO’s European Reassurance Initiative (ERI) support program.
The ERI aims to provide Eastern European countries with funds for exercises, patrols and infrastructure improvements to increase the capability, readiness, and responsiveness of NATO forces in the region.
Following Crimea's reunification with Russia in March 2014, NATO has boosted its military presence in Eastern Europe close to Russia's borders, specifically in Poland and the former Soviet states of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia.