Biden to touch down in Latvia August 23

United States Vice President Joe Biden will come to Latvia August 23 for talks with Baltic leaders, the US embassy and Latvian Foreign Ministry announced August 14.

Though full details of Biden's itinerary are still to be announced, he will meet with all three Baltic Presidents jointly: Toomas Hendrik Ilves from Estonia, Dalia Grybauskaite from Lithuania and Raimonds Vejonis from Latvia. 

There will also be separate bilateral meetings with Vejonis and Prime Minister Maris Kucinskis.

The topics due to be discussed were not stated in the official releases, but it's pretty obvious regional security and the threat of Russia will top the agenda.

Biden will "deliver a speech to the Baltic people" the US Embassy's Facebook page said, suggesting this will perhaps be the key moment of his visit in the manner of President Barack Obama's visit to Tallinn in 2014 when he stressed the US' commitment to collective defense as part of NATO.

August 23 also happens to be the anniversary of the Baltic Way - the day in 1989 when thousands of people joined hands across the Baltic states to demand the return of their independence after half a century of Soviet occupation, making it highly likely this will be a topic of Biden's speech.

The one-day stop in Riga will be the midway point of a European visit from August 22-25 that will also take in Turkey and Sweden.

 

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