Obama arrives in Baltics for landmark visit

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United States President Barack Obama landed in Tallinn Wednesday for a highly symbolic visit designed to reassure countries in the region that the US will help protect them against potential Russian aggression.

Despite gray skies early on, there was bright sunshine by the time Obama's motorcade rolled up in front of Kadriorg palace, seat of the Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves, himself mainly brought up and educated in the US.

Barriers and roadblocks sprang up throughout Tallinn during the night and by early morning helicopters were already circling in the skies overhead while around 2,000 police were on duty, plus a considerable number of US security personnel.

At historic Kadriorg Palace, the star spangled banner was enthusiastically accompanied by a small group of children waving Estonian and US flags who enjoyed a brief word with Obama on his way into a meeting with President Ilves.

Most were from a single Tallinn school but one boy from western Estonia had been given a special pass to the event after writing to the US Embassy in Tallinn saying how much he wanted to see the President, a local journalist told LSM outside the palace.

Later in the day, Obama will meet with all three Baltic Presidents and deliver an address before departing in the evening.

LSM will post updates throughout the day.

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