US Vice President Biden to visit Latvia in summer

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US Vice President Joe Biden will be visiting Latvia by the end of summer 2016, according to a White House press release. 

During a phone call in which Biden "underscored the unshakable U.S. commitment to the security of the Baltic states", Latvia's President Raimonds Vējonis invited him to visit.

It's planned that Biden will meet the presidents of the three Baltic states during his time here. 

According to a release by the Latvian President's Chancery, the telephone conversation centered on the upcoming NATO Warsaw summit where a decision on sending troops to Eastern Europe is expected to be made.

"US military presence in the region has encouraged bigger allied contributions. Thanks to this presence, it's expected that a decision will be made on the deployment of multi-national battalions in the Baltics and Poland," said Vējonis.

Biden had reaffirmed Washington's continued commitment to apply the NATO Article 5 on Latvia. He had stressed that the considerable boost of US military presence in Eastern Europe will strengthen Baltic security and improve NATO's defense capabilities.

A total of 4,000 NATO soldiers could be deployed to the Baltics and Poland following the Kremlin's annexation of Crimea and stoking military conflict in eastern Ukraine.

The deployment, to be completed by next year, is expected to be confirmed during the NATO summit in Warsaw, held from Friday to Saturday.

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