Obama’s Dinner with Central European Leaders: A Positive View

From Reuters: President Barack Obama met leaders of NATO allies in central and eastern Europe on Thursday to soothe fears that better U.S. relations with Russia might mean weaker security links with the former Soviet satellites. …

"This notion that somehow if we work with Russia that’s to the disadvantage of our allies, like the Czech Republic, that’s absolutely absurd," Michael McFaul, a senior Russia adviser to Obama, said in the Czech capital.

Former Soviet bloc countries believe that a strong bond with the United States is vital for their security. But the U.S. rapprochement with Moscow and the Obama administration’s decision last year to scrap plans to build elements of a missile defense shield in the Czech Republic and Poland have led to some suspicion that their links with Washington may be weakening. …

Czech President Vaclav Klaus said before the dinner that he trusted the U.S. assurances.

"President Obama wants — that is why he invited our neighbors in central and eastern Europe — to convince them that this (scrapping of the missile shield) was not any signal that America is forgetting about this part of the world," he said.

"These are the exact sentences he said and I have no reason not to believe it." (photo: Getty)

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