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EDGARTOWN Mass. (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama will travel to Estonia in September and meet with leaders from three Baltic states on his way to a NATO summit in Wales, the White House said on Friday.
While there, he will meet with the prime minister and president of Estonia as well as the presidents of Lithuania and Latvia to discuss regional security, economic growth, and collective defense, it said.
"In light of recent developments in Ukraine, the United States has taken steps to reassure allies in Central and Eastern Europe, and this trip is a chance to reaffirm our ironclad commitment to Article V as the foundation of NATO," the White House said in a statement.
Article V requires NATO states to come to each other's defense when called.
Obama's stop in Estonia before attending the NATO summit is meant to give a signal to the Baltic states as well as Russia that the United States remains active in the region even as Moscow intervenes in Ukraine.
Reporting by Jeff Mason; Editing by Susan Heavey