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U.S., Baltic States Discuss Russian ‘Threat’ To European Security

 U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson (file photo)
U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson (file photo)

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has discussed ways to counter the Russian "threat" with his counterparts from the Baltic states, the State Department says.

The United States and three NATO allies -- Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania – "agreed to deepen their cooperation to combat Russia's disinformation efforts and malicious cyberactivity," a statement said on March 6.

Tillerson and the three Baltic ministers "discussed strategies to address the threat Russia poses to European security and Russia's lack of respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of its neighbors," it added.

The Baltic states have expressed concerns about Moscow's intentions in the region, especially since Russia's seizure and annexation of Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula in March 2014.

Russia has also been accused of carrying out cyberattacks and of using the Internet, particularly social networks, to attempt to sow discord and interfere in elections in the West.

The State Department said the discussions also touched upon the Baltic summit that U.S. President Donald Trump is to host in Washington on April 3.

The White House has said that the meeting between Trump and the presidents of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania would "set the stage for another century of strong ties between the United States and these three important allies."

A statement said the summit would "focus on how best to strengthen our security, business, trade, energy, and cultural partnerships."

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