The United States, and the world beyond it, changed significantly during Donald Trump’s presidency. Whoever wins the US presidential election, we will not come back to the pre-2016 reality, Lithuania's former president Dalia Grybauskaitė says.
During her 10 years in office (2009-2019), Grybauskaitė had many opportunities to meet with both Trump and his Democratic contender Joe Biden, who previously served as vice president in Barack Obama’s administration.
“I met and worked with both of them. Lithuania will come to a mutual understanding with any US president,” Grybauskaitė told LRT RADIO on Wednesday.
She added, however, that Europeans see Biden as their preferred candidate because he is more inclined to cooperate with the EU as part of NATO. But even if the Democrat became president, US relations with Europe would not be restored overnight, Grybauskaitė said.
“At the end of the day, the process of self-isolation and exiting from many international organisations changed the US itself. So, even with Biden as president, it would be difficult to rebuild everything immediately,” she said.
Four years of Trump’s presidential term have been uncertain and tense. Nevertheless, the US remained an important player in the security of the Baltic region, according to Grybauskaitė.
“I would call him an unpredictable leader. It was the main problem for Europeans because it was difficult to communicate [with Trump], and there was no stability in bilateral relations. Various threats of trade and tariff wars weren't pleasant either,” she explained.
“For our region, it was important that Trump preserved NATO commitment to invest in its defence and security,” she added. “There are already two US battalions in the Baltic region, and we will soon have a third one. So, with both administrations, we managed to secure this element of defence that is very important to us.”