NATO conference wraps up in Cardiff, Obama addresses US ISIS strategy

On Thursday, President Barack Obama met with world leaders from the 28 member states of NATO, the most powerful regional defense alliance in the world. The two-day summit, which was held in Cardiff, Wales, focused on discussing solutions to the Russian-Ukrainian tension as well as ISIS violence in Iraq and Syria. President Obama and Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko have each expressed their hopes for peace between Russia and Ukraine. President Obama addressed his proposed strategy for ISIS during a press conference this afternoon, which he said will not involve placing US ground troops in Syria.

Earlier in the week, President Obama landed in Estonia’s capital city of Tallinn to show solidarity with the Baltic states of Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia in relation to Russia’s advances with Ukraine. While the Baltic states gained independence from Russia after World War I, a Russian minority population remains, which some say could make the three nations more vulnerable to Russian aggression when paired with their energy dependence. The Baltics are less concerned with the kind of military hostility that has been plaguing Ukraine for nearly half a year and more about cyber attacks, as Europe is facing a security crisis not seen since the Cold War.

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said in a statement that by year’s end, their military will be provided with 230 brand-new helicopters and fighter jets. President Obama said, “As the EU underlines, this is Russian aggression. The EU and United States are ready to take further restrictive measures in response to Russia’s behavior.” While Russian president Vladimir Putin claims to be working toward a ceasefire with Ukraine, Russian forces still maintain their suspicious and intimidating presence in the eastern region of the country. NATO members hope to deploy NATO troops and increase the air patrols in Ukraine in order to better monitor Russia. Poroshenko has said that he would welcome a ceasefire, to be talked about during a meeting later this week in Minsk, Belarus.×401/local/-/media/USATODAY/theOval/2013/09/27/1380288443000-AP-Obama-NATO-Summit-001.jpg
Obama NATO summit