US policy ‘not America-alone,’ US Vice President Mike Pence says in Estonia

July 31, 2017 3:46 am

Vice President and his wife Karen Pence disembark their plane after arriving at the airport in Tallinn, , on July 30, 2017. (Photos by AFP)

US Vice President Mike Pence claims that is resorting to “destabilizing” measures in Eastern Europe and that Washington expects Moscow’s “behavior to change.”
Pence made the comments at Russia’s doorstep in Tallinn, Estonia, on Sunday.
This is while Ukraine’s eastern regions of Donetsk and Lugansk have witnessed deadly clashes between pro-Russia forces and the Ukrainian army since Kiev launched military operations in April 2014 to crush pro-Moscow protests there.
“My message today is just very, very simple. While our policy is America-first, it’s not America-alone. And that our allies in Eastern Europe can be confident that of America stands with them,” Pence said, reiterating the US support for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) despite the president’s previous comments about the alliance. “We are committed to NATO, we are committed to our common defense.”
Pence also asserted that the Russia–friendly president would sign a new sanctions package designed by the Congress to retaliate Russia’s ‘”destabilizing” acts.
The legislation, which was sent to the White House on Friday, would impose new sanctions against Russia while limiting Trump’s ability to independently relax penalties against Moscow.
“Well, the president has made it very clear that Russia’s destabilizing activities, its support for rogue regimes, its activities in Ukraine, are unacceptable. The president made very clear that very soon he will sign the sanctions from the Congress of the to reinforce that,’ said the former Indiana governor.
In September 2014, the government in Kiev and the pro-Russian forces signed a ceasefire agreement in the Belarusian capital city of Minsk in a bid to halt the clashes in Ukraine’s eastern regions. The warring sides also inked another truce deal, dubbed Minsk II, in February 2015 under the supervision of Russia, Germany and France.
Trump has been a staunch supporter of better ties with Moscow ever since he started the path to presidency.
“But at the same time, as we make our intentions clear, we expect Russian behavior to change. The president and I remain very hopeful that we’ll see different behavior by the Russian government,” said Pence.
The Trump administration has been perceived as friendly to Russia and inherently opposed to sanctions on Moscow but it has recently been sending mixed messages about whether or not Trump would sign the bill into law.
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