Embassy Reductions Won't Deter US, Pence Says

02 August, 2017, 00:49 | Author: Chad Mckenzie
  • NATO intercepts Russian jets near Estonian airspace

Pence told reporters on Tuesday that Trump would sign a bill on a new package of US sanctions against Russian Federation, adding the package was "improved significantly".

Georgia was Pence's second stop.

The U.S. "strongly condemns Russia's occupation on Georgian soil", Pence said Tuesday at a joint news conference with the Georgian prime minister in Tbilisi, the Georgian capital.

At a 2008 summit in Bucharest, NATO leaders made a formal pledge that Georgia "will become a NATO member", but alliance leaders have moved warily toward that goal in the face of Moscow's opposition.

Keeping to previous USA administrations' line, Pence also condemned Russia's presence in Georgia.

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Asked about Pence's visit, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said nations had the right to choose their partners.

Visiting U.S. Vice President Mike Pence attends a ceremony of the ongoing "Noble Partner 2017" multinational military drill in Alekseevka Air Base at Tbilisi, capital of Georgia, Aug. 1, 2017.

"These exercises will help Georgia to get closer to North Atlantic Treaty Organisation standards and to strengthen stability in the whole region", Kvirikashvili said at the opening ceremonies at the Vaziani military base near the capital, Tbilisi.

"We hope for better days, and we hope for better relations with Russian Federation, but the recent diplomatic action taken by Moscow I can assure will not deter the commitment of the United States to our security, to that of our allies, and to freedom-loving nations around the world like Georgia".

Moscow, however, recognized South Ossetia and Abkhazia as two independent nations after a brief war broke out between Russian Federation and Georgia in August 2008.

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Members of the US, French, British and Estonian militaries were there to hear Mr Pence's speech, as were the presidents of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.

While in the country, Pence is set to review joint military drills that are being billed as the largest ever held between the USA and Georgia.

On the latest leg of his first official tour of Eastern Europe, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence assured regional allies the United States will stand by their side.

Mr Lough said he doesn't think it is how Mr Trump wanted his foreign policy to play out.

Among the reasons for the sanctions are Russian human rights abuses, its intervention in Ukraine, cyberattacks and meddling in the USA election.

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