The Trump administration is taking a strong stance against Russia this week with Vice President Mike Pence repeating America’s support for Georgia to join NATO and President Donald Trump set to sign an anti-Russia sanctions bill.
Russia announced Sunday that the U.S. has to cut its diplomatic staff in the nation by 755 people. Pence reacted to that announcement Tuesday in Georgia and said that this action 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.”
The sanctions bill that President Trump is expected to sign will make it harder for Russia to export energy and weapons.
“As always, our country prefers a constructive relationship with Russia based on cooperation and common interests. But the President and our Congress are unified in our message to Russia: A better relationship, the lifting of sanctions will require Russia to reverse the actions that caused sanctions to be imposed in the first place,” Pence said in Georgia while standing next to the nation’s prime minister.
Pence has been abroad this week and also met with the presidents of Estonia, Lithuania, and Latvia. He said Monday, “no threat looms larger in the Baltic states than the spectre of aggression from your unpredictable neighbour to the east.”
While President Trump called the North Atlantic Treaty Organization “obsolete” on the campaign trail, he has had a change of heart in office. He signed legislation in support of Montenegro joining NATO, and Pence said Tuesday that “America stands” with Georgia’s goal of joining the alliance. “I’m here to say America First does not mean America alone,” Pence stated.