Pence: Russia won't deter US commitment to security

Pence: Russia won't deter US commitment to security
© Greg Nash

Vice President Pence on Monday warned leaders of the Baltic States of the threat from an "unpredictable" Russia, adding that Moscow's recent expulsion of U.S. diplomats won't deter the Trump administration's commitment to security.

"No threat looms larger in the Baltic States than the specter of aggression from your unpredictable neighbor to the east," Pence said during a joint press conference with Baltic leaders in Estonia.

"At this very moment, Russia continues to seek to redraw international borders by force, undermine democracies of sovereign nations, and divide the free nations of Europe — one against another."

Pence also said the U.S., under President Trump, "rejects any attempt to use force, threats, intimidation, or malign influence in the Baltic States or against any of our treaty allies." 

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"To be clear: We hope for better days, for better relations with Russia," Pence added.

"But recent diplomatic action taken by Moscow will not deter the commitment of the United States of America to our security, the security of our allies, and the security of freedom-loving nations around the world."

His comments come after Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered 755 U.S. diplomatic mission staff to leave the country.

The expulsion came in response to legislation overwhelmingly passed by Congress last week that would increase sanctions against Moscow.