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McCain: NATO key to stopping 'Russian misbehavior'

McCain: NATO key to stopping 'Russian misbehavior'
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Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainObama book excerpt: 'Hard to deny my overconfidence' during early health care discussions Mark Kelly releases Spanish ad featuring Rep. Gallego More than 300 military family members endorse Biden MORE (R-Ariz.) said Tuesday that a strong North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), an organization President-elect Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump admin to announce coronavirus vaccine will be covered under Medicare, Medicaid: report Election officials say they're getting suspicious emails that may be part of malicious attack on voting: report McConnell tees up Trump judicial pick following Supreme Court vote MORE has promised to reexamine, is crucial to stopping future Russian aggression.

"And the best way to prevent Russian misbehavior is by having a credible, strong military and a strong NATO alliance,” the Armed Services chairman said to reporters during a visit to Estonia, according to Reuters.

"I think the presence of the American troops here in Estonia is a signal that we believe in what Ronald Reagan believed, and that is peace through strength," he said. 

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McCain stopped in Estonia during a swing through the Baltic States with Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamGOP Senate confirms Trump Supreme Court pick to succeed Ginsburg Murkowski predicts Barrett won't overturn Roe v. Wade Biden seeks to close any path for Trump win in race's final days MORE (R-S.C.). Both senators have been highly critical of Trump’s warming to Russian President Vladimir Putin. 

Trump previously suggested during his presidential campaign that the U.S. would not defend NATO allies unless “they fulfill their obligations to us.” 

Lithuania’s former ambassador to the United States told Reuters that the Baltic states fear Trump and how his administration could handle the U.S.-Russian relationship.

"There is fear in the Baltics about the incoming Trump administration's relationship with Russia, that sanctions against Russia will be weakened or called off, and not strengthened as the Congress would want," Zygimantas Pavilionis told the news outlet.

McCain said that to his knowledge, the United States would not end sanctions issued against Russia following its 2014 annexation of Crimea.

"That is certainly not the case today as I know it,” McCain said.