Mike Pence: U.S. to urge Russia to account

Munich — Saturday, February 18, in an attempt to dispel the fears of Europeans about the restoration of relations between Washington and Moscow Vice-President Mike Pence (Mike Pence) told European leaders that the United States will continue to urge Russia to account for its actions, despite the fact that they are now looking for common ground for cooperation.

“Know that the United States will continue to urge Russia to account, despite the fact that we are now looking for common positions, which, according to the President trump, you can find,” said Pence, speaking in Munich at an international security conference. This became the first significant statement by the representative of the new administration trump on foreign policy.

In his speech, which representatives of foreign policy circles have listened carefully, trying to find signs of a shift in U.S. strategy, Penny tried to alleviate the anxiety of the Europeans in connection with the coming to power of President Donald trump, who had sharply criticized the traditional transatlantic institutions and in detail told about their intentions and goals.

Speech by Pence was made on the background of instability in the national security apparatus of the White house, who lost their leader in the moment when trump sacked General Michael Flynn (Michael T. Flynn), who misled the Vice President of the United States regarding the content of his telephone conversations with the Russian Ambassador. This incident seriously disturbed the Vice-President, and also raised the question about his authority within the administration.

During his speech, Pence did not make any concrete proposals, and stated in General terms, the willingness of the US to fight radical Islamist terrorism and to support the NATO Alliance, which trump called “legacy” during last year’s election campaign.

“Today, on behalf of the President of trump I give you these assurances, said Pence. — The United States strongly supports NATO, and they remain steadfast in their commitment to our transatlantic Alliance.”

Penny tried to focus on the shared history and conflict, and also noted that trump will maintain close ties with Europe, while simultaneously significantly increasing military spending in the United States.

“If you trust us, we are under President trump will always trust you,’ said Penny. — The fate of the US and Europe are closely intertwined. Your struggle is our struggle. Your success is our success. Eventually we go into the future together.”

The purpose of the performance of the Pens was to assure allies of the United States in readiness of the new administration to continue to maintain security in the region, as reported by his aides to his speech. Many Western leaders have reacted to the Trump with deep suspicion, given his criticism of NATO and the EU played in the election campaign.

Pence is skeptical of Iranian deal

In his speech, Pence didn’t mention the European Union, but he expressed deep skepticism about the agreement on Iran’s nuclear programme, which the European bloc has helped to conclude together with the administration of President Barack Obama.

Pence noted that the easing of sanctions against Iran in the framework of this agreement helped Iran Fund terrorists — these words were met with silence reigned in the hall of the hotel Bayerischer Hof, where this year the conference was held at security.

Meanwhile, the reaction to the statement Monday that Russia must fulfill the terms of the Minsk agreement, which was signed in 2014 and since then was often violated, was met with much more noticeable enthusiasm.

“We must call Russia to account and demand that she comply with the terms of the Minsk agreements, starting with de-escalate the situation in Eastern Ukraine,” said Pence.

Stating the willingness of the US to strongly support NATO, Pence again called on Alliance members to increase defense spending to at least 2% of GDP.

“The US President is counting on the fact that our allies keep their word, fulfill their commitments, and for most that means it’s time to do more,” — he stressed.

Since joining the trump office the concern of the Europeans is not diminished. U.S. and European officials who met with members of the new administration, saying that they are getting mixed signals about the further plans of America, especially in the US-led sanctions against Moscow in connection with its invasion of Ukraine and interference in the presidential elections.

On Saturday, Pence has not made any specific statements about the sanctions, saying only that the United States will continue to exert pressure on Moscow, while trying to find ways to cooperate.

Merkel stands up for journalists

It was expected that this issue will be raised on Saturday, February 18, in conversation Monday with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who spoke at the conference in front of the Vice-President of the United States.

Merkel urged to refrain from protectionist policies, noting that the country needs to look forward, not back. She also defended the journalists, saying that freedom of the press is the “Foundation of democracy” — these statements Merkel were a response to trump’s tirade, directed against the media.

Speaking at the Munich conference, after only a few weeks after taking office, Pence has tried to imitate his predecessor, Joe Biden (Joe Biden), who spoke at this conference in 2009. Then, as now, the Vice President outlined the main points of the foreign policy of the new administration. Biden called for resetting relations with Russia and to improve the partnership of the U.S. with countries around the world.

Now Penny makes his first foreign trip since taking office. He should arrive in Brussels on Monday 20 February for talks with European leaders and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg (Jens Stoltenberg).

After the inauguration of trump’s never done foreign travel, but he promised to take part in the meeting of leaders of the NATO countries and the group of seven summit, to be held in may.