In his first major foreign policy address on behalf of the administration of the US president, Vice President Mike Pence has said that the President of the US Donald Trump believes that the US and Russia can find ways for cooperation but Moscow should be held accountable for the crisis in Ukraine.
While speaking the Munich Security Conference, the Vice President issued a hardline statement, saying that, “We must hold Russia accountable and demand that they honor the Minsk Agreements, beginning by de-escalating the violence in eastern Ukraine."
Pence praised NATO's new military deployments in Poland and the Baltic states in the wake of what he called “Russia's efforts to redraw international borders by force.” .
Pence assured the members of NATO of the continued support by the US of the Alliance.
"Today, on behalf of President Trump, I bring you this assurance: The United States of America strongly supports NATO and will be unwavering in its commitment to our trans-Atlantic alliance," Pence stated.
The Kremlin’s reaction to Pence’s statements followed soon after.
“We are disappointed by the position of Mr. Pence according to which all the responsibility for the implementation of the Minsk agreements has to be carried by Russia… It’s not appropriate assessment of the situation in southeastern Ukraine, and adds no value to the peace process,” stated the head of Russia’s upper house Committee for International Relations, Konstantin Kosachev.