EN | BA

Russia: Pence’s comments in Montenegro destabilizing, US has cold war mentality

Vice President Mike Pence (And Wife) Arrives in Montenegro as Part of Tour of Baltic States | Youtube snapshot

Russia deplored what it named "destabilizing" comments made by US Vice President Mike Pence during his visit to Montenegro, by that exposing Washington’s Cold War mentality.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry on Wednesday criticized US Vice President Mike Pence for making what it said was “the latest in a series of anti-Russian statements while visiting the Montenegrin capital Podgorica earlier this week,” adding “This goes along with the superimposing of projects based on unscrupulous competition and contradicting the logic of economy”.

According to sources, the Russian ministry said that Pence offered the Balkans false and "destructive" choices that would "inevitably lead to mounting tensions" in the region.

"The United States is actively peddling the thesis that there is no alternative for south-eastern Europe to joining NATO," it said. Moscow strongly objected to Montenegro joining NATO earlier this year, as the Kremlin sees the Western military alliance’s expansion as a threat to Russia’s security.

Washington is slipping into a “primitive ideological clichés of the cold war, completely divorced from reality,” stated the foreign Ministry website. This means over 755 United States diplomats must leave the country.

During his third and final stop in a European trip, Pence voiced support for nations that the US see as pressured by Russia. "We truly believe the future of the Western Balkans is in the West," Pence said in Podgorica, Montenegro’s capital.

Moreover, Pence who attended a summit of Balkan leaders, praised Montenegro for standing up to Russian pressure. Its accession to NATO is "a sign of the strength of this country 10 years after independence,” Pence said.

"Russia continues to seek to redraw international borders by force and here in the Western Balkans, Russia has worked to destabilize the region, undermining your democracies and divide you from each other and from the rest of Europe," he claimed.

Pence's trip appeared intended to alleviate fears amid Trump’s statements on the NATO and seeing it as an obsolete organization. "I bring greetings from President Donald Trump, who sent me here as a visible sign of the alliance that we now enjoy through NATO," the vice president said.

The US keeps accusing Russia of hatching an attempted coup in Montenegro in October 2016 to prevent it from joining NATO but Moscow has denied the allegations.