On Sunday, the US vice president started a four-day visit to Estonia, Georgia and Montenegro. During Monday's joint press conference with presidents Kersti Kaljulaid of Estonia, Raimonds Vejonis of Latvia, and Dalia Grybauskaite of Lithuania in Tallinn, Pence accused Russia of alleged aggression toward the Baltic states and expressed the United States’ readiness to protect the countries under its NATO commitments.
"As for Estonia, Georgia and Montenegro, sadly all three countries will use this opportunity to tighten and voice once again their anti-Russian positions, while blindly hoping to benefit from that kind of one sided politics, while not thinking about the eventual cost of it," Aleksandar Sekuliс said.
Sekuliс stated that, from the United States' perspective, the vice president’s visit could be used to reinforce US influence within the region. The United States would do this in order to demonstrate to its European allies that despite major cuts in the budget for US foreign military assistance programs, Washington would continue "to pursue the policies aimed at bringing up the walls against Russia."
"The latest package of non-provoked sanctions against Russia, which soon to be signed by Mr. [President Donald] Trump, is an additional wind in the wings of this particular visit," the politician said, referring to the latest sanctions package approved by the US Senate on Thursday, which now awaits either approval or veto by the US president.
Moscow has repeatedly said that Russia has never planned to attack any NATO member. According Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov's June 2016 statement, NATO recognizes Moscow's claims but uses the pretext of alleged Russian aggression to deploy more equipment and battalions next to Russia's borders.