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    Republican Presidential candidate Senator Rand Paul speaks to the media after the Republican Presidential debate sponsored by Fox News at the Iowa Events Center in Des Moines, Iowa on January 28, 2016

    US Senator Questions Favoring NATO Expansion Over Diplomatic Ties With Russia

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    The US strategy of supporting unfettered NATO expansion without considering the ramifications of alienating Russia is an unbalanced approach to diplomacy, says US Senator Rand Paul.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The US strategy of supporting unfettered NATO expansion without considering the ramifications of alienating Russia is an unbalanced approach to diplomacy, US Senator Rand Paul said during a congressional hearing on Montenegro’s accession on Wednesday.

    "To say there are no [ramifications], and our avowed purpose is to tell Russia ‘you can’t tell us what to do,’ sounds a little schoolyardish to me and maybe not completely thought through or a balanced opinion," Paul stated in a US Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing.

    Additionally, Paul questioned whether it was more important for the United States to maintain diplomatic ties with Montenegro or Russia.

    Paul noted that the United States is in the middle of an armed conflict in Syria, and explained that "by most analysis, including the [Obama] administration’s, Russia is part of the solution."

    In May, NATO foreign ministers signed an accession protocol paving the way for Montenegro to join the military bloc. The US Senate held a hearing to discuss Montenegro’s membership, which it must approve.

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    Tags:
    NATO expansion, diplomacy, NATO, Rand Paul, Russia, United States
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