13:23 GMT27 July 2021
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    US Senator John McCain said the relationship between the United States and NATO will remain as it has been thus far.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The US relationship with NATO will remain unchanged despite remarks by President-elect Donald Trump that may suggest a different approach, US Senator John McCain said on Tuesday.

    "I am convinced and certain that our relationship and…the American relationship with NATO, will remain the same," McCain stated as quoted by the Washington Examiner.

    McCain, who is visiting Estonia as part of a three-day trip to the Baltics together with US Senator Lindsey Graham, also claimed there would be a strong response if Russia interfered in the region.

    "And the best way to prevent Russian misbehavior by having a credible, strong military and a strong NATO alliance," McCain said.

    Throughout the 2016 campaign, Trump called into question the viability of NATO, the disproportionate US financial contribution to the alliance and Washington’s pledge to defend NATO’s members as per Article 5 of the Washington Treaty that established the alliance in 1949.

    In July, during the NATO summit in Warsaw, the alliance decided to strengthen its military presence in Eastern Europe by adding four battalions in Poland and the Baltics allegedly in response what the alliance terms is "Russian aggression."

    Russian officials have repeatedly refuted any claims of aggression. Moreover, Moscow has warned that amassing military equipment and troops on Russia’s borders constitute aggressive acts in violation of previous pledges about non-expansion of NATO, and can destabilize the region and the world.

    McCain and Graham will travel Latvia on Wednesday and to Lithuania on Thursday as part of their trip to the Baltic states.

     

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    Tags:
    NATO, Donald Trump, John McCain, US
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