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27 September, 2013 17:03   ▪  

U.S. Congressman: US should not allow Eastern European countries to be browbeaten by Russia

Washington "should not countenance" an apparent increase in Russian pressure on its neighbors as they seek closer ties with the European Union, Eliot Engel, New York's top Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee said in an interview with RFE/RL.

"Russia is starting to throw its weight around and I just think that we should let the Russians know that we are aware of this, that we don't like it, and that we're going to try to provide support and comfort to these countries to do whatever they want to do voluntarily -- not to be threatened with [a] cut-off of oil or gas or boycotts of their products," senior U.S. lawmaker stressed.

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As RFE/RL reports, Engel sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on September 18 calling on him to "speak out strongly" on the issue. He said that he had not yet received a response, but expected to.
"The moral force of the United States is very big all over the world and these countries feel abandoned. At least that's the way it has been described to me. We should not allow them to be browbeaten by [Russian President Vladimir] Putin and Russia," he said.
"We need to make it clear, and that's why I wrote the letter to Secretary Kerry, that we won't countenance this kind of behavior."
"If I were a country in Eastern Europe, I would be worried as well," he added.

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"It's very important for us to stand for principles and not throw them away because we are cutting a deal with Russia on Syria, for instance, or we need Russian help in trying to curb Iran," he said.
 

 


 


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