Pompeo: Russia is Aggressively Trying to Strengthen its Positions in the Balkans
US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo said Russia is aggressively trying to strengthen its position in the Balkans, and President Trump's administration is opposed to this, he added, reports bgnes.
"The threat that the Russians continue to aggressively strengthen their influence on the Balkans is real and we have to fight," he said at a hearing before the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee. According to one of the senators, "Russia is opening a new front on the Balkans, acting on the scenario of the hybrid war in Ukraine using bribery of media, bribes of official government figures, attempts to acquire oil and gas contracts."
The senator noted that, at the same time, the State Department's draft budget for the financial year 2019 reduced the cost of assistance to a number of Balkan countries, including Albania, Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina. According to him, this can be perceived by Russia as a signal that the US has no interest in this region. Pompeo assured the senator that he "devotes a lot of time to this question."
"I'm sure the Russians will see that we do not do what you talk about - pay less attention to the Balkans," he said. Yesterday in a speech to the Foreign Affairs Committee in the House of Representatives in Congress, Pompeo said that Russia "worked diligently to destabilize the situation in the Balkans."
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