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Pence: ‘We Expect Russian Behavior To Change’

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Vice President Mike Pence said the Trump administration is committed to cracking down on Russia for its threatening acts but is hopeful the country will change its behavior.

“Well, the president has made it very clear that Russia’s destabilizing activities,its support for rogue regimes, its activities in Ukraine, are unacceptable,” he told Fox News during an interview in Tallinn, Estonia Sunday. “The president made very clear that very soon he will sign the sanctions from the Congress of the United States to reinforce that. But at the same time, as we make our intentions clear, we expect Russian behavior to change.”

Congress passed a bipartisan bill aimed at placing sanctions on Russia, North Korea and Iran Thursday, which also limits the president’s power to terminate or ease penalties placed on the Kremlin. Pence said he would like to see Russia change its ways to improve relations between countries.

“The president and I remain very hopeful that we’ll see different behavior by the Russian government, with regard to Ukraine, with regard to supporting rogue regimes in Iran and North Korea,” he said. “We continue to believe that if Russia will change its behavior, our relationship can change for the good and improve for the interests in both of our countries and the interest of peace and stability in this region and around the world.”

His comments follow Russia announcing it will expel 755 U.S. diplomats in the wake of Trump agreeing to sign the sanctions bill into law.

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