Pence’s Eastern Europe Reassurance Tour Faces One Major Obstacle: Trump

Pence’s Eastern Europe Reassurance Tour Faces One Major Obstacle: Trump
President Donald Trump prepares to swing a Marucci bat, from Baton Rouge, La., as Vice President Mike Pence looks on during a "Made in America" product showcase at the White House, Washington, July 17, 2017 (AP photo by Alex Brandon).

For many of the United States’ friends and allies, the Trump administration’s foreign policy has been the source of confusion and anxiety. Nowhere is that sentiment more acute than in Eastern Europe, the region that endured decades of Soviet domination and strived since the end of the Cold War to come under the West’s protective umbrella.

It is there, in the territories closest to Russia, where President Donald Trump’s efforts to transform Washington’s relationship with Moscow is most worrisome, particularly during a time when Russia is flexing its military muscle beyond its borders with increasing brazenness.

In an effort to ease concerns in Eastern and Central Europe, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence is undertaking what could be called a “Trust us” tour of the region. Starting Sunday, he will visit three countries that view the Kremlin as a clear and present threat to reassure them of Washington’s support.

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