Pentagon head meets Balkan defense chiefs

Source:AFP Published: 2018/7/13 22:33:42

US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis sat down on Friday in Croatia with Balkan defense chiefs who have accused Russia of trying to sow instability and division in this corner of Europe. But nobody at the meeting said the word "Russia" while the cameras were rolling.

"We are not naive and we are keenly aware that some elsewhere would wish to see us fail in our endeavours here today," Mattis said in his opening remarks at the meeting, before reporters were escorted out of the room.

"Those that seek to divide us for their own reasons will not enjoy our dedication to working together."

The group is currently chaired by Montenegro, which joined NATO last year in defiance of Moscow after accusing Russian spies of orchestrating an attempted coup to derail the accession. Moscow called the accusations anti-Russian hysteria.

Posted in: EUROPE

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