Vice President Mike Pence is vowing that the Trump administration will “hold Russia accountable” for its actions in eastern Ukraine and maintain its “unwavering” commitment to NATO, despite the president’s recent comments about Vladimir Putin and his dismissal of the military alliance as being “obsolete.”

“Know this: The United States will continue to hold Russia accountable, even as we search for new common ground which, as you know, President Trump believes can be found,” Pence said yesterday at the Munich Security Conference, where he stressed U.S. support for NATO would be “unwavering” and Trump would “stand with Europe.”

During his address, Pence noted the U.S. and Europe share “noble ideals — freedom, democracy, justice and the rule of law.”

Pence said the U.S. will demand that Russia honor a 2015 deal to end violence in eastern Ukraine between government forces and Russian-backed separatists.

Earlier in the day, U.S. Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said Trump is working on a “streamlined” version of his executive order banning travel from seven predominantly Muslim nations to iron out the difficulties that landed his first order in the courts.

Speaking on a panel about combating terrorism at the Munich conference, Kelly mentioned “seven nations,” which suggested the original Muslim-majority countries — Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen — will all be included in the new executive order.

Herald wire services contributed to this report.


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