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Cheney backs Balkan states for NATO and EU membership

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Cheney backs Balkan states for NATO and EU membership


The US Vice President Dick Cheney has given his support to three Balkan nations seeking to join NATO and the EU.

Speaking in Dubrovnik at a summit of leaders of Croatia, Albania and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Cheney said their entry would help revitalise democratic values. “It is very important both for NATO and the EU to take in new members. People who aspire to join the organisation, help rejuvenate it, and to help us re-dedicate ourselves to the basic and fundamental values of freedom and democracy that are a very important part of our collective security arrangements,” he said. Cheney praised the three countries for their willingness to undertake democratic reforms and for taking part in US-led military operations. His tone was a marked contrast to his criticism of Russia made to Baltic and Black Sea heads of state in Vilnius on Thursday. His remarks then, that President Vladimir Putin was backsliding on democracy, were seen by some analysts in the Russian media as the start of a second Cold War.
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