July 19, 2018

After being called ‘aggressive’ by Trump, Montenegro insists it’s a friend to America

Featuring Rachel Rizzo

Source: The Washington Post

Journalist Siobhán O'Grady

Earlier this week, President Trump identified a seemingly unlikely threat to world security: Montenegro, a tiny Balkan country of just over 600,000 people.

Montenegrins, Trump told Fox News on Wednesday are a “very aggressive people,” arguing that their membership in NATO could spark a war. “They may get aggressive, and congratulations, you’re in World War III,” he said.

Trump was responding to a question from Fox host Tucker Carlson, who asked the president a hypothetical question: “Why should my son go to Montenegro to defend it from attack?” Carlson was referring to Article 5 of the Washington Treaty, which requires NATO members to aid other member states if they are attacked. The article has been invoked only once, following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States.

But Montenegrin officials insist Trump has nothing to worry about. “Aggressive is a word which can’t be applied in the case of Montenegro,” said Milica Pejanovic-Djurisic, the Montenegrin ambassador to the United Nations, in a phone interview with The Washington Post. Montenegro, she said, is pushing for “stability in the region and trying in these turbulent years to help others.”

In a statement released Thursday, the Montenegrin government called itself a “stabilizing state in the region” and pointedly noted that it has sent troops to Afghanistan. “We build friendships, and we have not lost [a] single one, and at the same time we are able to boldly and defensively protect and defend our own national interests,” the statement said. “In today's world, it does not matter how big or small you are, but to what extent you cherish the values of freedom, solidarity and democracy.”

Read the Full Article at The Washington Post


  • Rachel Rizzo

    Former Adjunct Fellow, Transatlantic Security Program

    Rachel Rizzo is an adjunct fellow at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS), working in the Transatlantic Security Program. Her research focuses on European security, N...